Friends, family buoyed by new information in case of murdered - WNCN: News, Weather

Friends, family buoyed by new information in case of murdered UNC student

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

Family and friends of a University of North Carolina student found dead Sept. 7 have renewed hope after police revealed new details in the case Tuesday.

DNA collected at the scene of the death of 19-year-old Faith Danielle Hedgepeth will help identify the suspect, investigators said Tuesday.

Results from the North Carolina State Crime Lab have revealed DNA left at the scene of the murder of Hedgepeth is that of a male suspect. Investigators also say the suspect is believed to have known Hedgepeth and may have lived near her in the past.

Hedgepeth was found dead inside her apartment at the Hawthorne on the View apartment complex. Her roommate discovered her body around 11 a.m.; police say she was last seen alive around 3 a.m.

One of Hedgepeth's friends, Diandra Bellamy, was relieved to hear that news Tuesday.

"I just said, 'Thank you Jesus!" she said. "I was overjoyed. Immediately, tears were falling. All of our circle of friends, we were texting each other, like, 'Just have faith. Continue to have faith."

Hedgepeth's father, Roland, said of police, "I don't believe they've been lax on the job. I do believe they've been following up."

Roland Hedgepeth said he is confident the case will be solved.

"I believe it's going to be solved sooner than some people think," he said.

Police say Hedgepeth and her roommate had gone to The Thrill, a Chapel Hill nightclub, the night of her death.

Upon investigation of her death, police say the suspect profiled by the DNA was unaccounted for during the early morning hours the day of Hedgepeth's death. Police also say the "suspect may have made comments regarding the victim to close associates in the past."

After consulting with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, Chapel Hill Police say there may have been some change in the suspect's behavior after the murder "or a change in his performance at work or school."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Chapel Hill Police Department tip line at (919) 614-6363 or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515.

In November, Gov. Bev Perdue offered $10,000 in reward money for information that helps to lead to the arrest and conviction in Hedgepeth's death. The additional money brings the total reward offered to $39,000.

 

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