Local News

Discovery of DNA prompts profile of UNC student's killer

Posted January 8, 2013 11:12 a.m. EST
Updated January 8, 2013 6:51 p.m. EST

Faith Hedgepeth

— FBI analysts on Tuesday issued a profile of the man they believe killed a University of North Carolina student last fall after police found DNA evidence in her apartment.

Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, 19, was found in her bedroom at her off-campus apartment in Chapel Hill on Sept. 7.

Chapel Hill police said Hedgepeth and her roommate went to The Thrill, a local nightclub, the previous night and that she was last known to be alive at 3 a.m. on Sept. 7.

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

Investigators said the North Carolina State Crime Lab has found DNA left in the apartment by an unidentified man. They didn't disclose where the DNA was found, but they expressed confidence that it would lead them to Hedgepeth's killer.

"I believe it will be solved sooner than people think," said her father, Roland Hedgepeth. "I believe this is a new beginning in the investigation."

Roland Hedgepeth said he talks with investigators weekly about the case.

The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit has told police that they believe the killer knew Hedgepeth and might have lived near her in the past and that he might have made comments about her to close associates. Also, the killer's behavior might have changed after her death, such as an unusual interest in the case or a change in performance at work or school.

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.