Sometimes, murder cases go unsolved for a very long time.
Relatively speaking, it hasn’t been that long since Chapel Hill police started investigating the September 2012 killing of University of North Carolina student Faith Hedgepeth.
To be precise, it has been 175 days. Not quite six months. But for Faith’s family and friends, those 15,120,000 seconds might as well be years.
Consuela Richardson, Faith’s first cousin, told The Herald-Sun’s Beth Velliquette: “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about it. We can’t understand why anybody would do that.”
They worry that the case won’t make progress. As Faith’s story fades from the headlines and new crimes draw the attention of investigators, they fear she’ll be forgotten and that the murderer won’t be brought to justice. Frustrated, they demand information from police, with few results.
“The family needs information that we don’t feel they’ve received,” said Albert Richardson, an administrator with the Haliwa-Saponi tribe to which Faith belonged. “They need to know what has happened to their daughter and their sister.”
Others say the lack of information from detectives is frightening because a killer remains on the loose.
The Chapel Hill Police Department can’t afford to share everything it knows about the case yet, because some elements are absolutely critical to the investigation.
“There are details that only we know and only the killer knows,” said Sgt. Josh Mecimore.
So, for now, relatives and friends are urged to be patient.
It would be worse if police rushed to arrest someone without adequate evidence to make the charges stick or if they charged the wrong person.
Hopefully, detectives will get the break they need sooner rather than later.
But we all must accept that such investigations can stretch out for decades. Wish for the best, but prepare for the worst and let the police do their jobs. Take heart.
Faith won’t be forgotten.