It is possible that what emerges from that meeting, either shortly after or reasonably soon, could fundamentally alter the course of the investigation, or at least the number of personnel assigned to it...and maybe the energies and new ideas coming to bear on it.
I believe that, to date, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has not been involved in any significant way from a day-to-day investigative standpoint. The SBI has far greater potential resources than the Chapel Hill PD. Has the CHPD declined to ask for the SBI's help? If so, why?
After a year with no arrest, there is and will be pressure on Chapel Hill investigators to let the SBI come in and do some major reviewing of the case, re-interview people, analyze major leads past and present, and as much as anything, get some fresh eyes on the investigation...where it has been and where it can go. If there are particular suspects who persist, maybe there are new ways to approach those scenarios.
From what I know, it is no doubt a highly difficult case.
As well, additional investigators from another agency can also create tension, confusion, overlapping boundaries and unnecessarily duplicative work, and sharp disagreements. Disagreements can fuel progress or they can lead to missteps. But, one hopes, serious debate now about tactics and targets would be wise.
My impression is still that the main attacker comes within a group of 10-12 people, and that someone fairly close to Faith may know who that is, suspect who that is, or been involved knowingly or unknowingly. It just seems a bit too coincidental that a random person is in the area... or even a stalker -- and gets into Faith's apartment not long after her roommate leaves, around or after 4 in the morning, after Faith has left a club. So, perhaps it is someone who knew Faith and her roommate had just gotten home, or even that Faith was alone and access was there. How would they know?
If the SBI is invited in, the question always becomes: who is in charge? Also, how effective is the SBI? It's an agency that's taken some serious hits in recent years. Maybe some parties don't have confidence in the state agents or their supervisors.
I predict that Durham DA Leon Stanback will sort through all of this — and make some tough decisions, as well as keep a sustained and close eye on how things go. We know he is deeply frustrated, as everyone is.
As I wrote in my previous blog post, clearly this individual or these individuals are deadly dangerous. Faith's murder and murder scene were extremely disturbing, and indicative of of a very driven assailant.
He or they can do it again. This is not an investigation that can be anything less than intense. Can it?
Is there a "witness" who is scared, either because they know something, or because they did something? Or, did one man manage to know precisely when to go to the apartment to find Faith alone, find a way in, murder her, not leave DNA and have an alibi that can't be broken or one that simply states...he was alone.
We'll see if the meeting Friday leads to more activity, different methods, more pressure from authorities publicly offered, or more pressure from the public and Faith's family.
Let's hope the meeting doesn't involve finger pointing, but COMPLETE cooperation.
If a case needs new eyes, let's get new eyes.