Durham County

UNC student Faith Hedgepeth was murdered 5 years ago. Can you help find her killer?

Five years to the date that 19-year-old UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore Faith Hedgepeth was found beaten to death, Chapel Hill police are still seeking information from the public to help find Hedgepeth’s killer.

On that fifth anniversary, Roland Hedgepeth is still hoping someone will come forth with information about his daughter’s murder. “I guess we’re all relying on time to take its toll on someone’s conscience,” Roland Hedgepeth said.

He is in touch with law enforcement officers almost weekly, he said. Police have told him, “It’s still not a cold case. It never has been. They’re actively investigating, following leads,” trying to narrow suspects, Hedgepeth said.

Every September, Roland Hedgepeth said he remembers what he was doing, and what his daughter may have been doing on the day she was found murdered. “It just weighs heavily on my mind,” he said.

"We don't think of this case as if it will be solved; it's when," Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue stated in a press release early Thursday. "There hasn't been a day in which our investigators haven't worked on this case, and we won't stop until it is solved."

“Today marks five years without Faith. The thoughts and prayers of everyone from the Chapel Hill Police Department and the Town of Chapel Hill continue to go out to the family and friends of Faith,” the release stated.

Faith Hedgepeth was found beaten to death Sept. 7, 2012, in an off-campus apartment at a complex named Hawthorne at the View, now known as Preserve at the Park, at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road. The address is in part of the Town of Chapel Hill that lies in Durham County.

In 2016, police released a computer-generated composite of the possible suspect, using DNA evidence collected from the crime scene. The case was the subject of a report on ABC’s “20/20” on Sept. 23, 2016. In that report, Chapel Hill police also released the photo of a bloody Bacardi rum bottle they believe was used to bludgeon Hedgepeth.

Chapel Hill police are using the anniversary to bring attention to the incident in the hopes that someone will step forward with information that will lead to an arrest.

In their statement, police offered some key points in their request for information:

▪  Investigators have “excellent evidence” in the case, the release stated.

▪  This is not a cold case. It has been and remains an active investigation.

▪  Reward money has been pledged from a number of sources and there is nearly $40,000 in reward money available in this case.

Anyone with information may call investigators at 919-614-6363. If you call this number, you will speak directly to one of the investigators assigned to this case and who are familiar with it. Anyone with information who wishes to remain anonymous may contact Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515 or at http://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1