Hollister, N.C. — The parents of a slain University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student say they are holding onto faith that their daughter's life was a blessing to the world and that justice will be served in her death.
Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, 19, was found dead in her Hawthorne View apartment on Sept. 7. No suspects have been named, and police have said little other than they don't believe the crime was random.
"I'm stronger than I thought I would be, because I feel like God is on one side and she is on the other side holding me up," Hedgepeth's mother, Connie, said Saturday.
"I always believed the Lord put her here to give me something to live for," her father, Roland, said.
He said the family believes police are making progress in solving Hedgepeth's death, but the hardest part is not knowing what happened to his daughter.
"I feel like if we're patient, they're going to get the right person," Hedgepeth's sister, Rolanda, said.
"It will be soon, because there are too many prayers going up," Connie Hedgepeth said.
A reward of nearly $30,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone who thinks they might have information that could help is asked to call Chapel Hill police at 919-614-6363 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.
Hedgepeth's family participated in a march Saturday in her hometown of Hollister in Warren County. The event had two purposes: Keep Hedgepeth's case in the public eye and heal the community.
"It makes me happy to see that people are still very interested in this case, and they want to see justice for Faith," Roland Hedgepeth said.
"A lot of people are hurt, very hurt, so it's kind of a way to get together and celebrate her," Rolanda Hedgepeth said. "It's amazing how many lives she touched, people she knew and didn't know."
Her family talked about the sweet, playful 2010 graduate of Warren High School who wanted to become a doctor.
"We don't want anyone to forget her smile. She was a beautiful girl. She was my baby," Connie Hedgepeth said.
"She was beautiful, bubbly, very bubbly, perky, very funny and very smart," Rolanda Hedgepeth said.
Hedgepeth's mother said nothing can extinguish the bright light that defined her daughter.
"Her spirit is right here today," Connie Hedgepeth said.