UNC Football Incident Heads To Student AG

UNC’s Office of Student Affairs has concluded its investigation into the incident that took place on August 4 at the Aloft Hotel on East 54 – and the matter is now in the hands of the student-led Honor Court.

The incident in question involved the UNC football team. Yahoo Sports first reported that walk-on redshirt freshman wide receiver Jackson Boyer claimed he’d been assaulted by several teammates, leaving him with a concussion. Accounts of the incident have varied – it’s been described as a hazing incident and as a fight over a girl, involving anywhere from two to 16 players. But head football coach Larry Fedora did suspend four players for the team’s first game of the season, for unspecified violations of team rules.

UNC’s Department of Public Safety confirmed this week that they did receive a report of an aggravated assault at the Aloft Hotel. DPS chief Jeff McCracken passed the information along to Chapel Hill Police, but a Chapel Hill PD spokesperson said they did not act on it because there was not enough information in the report.

The Office of Student Affairs undertook its own investigation, though, which wrapped up earlier this week. UNC released a statement which read in part:

“The Office of Student Affairs has completed its investigation. On Wednesday (Sept. 10), the Dean of Students and the Office of Student Conduct provided the results of that investigation to the Student Attorney General as the next step in the student-led Honor System. The Student Attorney General receives reports of possible student behavior violations and independently determines whether to file disciplinary charges.

“Because of the University’s commitment to protect the privacy rights of students and to protect the integrity of the ongoing process, the University will offer no additional comment at this time.”

WCHL will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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UPDATE: Missing Person Silva Located

**UPDATE: On Monday at 4:58 p.m., Chapel Hill Police announced that they have located Richard Leslie Silva. “Mr. Silva was located in a wooded area near I-40 this afternoon,” CHPD said in a statement. “He was transported to UNC-ER for evaluation.”

Story originally posted September 7, 2014, 7:32 a.m.


The Chapel Hill Police Department is seeking assistance in locating a man who was last seen on September 5, 2014.

Richard Leslie Silva is a 90 year old white male.  He is 5′ 10″ tall and weighs approximately 165 pounds.  Silva was last seen at the Carol Woods Retirement Community located on 750 Weaver Diary Road at about 12:40 pm on Friday September 5, 2014.  Mr. Silva is believed to be suffering from dementia or a cognitive impairment.

If you see Richard Leslie Silva or have any information on his whereabouts, please call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or 919-612-8240.



Persons Of Interest Listed In Hedgepeth Murder Investigation Documents

Search warrants unsealed by the Durham County District Attorney’s office Friday morning reveal multiple people of interest in the murder investigation of Faith Hedgepeth nearly two years ago. Chapel Hill Police have yet to say if any have been ruled out as suspects.

The most notable connection with the victim is Eriq Takoy Jones, who lived in the same apartment complex as Hedgepeth, a few buildings away from where she was found murdered. Jones apparently had a previous relationship with Hedgepeth’s roommate, Karena Lynn Rosario.

According to a warrant, Jones told Rosario earlier that summer that he hated Hedgepeth and would kill her if Rosario didn’t get back together with him. Police were told that Jones resented Hedgepeth because he considered her a barrier to his relationship with Rosario.

Police say Rosario placed a restraining order against Jones two months before Hedgepeth was murdered, after he allegedly kicked two doors off their frame in Rosario’s apartment.

Jones gave investigators permission to search his cell phone. They found a text message Jones sent to a friend the day before the murder asking the friend to forgive him for what he was about to do. Jones also sent a tweet to someone else asking for forgiveness. Police said the cover photo on Jones’ Facebook page was changed to include, “Dear Lord. Forgive me for all of my sins and the sins I may commit today. Protect me from the girls who don’t deserve me and the ones who wish me dead today.”

Jacob Beatley of 103 West Longview Street in Chapel Hill was also questioned six months after the murder took place. A warrant shows that a cell tower search conducted early in the investigation connected an incident report to Beatley’s phone number.

Investigators said when they contacted Beatley they found that he lived with the person who Rosario was with during the time of the murder. Police said he also went to the nightclub The Thrill that night, but couldn’t recall when he left. The warrants say Beatley was asked to submit a DNA sample, but he did not do so voluntarily.

Another person of interest included Reginald Leonard Jackson, II who was living in Greensboro in November 2012 when investigators attempted to contact him.

A Chapel Hill Police officer said he attempted to get in touch with him by phone multiple times before traveling to his last known address in Greensboro. The CHPD officer said he caught up with Jackson with the assistance of local police. He said Jackson was in his car and pulling out of the parking lot of his apartment complex. The warrant says Jackson told the officers he “knew of (Hedgepeth)” but that he doesn’t talk to police like that.

In Thursday’s release, Police Chief Chris Blue said investigators collected hundreds of DNA samples, but did not name any suspects. Chapel Hill Police did report that at least one person refused to have a DNA sample submitted.

Investigators continue to ask that if you have any information regarding the case to call 919-614-6363. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.


The Latest Faith Hedgepeth Murder Investigation Details

Some information in this story may be considered graphic

***Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue Addresses the Media***

• At approximately 11:00am on September 7, 2012, officers with the Chapel Hill Police Department received a call to the Hawthorne at the View apartment complex located at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road in reference to a possible dead body located in apartment 1502.

• When officers arrived, they were greeted by the primary tenant of apartment 1502, Karena Rosario, who advised that she had found the victim, Faith Hedgepeth, inside and that she was unresponsive.

• Officers located Faith Hedgepeth dead in a bedroom inside. Faith’s body was found on the floor leaning against the bed with her shirt pulled up; she had no clothes on from the waist down.

• There was pooled blood near her body and blood spatter on the wall and bedroom closet door. A note written on a take-out fast-food bag was also located on the bed.

Note image

Click to enlarge

• An autopsy determined that Faith’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head resulting from a beating.

• A sexual assault kit was collected, which revealed the presence of semen. It was determined that the DNA profile generated from this semen matched other DNA evidence which was also recovered from the crime scene. Investigators believe that this DNA belongs to the person responsible for Faith Hedgepeth’s murder.

• Investigators determined that, prior to her death, Faith Hedgepeth and Karena Rosario visited Davis Library on the UNC campus at approximately 7:30 pm and arrived home shortly after midnight. At a little before 1AM on Sept 7th, they arrived at the Wallace Parking Deck on East Rosemary Street and walked to The Thrill bar. Hedgepeth and Rosario left the bar together at 2:38 am and drove home in Faith’s car, a white Nissan Altima. Investigators believe the pair returned home and that Rosario left the apartment at 4:27 am. Rosario returned home with a friend at approx. 11 am that morning, at which time she discovered Hedgepeth’s body.

The Chapel Hill Police Department says it has surveillance from The Thrill.

• Investigators of the Chapel Hill Police Department and agents of the NC SBI, have collected hundreds of items of evidence; interviewed friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, etc. and consulted with experts in various scientific fields of study.

• Investigators have executed numerous search warrants and court orders for computers, cellular phones, social media accounts, financial records, etc. Investigators have asked persons of interest to provide oral DNA swabs so that their DNA could be compared to the DNA profile of the offender. Hundreds of DNA samples have been collected and analyzed during the course of this investigation. None of the samples have been found to match the DNA profile of the offender.

• Investigators have excellent evidence in this case and we are making a public appeal for any information that will help us tie that evidence to Faith’s killer.

• This is not a cold case. It has been and remains an active investigation.

• Reward money has been pledged from a number of sources and there is over $40,000 in reward money available in this case.

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 a time online at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.


CHPD Releases New Hedgepeth Murder Investigation Details

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.

Click Here for the Latest Faith Hedgepeth Murder Investigation Details

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.

STORY: CHPD Releases Timeline, Suspect’s DNA Discovery In Hedgepeth Murder Case

“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.

Note image

Click to enlarge

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.


Click to enlarge

STORY: Remembering Faith Hedgepeth 1 Yr. After Her Murder

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.


Another “ALERT” Operation Nets 27 Alcohol/Drug Arrests

Chapel Hill Police continued to push its message of zero tolerance over the weekend, handing out 27 citations for drug- and alcohol-related incidents.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s joint ALERT (Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team) program uses officers from Chapel Hill along with Carrboro Police, and UNC’s Department of Public Safety.

Twenty-five citations were given between Saturday and Sunday for charges of open containers in public, underage possession, underage consumption, and public urination. The arrests were made throughout the greater Downtown Chapel Hill area from Longview Street on the north side to McCauley Street on the south side.

Friday: Eleven UNC Students Cited For Alcohol Violations

In the same time frame, two people were cited with misdemeanor drug possession charges as well.

Last week, Chapel Hill Police Public Information Lieutenant Josh Mecimore said the ALERT team is out early in the semester to make sure the expectations are clear. He said it’s about keeping students and other community members as safe as possible.

And remember, the Chapel Hill Police Department doesn’t announce when operations like ALERT or DUI traffic stops will take place, but it is often active on Twitter letting people know where regular speed traps will take place. You can follow it: @ChapelHillPD, and be sure to follow @WCHLChapelboro. We’ll share CHPD’s tweets with you as well.


Chapel Hill Police Remind Residents To Lock Up

A flick of the wrist might keep you from falling victim to one of Chapel Hill’s most common crimes.

Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says many larcenies and burglaries happen because citizens leave doors unlocked, making it easy for thieves to steal.

“We had a number of break-ins that involved either unlocked vehicles or people going into garages and taking items where the garage was left open overnight,” says Mecimore.

Chapel Hill police say thieves will often walk through yards, driveways and parking lots trying door handles until they find an unlocked car or garage. Mecimore reminds residents to lock up everything, including cars, houses, windows and garages.

“What we encourage people to do is make your house, your vehicle, your property a harder target than someone else’s, so that you’re not the person that a criminal chooses to victimize.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, there were 3,500 property crimes reported in Orange County in 2012, the last year for which statistics were available.

If you’re interested in more safety tips from Chapel Hill Police, you can contact the Community Services Unit at (919) 932-2929.


Eleven UNC Students Cited For Alcohol Violations

The Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team – or, “ALERT,” for short — issued 11 citations to UNC students for alcohol violations early Friday morning.

Charges include underage possession, open container, and consumption of an alcoholic beverage by a person less than 21 years of age.

Lt. Josh Mecimore, a public information officer for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the citations were issued as part of a regular joint effort between the CHPD, UNC Police and Carrboro Police.

“Throughout the year, that team goes out, typically on dates that we know we have higher incidents of underage drinking.”

He said those include the first week of school; big sporting events; and graduation weekends for both high school and college.

Mecimore said the citations are meant to send a clear message to students, with a serious underlying reason.

“We don’t tolerate underage drinking,” said Mecimore. “And I’ve said in the past that that’s partly because it’s against the law. But an even bigger part is that we historically see all these issues that arise from over-consumption of alcohol, or irresponsible use of alcohol.

“And that’s things ranging from being more likely to be victimized by other people.”

Mecimore added that overconsumption of alcohol can lead to losing one’s ability to pay attention to other people and surroundings. Such inattention can result in crimes such as robbery and sexual assault.

Underage drinking also contributes to an increased number of patients in emergency rooms for alcohol poisoning, and alcohol-related injuries, said Mecimore.

His advice for students of legal drinking age is to stay indoors or on private property while consuming alcohol.

And if you’re underage, just don’t drink.

“We take enforcement actions in those situations,” said Mecimore. “And all of these people will have a court date, where they’ll have to appear in court. It could have some implications in Honor Court as well for folks who are students of UNC, which could affect their academic status.”

Mecimore said he doesn’t know which consequence would be worse for a UNC student, but either way, it’s always better to be responsible.


Dispute Lands One In Hospital

A dispute at a northern Chapel Hill trailer park led Chapel Hill Police to a Carrboro Apartment early Wednesday morning in pursuit of a suspect.

“The officers that responded there found a subject laying on the ground near one of the trailers who was bleeding from the head,” says Chapel Hill Police Public Information Sergeant Bryan Walker. “EMS transported this person to UNC Hospitals where he was admitted to the hospital.”

Christopher Jesus Delgadillo, 19, was admitted to the hospital. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was listed in fair condition according to UNC Health Care spokesperson Tom Hughes.

Oziel Zermeno

Oziel Zermeno

Oziel Zermeno, 23, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The incident took place at Lakeview Mobile Home Park across from Timberlyne Shopping Center on Weaver Dairy Road.

“It shows that he was released under $500 unsecured bond—brought before the magistrate and released under that bond,” Sgt. Walker says.

He says no additional motives, such as an attempted robbery, were reported in connection with the assault.


Anarchists Smash Car Windows At Chapel Hill Police Department

A group of self-proclaimed anarchists vandalized police cars Thursday night at the Chapel Hill Police Department Headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Shortly after 3 a.m. someone broke the windows of three police cruisers and spray painted the words “For Luke” on one. In an anonymous blog post taking credit for the actions, the vandals say it was a gesture of solidarity with Luke O’Donovan, of Atlanta, Georgia.

O’Donovan survived an attack by a group of men shouting homophobic slurs in December, 2012. He fought them off using a pocket knife, but faced charges of aggravated assault and attempted murder stemming from the attack. O’Donovan recently accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to two years in prison.

The anarchists also cite the protests in Ferguson, Missouri as inspiration for Thursday’s vandalism.

Initial estimates put the total damage at approximately $2,200. Police are reviewing security camera footage of the incident.