18 Months Later: Still No Answers to Native Teen’s Murder
Eighteen months after Faith Hedgepeth was murdered, local media outlets are pushing for answers to what happened in the last hours of the woman’s life.
Hedgepeth, a 19-year-old junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, was found dead in her off-campus apartment on September 7, 2012. She was last seen alive at about 3 a.m. that day, after she and her roommate returned home from a nightclub.
Police have not yet released an official cause of death, and the records associated with the case—including search warrants, 911 recordings and other judicial records—have remained sealed. Three days after the murder, a Durham County Superior Court Judge sealed the records, and every 60 days since then, the County Attorney’s Office has asked that the records be resealed.
Four local media outlets now have filed a motion asking that the sealing orders be vacated.
The information sought “has been effectively under seal for nearly 18 months via a series of orders extending the duration of the sealing orders without notice or hearing,” the motion states. The media outlets include television stations and newspapers in the Raleigh and Durham areas of North Carolina and DTH Media Corporation, which publishes The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper at UNC-Chapel Hill.
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