Friday, February 7, 2014

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN DNA SAMPLES...AND HAS ANYONE REFUSED TO GIVE ONE?

I’ve learned some new information on the Faith Hedgepeth case. Well, it is new to most of us outside the investigation into her murder.




It comes from an exchange or two I recently had…mostly involving the DNA samples that authorities have taken. DNA they hope will someday identify who murdered Faith, or who played a part in committing the horrendous crime. 

Caution: a DNA match that appears to place someone at a scene does not always mean that someone committed the crime in question. Or, that it can be proven in court. 

It’s been strongly suggested to me that authorities in Faith’s case have successfully obtained DNA from at least 20-25 people, and maybe more. 

—-

Gaspo: “Has anyone declined to have their DNA taken?”

“Yes.”

In fact, more than one person has declined, I’ve learned. What happened then, in a couple of those cases, is that authorities felt it was important enough to try to compel the person to submit a DNA sample. Why? Because they were “persons of interest.” 

The requests to the court were made (I feel very strongly that the details of those requests and any accompanying affidavits should absolutely be public record at this time). 


Caution: declining a voluntary request to give a DNA sample is perfectly allowable, and the fact that a person says no does not mean they have something to hide. Except their DNA. One always wants to know why.

On the other hand, most people generally don't want the government to have their DNA.

But, wouldn’t a person want to help in the investigation, especially if they knew Faith? I mean, almost everyone, including “persons of interest” I am aware of, say they want this case resolved…that it simply must be.

Gaspo: “Did the judge grant the orders?”

“Yes.”

So, at least two people were compelled to have a DNA sample submitted against their will, often but not always done by a swab inside the mouth. A court said they had to do it.

You already know the answer to my next question. In those cases, the DNA samples did not match. 

In no instance has DNA matched. In 20-25 people, maybe more.

Caution: and this is key.  One of the true challenges in this case is that even if a DNA sample doesn’t match, that person could still be the murderer. The DNA could have been left separately. Several times, people close to the investigation have indicated that to me. 

This assessment has to do with nature of the evidence - and other circumstances.

It has also been suggested to me that no other unidentified DNA was found in close proximity to where Faith'a body was found.


Gaspo: “Has anyone hired an attorney in connection with this investigation?”

From what I can discern, it sounds likely that no one in law enforcement has spoken to an attorney representing any of the key parties. But:

“I don’t know whether someone has retained a private attorney on their own, and we just don't know about it. That’s always possible.”

I’ve also been told that no one has refused to answer questions, in general, but in my view that doesn’t mean the person being questioned…answered every question. Or answered it well.


Gaspo: “So where do things stand with regard to persons of interest?”

“I think it’s fair to say that investigators still have people they consider persons of interest.”

So, there are specific people that have been looked at before, and are not without suspicion even now, so much later. They've not been ruled out. 

But I was also that this remains a very “broad” investigation. 

Meaning what we already knew…but it is sobering and chilling to hear it. This case may be as broad  - or broader - right now as it was an hour after police arrived on the scene of her death.

--

The murderer or murderers could well be people authorities have never met, whose names they do not know. An acquaintance, perhaps, of someone who knew Faith?

The men in her building - what about them? They would have seen Faith more than anyone, presumably. And certainly could have known her a bit. And had easy access. I have previously reported that at least one male in that building said he was asked for DNA. But all of them? Did anyone there decline? Has anyone there moved away?


Why did only one person in the building hear anything unusual in the middle of that night? The building is not that big, nor are the apartments. 


And there were and are hundreds of men who live in the entire apartment complex.


--


Was it even a man? There are reasons to think so, but a woman could have been involved, either by herself, or with a man. Especially with the exact time frame of the murder being unclear. People come and people go. Not everyone calls the police when they should. Sometimes, to avoid coming under suspicion.


Or, could the murderer have been someone whose connection to Faith before that night was not known to anyone but the two of them.

Maybe there was no connection at all until he walked into that apartment.

Maybe he felt a special connection, but Faith never had…and never noticed his or took it seriously. Until it was too late.

--


I have my ideas, my theories, as many of us do, including some who work on investigating the case. Some, I have not outlined here; some I have.


So far, no one's theory as to who may have done this to Faith has been good enough, with the right evidence, to lead to an arrest.


There have not been answers. Yet. But as I've said before, the person or persons who murdered Faith Hedgepeth should never truly feel free. He/she or they know the heinous, unfathomable crime they committed - it is with them every second that they breathe - and eventually the rest us will know who did it, too. Secrets rarely hold forever.

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