I-Team behind new push to unseal search warrants in UNC student's murder

Media outlets are going to court, trying to get documents unsealed that could reveal new details about the case.
May 13, 2014 1:46:24 PM PDT
The I-Team is behind a new push to unseal search warrants in the unsolved murder of UNC Chapel Hill student Faith Hedgepeth. The junior was found dead in her off-campus apartment in September 2012.

Now ABC11 and other media outlets are going to court, trying to get documents unsealed that could reveal new details about the case. They are public documents and ABC11 feels the public has a right to know what is in them.

Inside the Durham Clerk's office are documents related to this case that are taped shut inside three envelopes. When they will be opened is anybody's guess.

It is the mystery behind a murder mystery. More than a year and a half ago, exactly what happened to Hedgepeth inside her apartment has been closely guarded. Information has been kept under wraps even from Hedgepeth's family.

"We want to know what happened," said Faith's sister, Rolanda Hedgepeth.

However, like the public, they are still in the dark after multiple court orders sealing the 911 calls, the autopsy, even eyewitness accounts. It is information that is usually made public by now.

This week, a motion filed on behalf of the local news media, including ABC11, demands the documents be released. Durham prosecutors say there is the possibility that it could jeopardize the case. Hedgepeth's family agrees.

"We don't want this person getting off on any little technicality. So, if it means resealing them again and again and again until they get the person, the family is OK with it," Rolanda said.

Yet attorneys point to North Carolina Public Records Law -- the public's right to know about a heinous crime.

It has been a case full of twists and turns. Along with a profile of the killer, police also claim to have the murder suspect's DNA.

With no arrest in more than a year, the SBI recently got involved. Both prosecutors and investigators maintain shedding light on details could do more harm than good.

"The main thing is who did it and why they did it. It's not exact details -- details may be too hard for us. Maybe that's why we don't know yet," Rolanda said.

It is unclear if there will be a hearing about this. The most recent order to seal the warrants in the case expires on March 18. The Durham District Attorney's office says it has yet to decide whether to request a new order.

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