Losing Faith: The Hedgepeth murder mystery at UNC
08/27/2015 4:23 pm PDT
UPDATED Feb. 16, 2016: Crime Watch Daily investigates the murder of Faith Hedgepeth
Faith Hedgepeth was a 19-year-old student attending the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She was found murdered in her apartment on Sept. 7, 2012. She had been beaten to death.
In 2014, court documents were released by Durham County that revealed persons of interest at the time in the case, including people she met up with at a local club the night before the murder.
The case remains unsolved. Below is the evidence. No suspects have been named. Can you help bring justice for this victim?
Location: The View apartment complex, Old Chapel Hill Rd., Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Body Found: Sept. 7, 2012, shortly after 11 a.m.
"Ms. Hedgepeth's body was hanging off the bed over a pool of blood with her black shirt pulled up over her head; she had no clothes on from the waist down" -- From the documents released by Chapel Hill PD.
Hedgepeth died from blunt force trauma to the head.
"There was blood spatter on the closet and a bloody tampon was lying beside her on the bed."
On the center of the bed, there was a small white paper bag with the words written in ink:
"I'M NOT STUPID
DNA from semen was collected at the scene.
Faith's body had blood under her fingernails, and cuts and bruises on her arms and legs.
Sept. 6, 2012, 7:30 p.m.: Hedgepeth and roommate Karena Rosario visit UNC's Davis Library.
Sept. 7, 2012, 12 a.m.: The roommates go back to their apartment at the View.
Shortly before 1 a.m.: They arrive at the bar The Thrill, where they meet up with Rosario's ex-boyfriend, Eriq Takoy Jones, and others.
2:38 a.m: The two roommates leave the bar after Rosario says she is sick, and go back to their apartment in Hedgepeth's Nissan Altima.
3:40 a.m.: A text message is sent from Hedgepeth's phone to the phone of her friend Brandon Edwards, a former boyfriend of Rosario's: "Hey b. can you come over here please. Karena needs you more aha. You know. Please let her know you care."
3:43 a.m.: A text message is sent from Hedgepeth's phone to Edwards' phone: "Than."
4:27 a.m.: Rosario leaves apartment, according to investigators.
11:00 a.m.: Rosario comes back to apartment and discovers Hedgepeth's body.
4:16 p.m.: Hedgepeth's phone receives an incoming text, reading “Who is this?”
From the documents released by Chapel Hill PD in September, 2014:
Rosario's ex-boyfriend, Eriq Takoy Jones, lived in the same apartment complex.
One of the documents also revealed that two days after the murder, a former roommate of Hedgepeth's called the Chapel Hill Police Department and stated that “between the months of May-July, 2012, Hedgepeth told her that [redacted] hated her (Hedgepeth) and told her he was going to kill her (Hedgepeth) if Rosario did not get back together with him."
A restraining order was issued against Jones by Rosario on July 11, 2012, after a domestic violence incident in which Jones “kicked two doors in the apartment off their frame.”
Officers searched Jones' phone and found a text message “sent to a friend on September, 6, 2012, asking them to forgive him for what he was about to do.” Hedgepeth was killed early on the morning of September 7, 2012.
Shortly before Hedgepeth's murder, Jones “changed the cover of his Facebook page to the following statement: '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.” Jones was not named as a suspect.
Hedgepeth was dancing at The Thrill with a man named David Bell. Police questioned Bell, who said he did not know her well. Bell was not named as a suspect.
“[Redacted] was identified as walking out of Club Thrill with Faith Hedgepeth shortly before the homicide occurred. He was the last male to be seen with her before her death. He admitted to talking to her on the night of the homicide and to meeting her the weekend before. [Redacted] refused to offer DNA stating that he may have touched her the night of the homicide. His statements to law enforcement officers were inconsistent with statements given by others.”
Police interviewed a man named Jacob Beatley, who Rosario visited in the early morning hours before the murder. Beatley was not named as a suspect.
Police sought to gain a DNA swab from Reginald Leonard Jackson II, who had been texting with Faith Hedgepeth. Jackson was not named as a suspect.
Police told Crime Watch Daily that they have taken DNA samples from a number of people, and all those people have been cleared. They would not say if the sexual activity was consensual or forced.
The case remains open and the investigation is ongoing. No suspects have been named.
READ: Durham County, N.C., redacted search warrants and other court documents unsealed Sept. 5, 2014, relating to the investigation into the Sept. 7, 2012, murder of Faith Hedgepeth
A 2013 press release from the Chapel Hill Police Department includes a profile of the killer.
"After consulting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Behavioral Analysis Unit, we believe identifiers of the offender may include:
"The homicide suspect is familiar with the victim and may have lived near the victim in the past.
"The homicide suspect was unaccounted for during the early morning hours of September 7, 2012.
"The homicide suspect may have made comments regarding the victim to close associates in the past.
"There may have been some change in the homicide suspect's behavior after the murder (to include an unusual interest in the case) or a change in his performance at work or school.
"The homicide suspect may have left the area unexpectedly or in an unplanned manner. He may also have an explanation for the sudden departure."
Street View of Hedgepeth's apartment complex:
Faith Hedgepeth's Twitter page
Faith Hedgepeth's Instagram account
Faith Hedgepeth's Facebook page
YouTube appeal for information from Faith's mother
YouTube appeal for information from CHPD Chief Chris Blue
YouTube appeal for information from Faith's father
You can discuss the details in a Websleuths forum of people following the Hedgepeth cold case.
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