Monday, September 9, 2013


Ive done further reporting on the Faith Hedgepeth murder in recent days, part of a pivotal period for public attention to the case. It was a year ago last Friday that a person or persons ended the 19-year old UNC-Chapel Hill student’s life. Authorities keep asking for help, yet they say little. I thought it was time to say a little more.

I am carefully considering my words…since it is true that some specific information is the kind only the murderer would know. 

I do now have an account of the nature of Faith’s injury/injuries, as well as her body position and other associated circumstances from the room in which she was found. It’s better not to disclose these, because the assailant may very well be reading stories on the case. That would not surprise me. The details are disturbing.


A murderer is out there. He — and it is probably a man (but in my view, he may have had some kind of assistance before, during or after the fact from a woman and/or another man) — is fully capable of doing this again. 

Fear of another murder is completely understandable. It was that kind of crime, the kind that says this person is someone who has no stopping point, no governor on his actions or his cruelty. No conscience, it would seem. 

If emotions were raised to the point of homicide that night, they can be again. Something or someone just has to trigger those emotions. It might not take much. 

If significant amounts of alcohol were involved, heavy drinking can, of course, occur again.


After further investigation, I have a pretty good idea who some of the people are who were talked to and/or examined and discussed in the first hours, days and weeks after the murder — and why — ranging from the two men Faith and her roommate were talking to at a club a few hours before she died, to other males at the club that knew her, Faith’s friends (male and female), former boyfriends, her roommates’s friends and acquaintances —including a current athlete at a major area university — and Faith’s many coworkers. 

The circle of people with interest in or access to Faith expanded as the investigation developed. People who met Faith did not tend to forget her. 

I have also learned that someone involved in the case may have wittingly or unwittingly created the opportunity for the crime to occur.

Some of the authorities involved have said with apparent certainty that male DNA recovered somewhere at the scene is the murderer’s. Maybe it came from material under Faith’s fingernails as she fought. But if the DNA is the murderer’s, one might assume all the men looked at have submitted samples. 

However, an individual not in formal trouble with the law can decline to do so, and there may not be enough probable cause for a judge to compel the DNA sample. Has anyone declined? Has anyone been compelled? 

I’ve been told that a woman closely connected to the apartment Faith was living in at the time of the murder has said she has been questioned by police vigorously — for hours — more than once. 

It is now my understanding that two young women were together and found Faith’s body. The other woman was also a friend of Faith’s. The two were seen coming down the stairs of the apartment building moments before police arrived. Sirens could be heard. 

I have learned that a member of the Chapel Hill police early on the scene had some question as to whether the apartment door was locked when the two women arrived and discovered Faith’s body.

I have learned that it’s been considered that the murderer may have been after the woman who left in the wee hours of the morning, not Faith. 


A person who lives in the apartment complex has given authorities information that creates a possible timeline for the crime — which could prove critical. I was asked, and agreed, not to disclose what that evidence is or how it was ascertained.

The resident told me that a male resident at the complex said “a few months” ago that authorities had “come around” taking DNA from male residents, including him. DNA could also be taken to exclude someone from suspicion, or to confirm a person’s presence in the apartment for other reasons.

This resident said that two or so weeks ago, two “plainclothes” Chapel Hill detectives stopped by. The detectives stood in the apartment and talked — while the resident sat — for about a half hour. They asked a question about whether the resident knew of people in the complex who had been talking about the case. The answer was no. They asked the resident if the resident had any sense of how often Faith and/or her roommate had had people coming by their place...more than a year ago now.

The resident had noticed nothing unusual.


The length of time now, and the range of men who may have been looked at, suggests just how difficult this case has been, especially since it appears the recovered DNA has not matched anyone who has submitted it. It tells me how many people have had to be interviewed or and/or studied and scrutinized. 

These men I’ve alluded to are just the men who came to the authorities’ attention. Faith went to UNC, with some 30,000 students. She was raised 
out of town, on the Haliwa-Saponi tribal community an hour or more away. 

She worked several different jobs in our area in recent years.

Or, this attacker could have been a stranger to Faith, but someone who’d seen her, stalked her and waited to strike. The apartment she was living in is simple to see from the parking lot, and from woods across the lot.

There is also what could be called an easy escape route behind that building, into some woods and on into another neighborhood.


The Chapel Hill Police and Durham District Attorney’s Office want calls. They want information. They want someone who knows something to be brave and talk about it. 

There are ways to get information to people privately who can do something with it. 

Also remember: there is a $39,000 reward potentially available. Callers, you don’t have to be an angel. You can be greedy and just do it for the money. Whatever it takes.


The sobering and sad truth is: some murders don’t get solved, or don’t get solved for years, having nothing to do with the quality of the investigation into them — or people’s desire to help. Sometimes, murderers are just passing through — those who have done it before and will do it again. That happens.

Police have intimated that’s not what happened here.

Faith Hedgepeth had everything to live for. This murderer could be in the shadows, or right in our midst, or far away…after a paroxysm early that morning against a spirited, remarkable young woman. He thinks he’s gotten away with it, or does he?

There may be investigative eyes on this assailant right now; there may not be. He — and any accomplices or those who may have obstructed justice — could be picked up tonight or next week. He or they could think they are smarter than everyone else, but they probably aren’t. 

Mistakes happen. People feel ashamed at their silence and come forward. 

People involved who own up to it first may get the better deal, if a deal is to be had. 

Secrets, secrets known only by a few, become wider known. Some are impossible to keep.

Someone may feel they know something somewhat relevant or very relevant but are afraid to speak up. They must continue to assess whether they are safer helping to get this attacker arrested or having him walk free.

They may finally be moved by the terrible loss of Faith. All of us have to look in the mirror. What is it that we see?

The attacker and anyone else possibly involved are exceedingly dangerous people, though they may appear as normal as anyone else. They may be running out of angles to play, or places to hide. Or, they may be sweating every minute of every day.

They might fold under the pressure. Because pressure is building.

I do know one thing for certain: there are a few people who will never stop pressing until they find out who murdered a woman so very much missed.

I can be reached at or 919-219-0042.


  1. Elizabeth Lynch-WoodsonSeptember 11, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Well done. Nothing else to say.

  2. Thank you so much for working so hard to keep her case in the media!!!!! It means a lot!!!

  3. I join that list of the few people who will never stop trying to solve this crime, and have confidence it will be solved in due time. Keep at it Gasp.

  4. the killer doesn't even knew how much we hurt. I'm ready to get justice.. thanks