Faith Hedgepeth, an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was found brutally murdered in her off-campus apartment on the morning of September 7, 2012. Her body was found by her friend and roommate, Karena Rosario, just a few hours after they’d returned from a local nightclub. The crime scene was bloody, messy, and seemed to have been turned upside down. Intrigued to know more about Faith and what exactly happened to her?
Who Was Faith Hedgepeth?
A member of the Haliwa-Saponi Native American tribe, which is recognized by the state of North Carolina, Faith Danielle Hedgepeth was born on September 26, 1992, in Warren County. Born at a tough time for her family, she was named Faith by her mother, Connie, because she believed that was what she needed to raise all her children with a husband who had a drug problem. Faith had three elder siblings, Caleb, Chadwick, and Rolanda. Unfortunately, their parents, Connie and Roland, divorced just within a year after Faith, their youngest, was born.
An honor student, a cheerleader, and a member of many clubs and organizations in high school, Faith did so well that she earned a scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the age of 19, she hoped to be the first member of the Hedgepeth family to graduate college and go on to become either a doctor or a teacher. Unfortunately, she never could achieve her dreams.
Faith Hedgepeth’s Murder
On September 6, 2012, Faith went about her day just like it was any other. She attended a rush event for a Native American campus sorority that she wished to be a part of, went to the library to study, and then, with her roommate, Karena Rosario whom she’d known since freshman year, headed for The Thrill, a nightclub in downtown Chapel Hill.
At around 2 a.m., they left the club when Karena complained about not feeling well. Ther returned home, and after getting everything sorted, Faith went to bed. At close to 4:30 a.m., Karena left the apartment again to join a friend, leaving the door unlocked. When she returned at around 11 a.m., with friend Marisol Rangel, she found Faith’s bloodied body, wrapped in a quilt, naked from the waist down. In the six and a half hours that she’d been away, Karena had thought that Faith would have been sleeping peacefully, but instead, she had been beaten, raped, and horrifically murdered.
Faith’s autopsy report confirmed that she had contusions on her hands and legs, and had passed away from the blunt force trauma to her head, which was a result of being hit by an empty glass bottle that was in the apartment. From the crime scene, it looked like Faith knew who her murderer was. The scene had evidence of male DNA and a note that said, “I’M NOT STUPID B***H. JEALOUS” in a childlike hand-writing was also found near her body.
Who Killed Faith Hedgepeth?
Eriq Tokoy Jones, a former boyfriend of Karena, was initially a suspect. His relationship with Karena was so troubled that Faith had helped her file for a restraining order against him after cases of domestic violence. The aspiring rapper’s DNA was tested, and after a bit of resistance, he fully cooperated with the police. In the end, he turned out clean and was no longer a person of interest. The police even gave Karena the clean chit after they found no evidence of her involvement.
Every male friend of Faith’s was tested along with all the people who lived in her apartment complex and the ones she’d been with when she went to The Thrill. But not a single person’s DNA matched with the DNA found at the crime scene. From the DNA, a sketch of Faith’s killer was made, but to this date, her case remains unsolved, and her murderer still on the loose. Even the $40,000 reward that the Chapel Hill Police Department put out for any information about the killing remains unclaimed.
However, a friend of Faith’s shared with the police a voicemail that she had left with them when she had pocket-dialed them by mistake on the night before her murder. The voicemail records the conversation between Faith, a female, and two males and is believed to be the record of what was Faith’s last moments alive. However, the time stamp on it is 1:23 a.m., when Faith was at the Nightclub.
Crime Watch Daily hired audio expert Arlo West, who specializes in enhancing such recordings to evaluate this, and he claims that he heard the names Eriq and Rosie in the recording while Faith is quite possibly begging for her life. He clarifies that a known software issue can cause inaccurate timestamps, and since there is a lack of drums and bass, it can’t have been made in a nightclub. He and the Hedgepeth family firmly believe that this is the recording of Faith’s death.
Even though there are no suspects or even any persons of interest in the case right now, Faith’s family still hopes that, after almost eight years, her killers can one day be found and brought to justice. (Featured Image Credit: Hedgepeth Family / Crime Watch Daily)
Read More: Where Is Karena Rosario Today?