Chapel Hill police continue to investigate the death of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, a 19-year-old UNC student whose body was found in her apartment in early September.
Early in the investigation, and without releasing details about the cause of Hedgepeth’s death, police indicated they believed her death was not the result of a random act of violence.
Hundreds of students gathered on Sept. 10 in the Pit to mourn. Hedgepeth, who grew up in Halifax County, had long been active in the American Indian community.
Over the following weeks, little new information emerged. In early January, police shared additional information.
A statement issued by the Chapel Hill Police Department said the investigation had found that Hedgepeth and her roommate had been at a local nightclub, The Thrill, in the early hours of Sept. 7. They also said that Hedgepeth was last known to be alive at about 3 a.m. at the apartment she shared with her roommate and that DNA evidence collected at the apartment was left by a male suspect.
Investigators have consulted other agencies, including the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, leading them to believe that:
- The homicide suspect was familiar with the victim and may have lived near the victim in the past.
- The suspect was unaccounted for during the early hours of Sept. 7, 2012.
- The suspect may have made comments regarding the victim to close associates in the past.
- There may have been some change in the suspect’s behavior after the murder (to include an unusual interest in the case) or a change in his performance at work or school.
A reward of up to $39,000, including $25,000 pledged by the Board of Trustees, has been offered for information leading to an arrest. The police department has appealed to anyone with information about the death to call the police department’s tip line at (919) 614-6363 or the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.
Hedgepeth was part of the Haliwa-Saponi American Indian Tribe in Warren County. At Carolina, she was involved with Unheard Voices, an a cappella group; Carolina Indian Circle; and Alpha Pi Omega sorority.
She received a Gates Millennium Scholarship and an Alston-Pleasants Scholarship to attend UNC.Via CBS News Crimesider
Take care and STAY SAFE!
UNC students are on alert, about an attack on a female student.
Chapel Hill Police say they’re looking for a suspect described as “a college-aged white male.”
The police say they got the report Saturday afternoon, and the victim says she was sexually assaulted in the early morning, off, but near the school grounds.
All the students we talked to had already gotten the message about the possible threat.
Nisha Walton read the warning to us, off her cell phone. She and other U.N.C. students got the warning from the school’s “Alert Carolina” about the sexual assault of a female student.
Walton said, “Most of the alerts that I have gotten have been concerning sexual assault on females. I wouldn’t say it’s something that’s common on campus, it’s usually off campus.”
Police say this most recent one also happened off campus, at a nearby home.
On Sunday, Chapel Hill Police patrolled the downtown area close to the school.
Students say they’ve learned it’s best to travel together to stay safe. Walton said, “I usually do group activities on campus, and not go somewhere when it’s like late at night or early in the morning, cause there was an incident when a girl was running and some guy tried to attack her.”
Male students say they’re worried too. Student Reddy says he also got the email saying a woman had been sexually assaulted.
Reddy said, “I am concerned, yeah campus safety is a problem, but I think the campus does have a lot of safety measures in place. And I think they do a good job for the most part. But incidents like these are problematic.”
The students praise the school for keeping them in the loop, even in cases where crime happens off- campus.
Shelby Rawlins, a UNC student , said, “I definitely think that they have to do, they have to be extra cautious. So I think that’s why they put out the email, but I definitely feel, like I feel safe enough.”
We’ve asked Chapel Hill Police for a copy of the incident report, and will release more information as we get it. Police ask people who know anything about the alleged crime to call Crimestoppers at (919) 942-7515.
Meanwhile, UNC is asking its students to keep watching the “Alert Carolina” website for updates. That website is alertcarolina.unc.edu.
UNC-Chapel Hill sent out the alert Saturday warning of a sexual assault reported near campus.
The alert said Chapel Hill police were investigating a report from a female student that she’d been assaulted in a residence near campus in the early morning hours Saturday.
The suspect was described only as a college age white male.
Chapel Hill police Sunday declined to provide any more details.
The campus alert said UNC police were asking anyone with information to call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC CrimeStoppers at (919) 942-7515. Information can also be submitted online at http://www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.
A week ago, UNC lost a fellow student, Faith Danielle Hedgepath:
Chapel Hill Police are investigating the death of a UNC student identified as Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, and at this time they are treating the incident as a homicide.
“Police received a call after the victim was discovered in her residence at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road, which is the Hawthorne on the Hill apartment complex. Friends contacted police after they located the deceased around 11 a.m,” said Lieutenant Kevin Gunter. “At this point police do not believe this was a random act.”
Hedgepeth was a biology major from Warrenton, N.C, and a waitress at the Red Robin in Durham. She died just three weeks away from her 20th birthday.
WCHL’s Ran Northam was on the scene Friday afternoon and spoke to residents of the Hawthorne on the View Apartments. UNC staff member Dustin Bray returned home from work to find his apartment building inaccessible.
“I just got home and I guess there’s something going on here. I can’t get into my apartment right now,” said Bray.
Bray lives in the 1500 building where the incident took place.
He says he didn’t know anyone in the building but is concerned for his safety and if it is a murder, he says he will leave.
“I don’t know if I can do that or not, but I will break my lease if there’s something like that happening here. I’m moving out. I’m not going to deal with that. It’s right next to my apartment. I will leave.”
Christine Shia resides in the 1400 building which is directly across from where the incident occurred. She says she didn’t know the residents of the unit police were investigating but she says maintenance workers were there working on the unit recently.
Shia says she often saw people out and about, but didn’t know anyone by name.
“Everybody is pretty quiet over there- definitely students,” said Shia.
The apartment complex had not released any information to residents as of 4:45 p.m. Friday.
Faith’s homicide records have been sealed.
Chapel Hill police have ruled out a self-inflicted or accidental death in the case of UNC student Faith Danielle Hedgepeth — though they have yet to release new details about the homicide investigation.
On Monday, a Durham County Superior Courtjudge sealed several documents pertaining to the case at the request of Chapel Hill police.
Sgt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the judge sealed multiple search warrants and the 911 call alerting police that Hedgepeth’s body had been found.
As of Tuesday, an autopsy had not been completed. But Mecimore said the preliminary autopsy results — which would likely determine a cause of death in the case — are not public under state law.
Mecimore said police requested the documents be sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation.
“There are a lot of details that only someone involved would know, outside of our investigators,” he said.
“It’s useful in interviewing folks to not have the general public know those details,” he said. “It could compromise our investigation.”
Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, said sealing several entire documents — especially 911 calls — is unusual in most cases. “The law recognizes in very narrow circumstances that it’s OK to seal records,” LoMonte said. “That doesn’t justify a blanket sealing.”
Chapel Hill police have said they don’t believe the slaying was random or that the community faces a threat.
But as of Tuesday night, no arrests or suspects had been announced in the case. A cause of death also has not been released.
Chapel Hill police set up a tip line for people to provide information related to Hedgepeth’s death, and Mecimore said they are investigating leads .
LoMonte said police often benefit from releasing information about investigations.
“When you have an unsolved murder, there’s definitely a duty for either the police to either warn people or reassure people,” LoMonte said.
“You don’t want people to dangle in uncertainty.”
Raleigh attorney Hugh Stevens, of the firm Stevens Martin Vaughn and Tadych, which has represented The Daily Tar Heel in court, said sealing documents in cases like these is not unusual.
“We’ve seen it with some regularity in high profile homicide cases,” Stevens said.
“Generally speaking, the justification is that releasing information impedes investigation into finding the perpetrator.”
Chapel Hill police and Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall also had several documents — including search warrants and an autopsy report — sealed after the murder of Student Body President Eve Carson in 2008.
“Sometimes it’s very much justified depending on the facts, but you don’t know the facts because it’s sealed,” Stevens said.
Via Daily Tarheel
Take care and STAY SAFE!
Elizabeth Edwards was truly blessed with ”Resilience” and had many “Saving Graces.” Two books that she wrote from her heart and soul.
Elizabeth lost her battle with breast cancer today, December 7th but she did not allow this disease to stop her. Elizabeth passed with admirable strength and leaves a legacy to all Americans whom loved her.
Yesterday, December 6th; Elizabeth wrote the following on her Facebook page saying goodbye in her elegant way and determination to snap each of into reality and to muster the strength from within:
“The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered,” Edwards expressed gratitude for the love and support she’s received during her years in the public eye. ”You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope,” she wrote. “These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined… It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.”
Before her initial diagnosis with cancer, Edwards began writing a letter to her children with advice they could use after she died — such as how to choose a church or a spouse. The message became more poignant in her final years, brought home when Jack once asked who would be the grandmother to his children.
Elizabeth will be forever in our souls and hearts. She will truly be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. May each feel God’s loving embrace as He wraps His arms around each protecting and guiding them on their journey.
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and forever weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and forever cry.
I am not there. I did not die.
Chapel Hill, NC Police Searching for Missing Teen, Rosa Morrow
The Chapel Hill Police Department released a report Wednesday that states a 14-year-old girl is missing.
Rosa Morrow was last seen at her residence on Bynum Street at around 10:30 p.m. last Friday, October 22nd. Authorities say Rosa left her residence to meet with friends on Franklin Street and did not return. She is also known to visit the Durham area, where she has friends. Chapel Hill Police say they are currently considering Rosa a runaway.
Rosa is a 14-year-old African American female with brown eyes and short, black hair. She is approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall. If you have any information of the whereabouts of Rosa Morrow, contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 968-2760.
My only question is……..Rosa was last seen LAST Friday, 10/22; why wasn’t she reported missing way prior to yesterday, an Amber Alert issued, media all over her disappearance? An immediate alert should have been issued AND AS OF THE TIME OF THIS POST ONLY TWO media outlets have reported Rosa missing, 1360WCHL and The Daily Tar Heel. I have not received any missing persons alerts on my cell nor in my emails.
If I have missed something I apologize……….if I haven’t then what the hell is wrong with this picture. Just the possibility of finding her with communities being alerted may have been able to jump in to help and assist.
Isn’t there something wrong here?
A CHILD IS MISSING!
Announcement respectfully submitted via 1360WCHL
Good Samaritan Foils Attempted Abduction, Chapel Hill, North Carolina…
Lillie Cochran will never run by herself again.
Theodore James Walker used pepper spray on Lillie, a 20-year-old UNC student before attempting to drag her into his car.
Lillie lives within two blocks of the attempted abduction. “I can’t believe something like this actually happened,” she said. “I want to feel safe in the location where I live, and now I’m concerned.”
The victim also called 911 after she had been pepper sprayed and two Good Samaritans helped her escape:
- 911 Dispatcher: Ma’am, do you need medical attention?
Caller: Um, I just got sprayed, just pepper sprayed, so whatever you need to do for that.
911 Dispatcher: OK.
Caller: In the eyes.
911 Dispatcher: Do you know why he pepper sprayed you?
Caller: Na, ah. I mean I was running alone.
One of the Good Samaritans – Joey Shelton of Pittsboro – was hurt when Walker allegedly hit him with his car while fleeing the scene. Shelton was treated at UNC Hospitals and released.
Shelton and his brother Freddie were running an errand when they saw Walker pulling the girl towards his car. Shelton said they didn’t know what was going on, but the expression of pure fear on the girl’s face and the lack of expression on Walker’s told them something was very wrong.
“She was jogging at first. Eventually out of nowhere this guy grabbed her. He’s grabbing her holding her by her clothes, she’s on the ground panicking, she’s in terror,” said Shelton.
Walker was arrested after officers spotted him walking out of a wooded area. His car was dumped nearby. He has been charged with second degree kidnapping, assault on a female, and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Police found a loaded shotgun and a baseball bat in Walker’s car. He allegedly had condoms in his back pocket.
Since his arrest, two Chapel Hill teens have come forward to report Walker tried to force them into his car the day before his arrest. Another woman reported a similar attack a week ago. Investigators are looking into those claims.
Junior Suneha Sundaram, who also lives in the same building as Lillie, was most shocked by the time and place of the attack. “It shows that bad people are pretty bold regardless of your location or how you’re presenting yourself,” she said.
Shelton said he doesn’t know what to think about local safety after the attack. “That’s rare in Chapel Hill,” he said. “It’s not every day someone’s going to … run out in the middle of the day and pick up a lady. People go out and do some crazy things.”
Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall also said evidence found in Walker’s home links him to the beating of a woman in Pitt County.
In court documents, Judge Beverly Scarlett noted Walker may possibly suffer from mental illness. She called him a danger to women and set his bond at $5 million.