Some information in this story may be considered graphic
Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue released new information Thursday that he says he hopes will help lead to the capture of the suspected killer in the murder of a UNC sophomore.
“Since September 7, 2012, a killer has been on the loose and has not been held accountable for Faith’s death,” Chief Blue said. “We believe that someone knows who did this and will be compelled to come forward.”
“If Faith’s killer is out there hearing this message, you should know that we will catch you,” Chief Blue said.
Sunday marks two years since a roommate of 19-year-old Faith Danielle Hedgepeth found her dead in their off-campus apartment.
However, Chief Blue says this has not, at any time, become a cold case.
“We’ve conducted an extensive investigation, and we have excellent evidence,” Chief Blue says. “This is a very strong case. What we need to do is connect that case to Faith’s killer.”
In the attempts of making that connection, Chapel Hill Police released never-before-told details about the investigation, which has—at times during the case—gone outside of North Carolina.
Part of that release includes the confirmation of what Hedgepeth’s parents earlier told the media, that they suspected she was beaten to death. She was found badly beaten and partially undressed, according to the release.
On January 8 of this year, Chapel Hill Police announced the DNA of a male suspect was found at the scene.
“Investigators have asked persons of interest to provide oral DNA swabs so that their DNA can be compared to the DNA collected at the scene,” Chief Blue says. “Hundreds of DNA samples have been collected and analyzed at this point. None of them have been found to match the DNA profile of Faith’s killer.”
Police say DNA samples were submitted in various forms, including oral swabs. At least one person has declined to submit a DNA sample.
Investigators also released a photo of a hand-written note that was found at the scene, which was believed to have been written by the killer.
The murder took place at the Hawthorne at the View apartment complex, which is located in the Durham County portion of Chapel Hill. The Durham District Attorney’s Office will prosecute a suspect, should any arrests be made, though the Chapel Hill Police Department is the investigating agency.
If anyone has information that they wish to provide, please contact investigators at 919-614-6363. If you call this number, you will speak directly to one of the Investigators who are assigned to this case and are familiar with it. This number will be staffed 24 hours a day. You can also submit online at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org. You can reach Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.
UNC spokesperson Karen Moon released the following statement regarding the release of information:
“Chapel Hill Police contacted the University in connection with their investigation into Faith Hedgepeth’s death. Because this is a Chapel Hill Police Department investigation, we are not in a position to comment on it. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Hedgepeth family as they deal with such a tragic loss. We remain hopeful that the case will be solved as quickly as possible.”
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt told WCHL he did not want to comment on the information release at this time in order to allow the police department to continue its diligent work without interruption.