Police have released additional details about the 2012 murder of Faith Hedgepeth, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe.
During a Thursday, August 4 press briefing, Chapel Hill police revealed information that has been sealed since Hedgepeth, 19, was found dead in her off-campus apartment. The briefing came almost two years to the date of the September 7 murder. No arrests have been made.
The Chapel Hill police and the State Bureau of Investigation “are releasing this information now with the hope that it will allow a community member to provide information that will assist in the investigation,” the police department stated in a news release.
The newly released details paint a horrific picture of what happened during Hedgepeth’s final hours. Documents reveal that Hedgepeth was beaten in the face and head and that she was found naked from the waist down and leaning against her bed. Blood was pooled near her body and spattered on the wall and closet door.
A hand-written note was found nearby, penned on a fast-food bag. The note states: “I’m not stupid bitch. Jealous.”
A rape kit was performed, which revealed the presence of semen. DNA generated from the semen matched other DNA recovered from the crime scene.
According to the documents, the police interviewed a group of men who were seen with Hedgepeth and her roommate at a Chapel Hill bar hours before the murder. Some of the men were ordered to give DNA samples and some refused, the documents state. The police searched and interviewed several potential suspects.
Investigators executed numerous search warrants and court orders for computers, cell phones and social media accounts. Hundreds of DNA samples were collected and analyzed, but none matched the DNA found at the scene, the documents state.
During the press briefing, Police Chief Chris Blue said the case is not cold and that investigators are still following leads. Blue also made a public appeal for information.
“What we lack is that key piece of information that can help us connect the strong case with the killer,” Blue said. “A killer has been on the loose and has not yet been held accountable for this crime. If the killer out there is hearing this message, we will catch you.”
The new details come from nearly 300 pages of police and court documents that were released Friday morning after a superior court judge ordered that all records be unsealed. The only exception to the order is autopsy photos.
A judge in July unsealed some of the search warrants and the audio of the 911 call from Hedgepeth’s roommate, Karena Rosario, who told the operator that there was “blood everywhere” and evidence that someone had been in the apartment.
Until now, however, the autopsy report was sealed, leaving even Hedgepeth’s family in the dark about how the teen died. According to the autopsy, Hedgepth’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
Hedgepeth’s father, Roland Hedgepeth, also made a public appeal for more information. In a video released by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Roland Hedgepeth begs anyone with any information to come forward.
“I am so convinced that the difference in solving this case and it going cold is one fact,” he says in the video. “One thing that somebody saw that would give (police) a new avenue. I beg the public to please help us.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. A reward of up to $40,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.