DURHAM: New details raise more questions in death of UNC student - WRBL

New details raise more questions in death of UNC student

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Faith Hedgepeth was found dead inside her off-campus apartment in September 2012. Faith Hedgepeth was found dead inside her off-campus apartment in September 2012.

Officers searched a car, two apartments, laptops and Facebook during the investigation into the 2012 death of Faith Hedgepeth. But what exactly they were searching for remains a mystery as a Superior Court judge said Wednesday that he wants more information before making a decision on whether to unseal documents related to her death.

Judge Howard Manning said he doesn't expect to unseal search warrants and Hedgepeth's autopsy until he can review information from the Orange County courts.

Several media outlets had requested the search warrants and autopsy unsealed, but the district attorney's office argued that unsealing them would hurt the investigation.

"Our argument is that 18 months have gone by," said media Attorney Hugh Stevens. "Everything in this case has been sealed. It's implausible in our view that everything still needs to be sealed now, even if it needed to be sealed in the past."

Durham County Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks said that if anything is unsealed and released, she wants it to be held so that Hedgepeth's family can see it first.

Faith Hedgepeth's father, Roland Hedgepeth, said he is "on the fence" about whether the documents should be unsealed.

"As a father, I want to know everything I can about the case," Roland Hedgepeth said. "But at the same time, I don't want to be selfish" and hinder the investigation."

He added that he believed "her parents deserve the right to know something."

Questions have surrounded the UNC student's death since her body was discovered in her off-campus apartment in Durham on Sept. 7, 2012. No arrests have been made in the case and a suspect has not been named.

Investigators said Faith Hedgepeth had gone out to a local night club with friends the evening before her death. Police said they believe the killer knew Faith Hedgepeth and most likely lived nearby.

The State Crime Lab said DNA left at the scene of the murder of Faith Hedgepeth is that of a male suspect, but little else has been revealed about the investigation.

Manning acknowledged Wednesday that not knowing details is "frustrating to everyone."

According to the state's motion to keep the documents sealed, there was a search warrant for a 1977 Honda Accord, as well as search warrants for two units in Faith Hedgepeth's apartment complex and her apartment.

Investigators also searched the laptops and Facebook accounts of Faith Hedgepeth and her roommate.

Roland Hedgepeth said the car named in the search warrant did not belong to his daughter.


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    Justin Quesinberry

    Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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