UNC student found dead in apartment

Faith Danielle Hedgepeth (Image courtesy American Indian Center at UNC-Chapel Hill)
September 9, 2012 9:19:12 AM PDT
Chapel Hill police are investigating the death of a UNC-Chapel Hill student as a homicide.

Friends discovered 19-year-old Faith Hedgepeth dead in her home at the Hawthorne at the View apartment complex about 11 a.m. Friday.

"I'll be honest with you, whoever did this deserves to burn," said Takoy Jones.

Jones once roomed with Hedgepeth along with his ex-girlfriend in the very apartment where police said Hedgepeth was found dead.

"Just like any other neighbor out there, I walked out there concerned," said Jones.

Jones, who still lives in the Hawthorne at the View complex, said he learned about the scene from his stepfather and stepped outside to see it for himself.

"I seen all the police out there at the apartment," said Jones. "So, finally I got in my truck and I was going to leave... just take a peek around the corner and I seen crime scene tape all over the place."

Police are treating Hedgepeth's death as a murder and they said they don't believe it was a random act.

They also haven't said exactly who discovered her. Police will only say friends found her.

Jones said his ex-girlfriend had still lived with Hedgepeth.

When ABC11 asked Jones if his ex-girlfriend was there this morning, he replied, "I have no idea. I have no idea."

Jones said he and his ex, who is also a UNC student, hadn't spoken Friday.

"From what I knew of her [Hedgepeth], she was the sweetest person in the world," said Jones. "If you needed her and she could do it, she was there."

In an email alert to the campus community, UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said: "I am sorry to let you know of the sudden death of one of our students... law enforcement officials do not believe that there is danger to other students, faculty or staff. "

Hedgepeth's death comes years after Student Government President Eve Carson was killed.

"She was a huge part of our community and we still honor her every year," said UNC student Jessica Josilevich.

Now, students are mourning another Tar Heel.

"It's definitely really sad, and, of course, it's going to hit hard because we are a tight knit community," said Josilevich.

In his alert, Thorp said counselors are available to those who need them.

Hedgepeth worked as a waitress at the Durham Red Robin. Now, her co-workers are grieving as well.

According to the UNC directory, Hedgepeth was a Biology major from Warrenton, N.C.

The Warren County High School website says Hedgepeth also was a Gates Millennium scholar. The Gates Millennium Foundation awards 1,000 scholars each year with full scholarships to four-year colleges or universities.

Hedgepeth was a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe of Hollister. The Rev. Ronald Richardson, chief of the Haliwa-Saponi, said Hedgepeth was active in her church and her tribe.

The Chapel Hill Police has established a tip-line for anyone with information related to this investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call (919) 614-6363. Callers who wish to remain anonymous will be allowed to do so. Individuals may also contact Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrest.

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