University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student Faith Hedgepeth.

18 Months Later: Still No Answers to Native Teen’s Murder

Alysa Landry
3/10/14

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.

RELATED: Murdered Native UNC-Chapel Hill Student Remembered by Friends, Family and Tribe

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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indianmedicine
Submitted by indianmedicine on
The violent death of a Family Member is very hard to take, no matter how you inform the Family Members..................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................... This Case is further complicated because it is still an "On-Going Active Criminal Investigation, with a Suspect / Person Of Interest still at large. ..................................................................................................................................... Every Serious Case deserves a diligent investigation, or risk loosing the Case or wrongful accusations against an innocent person............................................. ..................................................................................................................................... There are Legal State Procedural mandates that must be met, for Case Investigation,and Court Case Management to oversee submitted Motions by both Prosecution and Defense............................................................................... .................................................................................................................................... Law Enforcement not only wants Case Closure, but wants that Individual who committed this Criminal Act to be in Custody and Properly Charged with sufficient evidence beyond a Reasonable Doubt in the minds of a Sitting Jury. .................................................................................................................................... The local Jury must not be influenced by "Media Press Releases", else the objectivity of finding a qualified local Jury could effect the "Constitutional Right To A Speedy Trial" by a Defendant.......................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................... I am aware that this is frustrating to the grieving Family, and in many Jurisdictions, there are Court Victim/Witness Programs that oversee the timely and meaningful Case Developments are provided to the Families that will not jeopardize the Case Investigation............................................................... ..................................................................................................................................... Cases statistics have shown that 70% of the Defendants are known to the Victim of either close Associates or even Relatives - so it should be understood that the Case Investigators must maintain the Case Integrity with only the necessary release of the current Case Status........................................ .................................................................................................................................... I hope this information helps to have more "Peace of Mind" for the loved ones left behind, however at least understand some of the reasoning the Police and District Attorney have for maintaining operational secrecy in safeguarding the Investigation for a successful prosecution of the Case........................................ ................................................................................................................................... Our Condolence to the Family and Friends on their loss.................................... ...................................................................................................................................
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