Local News

Police release details of UNC student's 2012 homicide

Posted September 4, 2014

— Two years after a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student was found dead in her off-campus apartment, police on Thursday released new details from their investigation in an attempt to generate more leads and a possible break in the case.

Faith Danielle Hedgepeth's roommate found the 19-year-old dead in her bedroom on Sept. 7, 2012.

Police on Thursday described a brutal attack on Hedgepeth, noting that blood was spattered on the bedroom wall and a closet door and that Hedgepeth was found in a pool of blood on the floor. An autopsy determined that she had been beaten to death.

"Faith’s body was positioned on the floor, leaning against the bed, with her shirt pulled up. She had no clothes from the waist down," Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said.

A fast-food takeout bag was on the bed with "I'm not stupid (expletive) Jealous" scribbled on it, police said.

Investigators found semen on her, but police wouldn't say whether she had been sexually assaulted or had consensual sex before she was killed. Blue said the DNA from the semen matched a man's DNA that was found elsewhere in the apartment.

Police have analyzed "hundreds of DNA samples" collected from men in and around Chapel Hill who might have been connected to Hedgepeth, but Blue said no match has been found during a frustrating two years.

"We have excellent evidence. We have a really good case," he said. "We just need to connect this really good case with the killer."

Police said Hedgepeth and her roommate went to Davis Library on campus and then The Thrill, a Chapel Hill nightclub, the night before she was killed. They returned home shortly before 3 a.m., but the roommate left the apartment again at about 4:30 a.m., which police said is the last time Hedgepeth was known to be alive.

"It's not going to change anything if we know who did it, to me, but my biggest question is why?" her mother, Connie Hedgepeth, said Thursday. "No matter what happens with the case, if they find someone, it doesn’t take away missing her, loving her, wanting to see her. It’s been a long two years."

Still, her father, Roland Hedgepeth, said the family needs some closure.

"It's the most difficult struggle," he said. "Faith deserves justice, and as long as I have breath, I’ll always be seeking it."

UNC-Chapel Hill students plan to mark the second anniversary of her death with a Justice for Faith march on campus at noon Monday.

A $40,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Faith Hedgepeth's killer, and Blue said three detectives from his department and the State Bureau of Investigation continue to work exclusively on the case.

After fighting media organizations, including WRAL News, for two years to keep records sealed in the case to avoid jeopardizing the murder investigation, Chapel Hill police plan to release all search warrants, the autopsy report and other documents on Friday, Blue said.

A Superior Court judge in July approved the release of heavily redacted search warrants that provided little detail in the case and a recording of the 911 call Hedgepeth's roommate made to report her death.

Blue declined to say why police have decided to release the documents now, emphasizing that investigators only want to encourage anyone with information to come forward so they can solve the case.

"We really want to bring some peace to Faith’s family. This has been two unimaginable years for them," he said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Chapel Hill Police Department tip line at 919-614-6363 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515 or email information to investigators at crimetips@townofchapelhill.org.


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  • disgusted2010 Sep 5, 2014

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    Typical liberal, can't answer a question or argue a point and when you realize you have no truthful argument, obfuscate.

  • disgusted2010 Sep 5, 2014

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    You have no intention of engaging in a rational discussion or debate. All you do is incite. IF you had intended to make such a point then why did you not make it? For once tell the truth and admit you live to stir the pot.

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Sep 5, 2014

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    Other than the fact that you seem to be incited every time I post, I'm not sure what you're talking about. I'm merely pointing out that crimes like this can indeed be random. See Kathy Taft's murder, for instance.

  • diana123 Sep 5, 2014

    oh they'll get him. fool!

  • disgusted2010 Sep 5, 2014

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    Do you never tire of inciting?

  • disgusted2010 Sep 5, 2014

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    How dare you call for this. Don't you know that the politically correct news organizations cannot mention this as it might hurt someone's feelings.

  • YourConscience Sep 5, 2014

    The killer may not be a man. The semen may have been from an earlier rendezvous that night. And who would come forward knowing they would become the prime suspect. 'Jealousy' can relate to another girl. It could have been staged as a break in / rape. Sorry to say, roommate would have to be thoroughly investigated.

  • Ven Sep 5, 2014

    Doubt this was random, if someone took the time to scrawl such a hateful message...this was hatred, rage, personal. The hard part is that the DNA doesn't always = killer. The fact that they've checked people it the DNA didn't match doesn't mean they haven't talked to the killer (i.e., there's no confirmed rape). it sounds like they have 2 key suspects, and I'm sure it's one or the other

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Sep 5, 2014

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    Sure they are.

  • seankelly15 Sep 5, 2014

    JAT - "Would a judge authorize that all the men on those receipts to give a sample?"

    What men? And, no.

    "Where was the pen that the person used to write the note? No DNA on that?"

    DNA is in body fluids not fingerprints.

    "Most likely, they left the club; someone followed them home; perhaps stopping by a fast food chain; and then came in after the roommate left."

    The killer left a personal message. Your little scenario doesn't fit.

    "Or, someone came by while the girls were out and waited for her to fall asleep and the guy didn't care whether the roommate was there or not."

    Wouldn't there be signs of a break-in?

    All of what you have written is rank speculation. Please stop playing junior gumshoe and let the authorities handle it.