Just days after what would have been Faith Hedgepeth’s 20th birthday, police released more information about the scene of her death.
Chapel Hill police released recordings of radio traffic from the day Hedgepeth, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was murdered in her apartment at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road on Sept. 7. Durham police, who were also on the scene, released their recordings earlier this week. Police have yet to provide any information about the status of the investigation. The records give more detail about the nature of the crime scene, though they have been redacted due to a court seal on details of the case.
“Go on and start the investigators out here,” a Chapel Hill officer says in the recording, while what seems to be the sound of a woman crying is audible in the background.
Friends found Hedgepeth in the apartment at 11 a.m. Sept. 7 and called 911. Both Durham and Chapel Hill police responded. Chapel Hill police are conducting the investigation.
According to the recordings, Chapel Hill police also requested “Crisis,” which is a service of licensed social workers who counsel bystanders, witnesses or victims on scene. Police spokesman Sgt. Joshua Mecimore, said Crisis might respond to any death scene. Before requesting Crisis, an officer said the situation was “Code Green,” which means the scene is safe, and the code might also have indicated that no more officers were needed, Mecimore added.
According to Durham recordings, authorities found Hedgepeth in her bedroom—dead on arrival—and there was blood. Additionally, the recordings indicate that by the time officers arrived, it was believed that someone had been in the apartment.
Some of what can be heard in the Chapel Hill police recordings might be unrelated to the murder because calls about other cases might have been made on the same channel during the time of the recording, Mecimore noted. The Chapel Hill recording includes brief interactions about a car accident, contacting a “subject” in Carrboro, an incident at a shopping mall and a police escort, among others. These are likely not connected with the Hedgepeth case, he said.
Mecimore declined to comment on the state of the investigation, noting that investigators are not yet ready to publicly share any new information about the case since it was sealed two weeks ago. He added that he has not yet seen a report from the medical examiner, but the length of time it takes to examine a body varies case by case.
“It’s ongoing, and that’s as much as I can say about the current status,” Mecimore said.
Information about the case—including details of the crime scene, the 911 call and the manner of death—are sealed because widely circulating this information could disrupt the investigation.
Mecimore noted that the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC CrimeStoppers tip line is still receiving occasional information from citizens. The UNC Board of Trustees is offering a $25,000 reward for information that could lead to an arrest. The Haliwa-Saponi American Indian tribe, of which Hedgepeth was a member, and Hawthorne at the View are each offering an additional $1,000.
Hedgepeth, who was from Warrenton, N.C., was a biology major and Gates Millennium Scholar at UNC. She also became actively involved in the UNC American Indian Center during her freshman year. She worked at Red Robin restaurant in Durham, and friends say she wanted to become a pediatrician.
On her would-be 20th birthday Wednesday, Red Robin held a fundraiser to benefit the Faith Hedgepeth Scholarship Fund. Friends and family recently started the fund to support a high school student from Hedgepeth’s hometown.