Friday, August 9, 2019

The Murder of Faith Hedgepeth


19 year old Faith Hedgepeth was a junior at UNC Chapel Hill when she was brutally murdered in her off-campus apartment on September 7th, 2012. Faith was a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Native American Tribe and hoped to one day return to her community to work as a doctor. She was working hard to accomplish that goal—in fact, on the night prior to her murder, Faith and her roommate Karena Rosario (pictured below with Faith) spent the evening at the campus library to work on a project. The two returned to their apartment at around 12am and then promptly left again at 12:30am to go to Thrill nightclub—a spot that was popular amongst Chapel Hill students. 

Karena Rosario and Faith
Faith and Karena returned to their apartment around 3am. Around 4:30am, Karena left the apartment once more, when she was picked up by another fellow Chapel Hill student, Jordan McCrary. Out of habit, Karena did not lock the door to their apartment when she left. Hours later, Karena wanted to return home, but was unable to get ahold of Faith for a ride. She instead called one of their mutual friends, Marisol Rangel, to pick her up. Karena and Marisol returned to Karena and Faith’s apartment around 11am. They called out Faith’s name, and when she did not answer, they opened her bedroom door and found Faith’s body partially covered by a bloody comforter on her bedroom floor. Karena immediately called 911 to report that her roommate had been murdered. When police arrived at the grisly scene, they found a paper bag near Faith’s body with words “I’m not stupid bitch jealous” written on it.
Paper bag found at the murder scene
As police investigated Faith’s murder, they pieced together a timeline that revealed interesting circumstances surrounding the events leading up to her death. From this timeline, it became clear that there were many potential suspects in the case.
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A friend of Faith’s told police that Faith had felt threatened by Karena’s ex-boyfriend, 21 year-old Eriq Takoy Jones. Sometime during the spring and summer of 2012, Eriq allegedly told Faith that he hated her and was going to kill her if Karena did not get back together with him. On July 11th, 2012, Karena obtained a restraining order against Eriq. The restraining order was granted after the police responded to a domestic assault incident in which Eriq had kicked two doors in Karena and Faith’s apartment off the frame. The investigators who were involved in the processing of this restraining order also learned that Eriq resented Faith because of the influence she had over Karena.

On September 6th, the day before Faith’s murder, Eriq sent messages to two of his friends, asking them to “forgive him for what he was about to do.” However, in the hours, or even possibly minutes leading up to Faith’s death, other men seemed to be the center of Faith and Karena’s attention. One of those men was another ex-boyfriend of Karena’s—fellow Chapel Hill student Brandon Edwards. At 3:40am on September 7th, after Faith and Karena returned from Thrill nightclub, Faith sent a text to Brandon asking him to come over because Karena “really needed him.” Karena also called Brandon multiple times between 3:40am and 4:15am but did not get a response. Finally, Karena gave up on Brandon and contacted Jordan, who subsequently picked her up around 4:30am.

Due to all of the people who Faith could have possibly come into contact with at the time of her death, AND the previous incidents involving Eriq, no person was above suspicion. Police have investigated Eriq and the numerous people Faith had contact with in the days and hours before her death. Karena faded from the public eye, which lead many to believe that she knew more about what happened to Faith than she was letting on. However, despite the abundance of evidence the police have collected in the years following Faith’s death, there have been no arrests in the case. In the most recent development, police have generated a composite image of a possible suspect in the case based on DNA taken from the murder scene.


Anyone with information on Faith’s case can report it here.

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