Local News

Family, police still search for answers in UNC-CH student's death

Posted September 6, 2013 5:04 p.m. EDT
Updated September 6, 2013 6:36 p.m. EDT

— Saturday marks one year since a University of North Carolina student was found beaten to death in her Chapel Hill apartment, and her family and police continue to hope for a break in the case.

Friends found the body of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, 19, in her bedroom at her apartment in the Hawthorne on the View complex on Old Chapel Hill Road on Sept. 7, 2012.

"I helped my mom raise her, so she was like my third child," her sister, Rolanda Hedgepeth, said Friday. "So, I lost my child that day, too."

During the past year, the family has visited with local prosecutors and police, music videos were produced in Faith Hedgepeth's honor and the Haliwa-Saponi tribe that the family belongs to held a Native American pow-wow with a theme "Keeping the Faith."

On Saturday, a silent memorial walk in Faith Hedgepeth's honor will be held at UNC-Chapel Hill. The walk begins at the Bell Tower Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m.

Through it all, however, there have been few answers for police or the Hedgepeth family.

"There's a part of me that says I don't understand why they haven't been able to solve this case," said her father, Roland Hedgepeth.

Although police have said they do not believe her death was random, they have not publicly identified any suspects.

Investigators said they found a man's DNA in the apartment. They have also said that Faith Hedgepeth and her roommate were at a student hot spot, The Thrill, in the early morning hours before she was killed.

"We've been supportive of the Chapel Hill Police Department. We want them to have a solid case," Rolanda Hedgepeth said.

Roland Hedgepeth said he hears from police on a weekly basis, but until there's a break in the case, the family can only wait and hope.

"If anybody knows anything at all, no matter how trivial it may seem or how small the detail may seem, I beg them to contact the Chapel Hill Police Department," he said.

Police issued a statement Thursday that said they continue to work the case and are hopeful that continued attention to Faith Hedgepeth's death will provide the clues they need to make an arrest.

"They'll crack the case. There will be justice for Faith," Rolanda Hedgepeth 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.

A reward of up to $39,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.