UNC student’s family seeks answers to her murder


Faith Hedgepeth (WTVD)

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The mother of murdered 19-year-old UNC-Chapel Hill student Faith Hedgepeth is speaking to WTVD-TV one year after her daughter's tragic death.

It's been a murder case shrouded in secrecy for a year, but now there's a new call for an arrest and a change in the investigation.

Along with Hedgepeth's friends and family, others are raising questions and demanding answers including the North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs.

"She was always a sweet person, always trying to help people," said Faith's sister, Rolanda Hedgepeth.

Faith's mother, Connie Hedgepeth, said she remembers everything that happened the day her daughter was murdered – which was one year ago Saturday.

Faith's family and the public are still in the dark about what happened in the early morning hours before the UNC student's roommate discovered her lifeless body at their Chapel Hill apartment.

"As long as I know that they're working on it, and doing the best that they can and, of course, if they need help, I expect them to ask for help," Connie said, according to WTVD-TV.

The family insists it has confidence in the Chapel Hill Police Department, the lead -- and so far --the only agency on the case.

With the exception of an FBI profile of the killer, WTVD-TV has confirmed that not even the State Bureau of Investigation is involved.

"There are so many people that cared and loved Faith," said Connie Hedgepeth.

Rolanda Hedgepeth said a lot of people are frustrated and vent their frustration on the family.

Organizations like the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs have stepped in, calling on the UNC System to review unsolved crimes against students, like Faith.

Further complicating the case are different jurisdictions. Despite Faith's Chapel Hill address, the case will ultimately be prosecuted in Durham.

Durham County District Attorney Leon Stanback told WTVD-TV:  "We're very hopeful we'll get a break in this case soon. There's been a lot of activity. We're planning conferences with the Chapel Hill department. We're trying to see if there are any new approaches to solving the crime."

The Chapel Hill Police Department declined WTVD-TV’s multiple requests for an interview.

It's renewed a public plea for new information on the case while closely guarding the dark details investigators do know.

The UNC student was the victim of a brutal beating. Her family describes her bedroom as a horrifically bloody scene. However, they believe she fought her attacker until the end.

"I'm 100 percent sure she fought. She had defensive -- she had bruises on her hands," said Rolanda.

Police said they have DNA of the killer but no known match. A profile suggests Faith Hedgepeth may have known her attacker, which is something even the family has considered.

"She's the sweetest girl you'd ever meet," said friend Chelsea Barnes. "I haven't met anybody who had anything negative to say about her, and it's such a great loss for our community."

Anyone with any information on the death can call the Chapel Hill Police Department tip line at (919) 614-6363 or Crimestoppers at (919) 942-7515.

WTVD-TV contributed to this report.

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