One of the most devastating pieces of evidence that ultimately convicted South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh of murdering his wife and son last year came from the family’s dogs. PEOPLE’s investigative reporter Pilar Melendez has been following the story of the Murdaughs’ yellow Labrador Bubba, who was left locked in the family’s dog kennels on the night of the crime and is seen in a chilling video that prosecutors played during Murdaugh’s trial. As of this writing, it is unclear what happened to Bubba after the murders, but it is likely he has found a new home with the former housekeeper who cared for the Murdaugh family’s pets, Blanca Turrubiate-Simpson.
The kennels were located near the house on the sprawling 1,770-acre South Carolina property known as Moselle, where Maggie and Paul were killed. During the trial, prosecutors argued that Murdaugh’s phone records placed him at the kennels just minutes before their murders and that his alibi about being in his home was false.
Prosecutor Creighton Waters told jurors in his closing argument that the Snapchat video — which features a phone being flipped on and off — showed Paul calling a friend, Rogan Gibson, to ask him if the dog’s tail was moving, a possible indication that he was being attacked by an animal. Witnesses testified that the voice in the video was clearly Murdaugh’s and shattered his alibi for the killings.
The footage also shows the kennels, where a blood stain is visible from outside the cages. During the trial, the jury was shown drone footage of the kennels that showed that Bubba was still in the kennels, as well as photos of Maggie and Paul’s bodies lying nearby.