Desperate For Answers: The Murder of Faith Hedgepeth

Cases that have been solved, and wrapped up with a pretty bow isn’t what normally happens. I think that in any case, we would all like to see it solved with the perpetrator caught and justice served. But I gotta be honest with you all, that just isn’t the norm anymore. I don’t think it ever was. This homicide that I’m about to highlight, is one such case. This is the case of Faith Hedgepeth, and her still unsolved murder. 

I originally learned of this case a few years ago when it was shown on ‘Breaking Homicide’. It was the second episode in the show’s first season, and was investigated by Derrick Levasseur and Kris Mohandie. If you’ve read my other blog- ‘The Mysteries at the Mansion’, then you’d know who they are. It’s a case that left me shaking my head, with a couple theories in mind, but mostly hopeful of an arrest. Lemme just say- the show was broadcasted in 2018, while her murder occured in 2012. As of the day that I write this, there still hasn’t been a conclusion to this case. But just because there hasn’t been a conclusion, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t get the spotlight treatment. In fact, I believe that cases that don’t have an end should be the ones that we continually see on our tv screens. As much as we’re all into the Bundy case(s), and Gacy, and the NightStalker, I would rather see cases highlighted by Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max that don’t have an ending. As frustrating as it is to not have an ending to some, or most cases, it’s important to showcase them and bring awareness. You never know, someone who has the answers might see it and decide it’s the time to pick up the phone. 

The Haliwa-Saponi Native American tribe is recognized by the state of North Carolina. Faith Hedgepeth was born to Roland and Connie Hedgepeth on September 26th, 1992 in Warren County- part of the tribe’s traditional territory. Connie Hedgepeth named her second daughter Faith because she believed that was what she needed to raise a fourth child when she already had two sons and a daughter with a husband with a drug problem. “Faith… well, Faith was a joy- a true joy,” Roland Hedgepeth told Dateline. “She was a gift, you know, because she came to us at a low point in my life. She kept me going. She was my Faith.” ; “It was a rough time for our family, but Faith came at a time that gave us all hope,” Connie said. “She came at a time when I needed her the most. To keep focused. To keep working and to keep my family together.” However, once Faith had turned one, her parents decided to split. After the divorce, Faith went to live with her mother in Hollister, NC; and while her mother was at work, trying to provide food for the table and money to pay their bills, Faith’s older sister watched over her. Rolanda, who was 18 when her sister was born, was like a second mother to Faith. “I helped take care of her from the beginning,” Rolanda said. “Everywhere we went, people thought she was my child. And she was. I felt like she was my child.” Although her father, Roland, now lived four hours away in Hickory, NC, Faith had a close relationship with him. 

Fast forward a few years… to Faith’s high school years. She was an honor roll student, a cheerleader and a member of many clubs and other extracurricular activities. “Honestly, I didn’t even realize how much she was involved in until after she had died,” Connie said. “She did so much in her short time here on earth. But she also had so much more to do.” Faith was a proud Carolinan. So, when it came time to apply to colleges, she already knew where she wanted to go. At this point, Faith had earned the Gates Millennium Scholarship and was able to go to her dream college on a full ride. “She knew exactly where she wanted to go,” Roland said. “She was a Carolina girl and she was determined to go to school at Chapel Hill.” 

Her father had attended UNC-Chapel Hill as well, but had dropped out. So, Faith was proud of herself, and was hopeful that she’d be the first member of her family to graduate from college. Her first two years at the university went well for her, but she decided that it was in her best interest to take the spring semester in 2012 off, but had every notion to go back in the fall. Faith was planning to further her studies and become a pediatrician. “All she wanted to do was help people. Especially children. It was her passion,” Faith’s mother, Connie said. “But school was hard. And when she started to struggle, she told me she thought about being a teacher instead. I told her the world is wide open for her and if she put her mind to it, she could achieve anything.”

Faith remained in the Chapel Hill area over the summer of 2012, living in an off-campus apartment at the Hawthorne At The View complex between Chapel Hill and Durham during the month of August. She planned to move to another apartment after her financial aid for the fall semester was made available to her. She shared the apartment with Karena Rosario, with whom she had been friends since freshman year.

Before I dive into the case itself, I want to look into Faith’s intimate and romantic relationships because they are intricately woven into the fabric of this case. Her love life was messy. Faith had a high school sweetheart- Alex. However, after she graduated high school the two broke up. But, anytime Faith returned home while she was on break from Chapel Hill, she would meet up with Alex and she remained rather intimate with him. All the while though, she had a boyfriend at school- kinda, sorta. I don’t think there was ever a definite boyfriend/girlfriend label on their relationship. His name? Ty Michael McNeil.

Ty claims on the ‘Breaking Homicide’ episode that he met Faith on her first day at Chapel Hill in 2010. He was working the freshmen orientation desk and Faith had approached Ty for either help, or advice. Either way, Ty was immediately attracted to Faith. The more the two hung out, the more he began to really like her. He was attracted to her “vibrant personality.” When asked if he had fallen in love with Faith, Ty replied that he had. When asked if he thought that Faith had fallen in love with him, Ty believed that Faith had. “I was crazy about Faith from the day that I met her, quite honestly.” Ty admitted to ‘Breaking Homicide’ that their relationship was off-and-on due to Faith’s relationship with Alex. Because of the romantic triangle that he found himself in, Ty decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of it, and decided that it was best if he and Faith ended things. Ty admitted however, that his correspondence with Faith continued, and they even slept together the week before her murder. 

Now it’s important to note that Ty isn’t perfect. I mean, no one is, but ‘Breaking Homicide’ learned that Ty had a violent nature about him. Kiera Dixon, one of Faith’s friends, told ‘Breaking Homicide’ that Faith bounced back and forth between Alex and Ty, and sometimes even, was “on” with both of them at the same time. Kiera claimed that there was always “drama” with Ty, and although protective over Faith, it sometimes went too far. On one occasion before Faith’s murder, Kiera claimed that after she left a party where they were all at, she went to a mutual friend’s bed to catch some z’s. At around 3am, Kiera was woken up out of her sleep when someone flicked on the lights and pulled the covers of the bed back. Kiera said that this person was Ty, and he was inquiring into Faith’s whereabouts. Kiera said that clearly, she had no idea. Ty had told Kiera that he thought she was Faith. Kiera was troubled by the encounter. Kiera told ‘Breaking Homicide’ that Ty had “obsessive behavior when it came to Faith.” She claimed that if he couldn’t get a hold of Faith, he would go a little berserk and wouldn’t relent until he knew where she was, or had gotten a hold of her. In any case, it’s problematic behavior. 

I need to also highlight another relationship. The one between Faith’s roommate/best friend, Karena Rosario, and Rosario’s ex boyfriend, Eriq Takoy Jones. Again, this is important because it later ties back to Faith’s murder. Karena and Eriq were toxic together. Lemme highlight, star, punctuate, underline that again. ✰TOXIC✰. Karena and Eriq’s relationship was rocked with domestic violence. After putting up with Eriq’s violence towards her for so long, Karena was over it and broke up with him and kicked him out of her apartment. However, in early July 2012, Eriq had twice attempted to break into the apartment, even after Karena changed the locks. Faith eventually drove Karena to court to get a protective order that required Eriq to stay away from the apartment. This fact disturbed Eriq, and drove him crazy. Eriq reportedly resented Faith’s influence over Karena, and at one point reportedly threatened her during a phone conversation with Faith to kill her if he could not get back together with Karena. 

Connie last saw Faith on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012. Although they were celebrating early, the family were throwing Connie a birthday party. Faith finished her waitressing job at Red Robin in Durham, picked up her bestie Karena, then drove to Warren County to celebrate her loving mother. “We were just hanging out, enjoying time with the family,” Connie said. “I had no idea my world was about to turn upside down. On Tuesday, my birthday, Faith called me. Wished me happy birthday. And that was it. That was the last time I spoke to my baby girl.”

Three days after the birthday party, on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012, Faith touched base with her father, Roland. She texted him to tell him about her plans to join UNC’s chapter of the Native American Alpha Pi Omega. But during that conversation, Faith sensed that something was wrong. “It’s like she always knew the right time to text me. She sensed it,” Roland said. “She asked, ‘Dad, what’s wrong?’ And I told her what was going on. And she told me to just have faith. She was always thinking of other people. That was the thing about her. She was beautiful on the outside, of course, but she also had this beauty on the inside. She always made me feel like I was the most special person in the world.” It was the last conversation Roland would have with his daughter. A little more than 24 hours later, Faith was dead.

Everything started at 5:45pm on Thursday, September 6th, 2012. Faith had attended a rush event for the campus chapter of Alpha Pi Omega, a historically Native American sorority she hoped to join. At 7:15pm she left, saying she had to work on a paper she was writing about the history of her tribe. She and Karena went to the university’s Davis Library to study together at 8pm. 

Faith and Karena were at the library together for quite some time, however, Faith did leave Karena at the library at one point to go see another friend that was close by. It’s unknown to me how long she was gone, but Faith returned. After a few more hours of studying, the two girls left the library and headed back to Karena’s apartment. Faith was still staying there, again, temporarily. At around 12:30am, Faith and Karena decided to let loose a little, and left the apartment. They headed to a nightclub in downtown Chapel Hill called, The Thrill. The nightclub served alcohol, but allowed minors on some nights for “college night.” Faith and Karena arrived at the nightclub around 12:40am. Although they were underage and the nightclub claimed they didn’t serve minors alcohol, it’s believed that Karena and Faith drank that night. This is because just after an hour and a half of being at the nightclub, Karena told Faith (and some other friends that were there) that she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go home. Security cameras caught Faith and Karena leaving the nightclub at 2:06am, and it’s the last known visual record of Faith. 

Faith and Karena had arrived back at the apartment by 2:40am. An elderly woman who lived below Karena and Faith later reported to police that she was watching television at this time, but heard loud thumping noises which she described as similar to a heavy bag being dropped or furniture being overturned. Although it sounded odd to her being that it was so late- or early in the morning, she didn’t think too much of it and went back to her business. She heard no other noises coming from the upstairs apartment that night. 

Almost an hour after the downstairs neighbor heard the thumping sounds, Faith’s facebook page was accessed. At around this same time, Faith sent Karena’s ex-boyfriend, Brandon Edwards a text message. That message read: “Hey b. can you come over here please. Karena needs you more aha. You know. Please let her know you care.” That text message was immediately followed up with, “Than.” It’s believed that Faith was trying to correct her typo of “aha” to “than.” Brandon responded to Faith’s text message… 12 hours later with, “who is this?” It’s important to note that around the same time that Faith texted Brandon, Karena was also trying to get a hold of him.

Although she had claimed that she was sick just a short time earlier, Karena left the apartment at 4:25am when a friend, a boy named Jordan McCrary came by to pick her up. Karena claims that when she left, she forgot to lock the front door and says that Faith was in bed, asleep. 

The next morning, or a few hours later rather, (at around 10:30am) Karena woke up at Jordan’s and needed a ride back to her apartment. She needed to pick up a paper before heading off to class. She tried to phone Faith to come and pick her up, but Faith didn’t answer. Karena contacted another friend, Marisol Rangel, who agreed to pick Karena up. 

Karena and Marisol arrived at the apartment around 11am. When the two women entered the apartment, they both started calling out for Faith, assuming she was still sleeping. But tragically, Faith wasn’t sleeping. Instead, Karena and Marisol found Faith on the floor of the one bedroom apartment, bloody and partially nude. The shirt she was wearing was up over her face, and she was lying in a pool of her own blood. She was also wrapped up in the bed’s comforter. Devastated, both Karena and Marisol called 911. 

According to the 911 call that was later released, Karena told the operator that Faith was unconscious in the bedroom. When asked if Faith was breathing, Karena responded, “I don’t know. I don’t think so. There’s blood everywhere.”

Faith’s mother Connie got the call while she was at work in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

“They told me, ‘Faith is dead,’” Connie told Dateline. “I didn’t believe her. How can Faith be dead? I asked if it was a car accident or something, but no, it wasn’t that. This didn’t make sense. When I got off the phone, it just hit me. I burst into tears.” Connie said she was in shock, but knew she had to deliver the heartbreaking news to Faith’s father, sister and brother. The following days, weeks and even months were a blur for Faith’s family.

The investigation was kept confidential initially and the town obtained a court order to seal all records as they were collected. 

The police investigation stretched on for two years. In 2014, just days before the second anniversary of Faith’s murder, Durham County court officials unsealed documents in the search for her killer. The autopsy report, which was also unsealed at that time, revealed what her family already knew. Faith had died from blunt force trauma to the head. The report also detailed cuts and bruises on her arms and legs, along with blood under her fingernails. Investigators believe the murder weapon to be an empty Bacardi rum bottle. The bottle was found in the bedroom with tissue fragments and DNA on it. Also found in the bedroom near Faith’s body was a fast-food bag with a hand-written note that read, “IM NOT STUPID. BITCH. JEALOUS.”

A DNA profile was created from DNA collected from the scene and semen collected from on or near Faith’s body. Investigators believe the DNA belongs to the killer, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said in a 2014 press conference. “Investigators have excellent evidence in this case, and we are making a public appeal for any information that will help us tie that evidence to Faith’s killer,” Blue said. “This is not a cold case. It has been and remains an active investigation.”

Eriq Jones was considered a person of interest when police learned of his history of domestic violence towards Karena and when he threatened Faith. After being kicked out of Karena’s apartment, Eriq began either staying with someone, or obtained his own apartment… in the same complex as Karena. Furthermore, they also discovered that he had texted an acquaintance asking for forgiveness “for what I am about to do”, and also posted it on his Twitter handle, the night before Faith’s death. Three days later he changed his Facebook header to read, “Dear Lord, Forgive me for all of my sins and the sins I may commit today. Protect me from the girls who don’t deserve me and the ones who wish me dead today.” It’s gotta be more than just a coincidence, right? 

Ty has also been a person of interest in Faith’s murder. Ty was allegedly supposed to see Faith on the 6th. He had sent Faith a text that day- at 6:44pm, asking if they were going to be getting together. Although initially unanswered, Faith responded to Ty… at 3:52am on the 7th. That text message read, “I know youre probably sleeping but i just wanted to let you know that I love you. Not a day goes by that you don’t cross my mind. I know it will be like this for the rest if my life because of what we’ve been through together. Besides that i still feel the same and still love you the same. Sorry for being in my feelings. But hey without feelings we wouldn’t have life…sometimes i feel like you are my life” Ty responded to Faith at 12:29pm on the 7th with “Wow, that means a lot Faith. I never knew you felt that way.” Ty told ‘Breaking Homicide’ that she never spoke like that in a text message to him before, although she has said similar things to him in person. He was pretty adamant that it was Faith that sent those messages. Ty eventually was ruled out as a suspect because it was later revealed that Ty was home- with another woman the night that Faith was murdered. When asked if he thought it was odd that Karena would leave her apartment after only complaining of being ill just a few hours earlier, he replied that he wasn’t surprised by this information, going further in saying that it “was in Karena’s nature.” 

In the ‘Breaking Homicide’ episode, Euna Chavis, one of Faith’s close friends, spoke to Derrick and Kris about the relationship between Faith and Karena. Euna claims that the week before Faith was murdered, Faith had told her that she was looking to move out of Karena’s apartment. It was basically along the lines of “needing her own space.” Euna took that comment to mean that Faith wanted- or needed to space herself from Karena. Euna says that Karena was always around Faith. Even when you’re young and naive, you still need time to decompress on your own. Euna says that when she met Faith, Faith was dating Alex, but after they broke up Faith began to see Ty. Euna backs up Kiera’s claims that Ty was “controlling.” She mentions one incident at the residence hall where the girls were living at one point in time, that Faith was doing laundry real late- like around 1am. Euna says this wasn’t unnatural of Faith, it was just something she tended to do. Faith was down in the basement where the laundry facilities were located, and didn’t have her phone with her. Allegedly, Ty showed up to the residence hall- and ultimately scared Euna. She told ‘Breaking Homicide’ that she was scared of Ty- to a degree. Euna doesn’t know details of when, but she told Derrick and Kris that Ty had hit Faith at least on one occasion. When Derrick showed Euna the text messages that Faith had sent to Ty on the night/early morning that she was murdered, Euna claims that those text messages didn’t sound like Faith. Euna says that the wording wasn’t consistent to what she’s seen from Faith in the past. Also, Euna says that she questions the validity of the messages because in the week before Faith was murdered, Faith told Euna that she was contemplating resuming her relationship with Alex. When asked about Karena and Erik’s relationship, she noted the domestic violence. Euna mentioned the order of protection that Karena took out on Erik and how Faith was a major driving force for Karena to do so. Euna says that yes, Erik threatened Faith, but also Karena in a result of the order of protection. When asked about the timeline around the time of Faith’s murder, Euna questionsed why Karena would have left the apartment unlocked, while knowing that her best friend was in bed asleep. 

Euna brings up a buttdial/voicemail that she received the night/early morning of when Faith was murdered. From listening to the voicemail, Euna couldn’t make out who was on the other end of the line. The only thing she knew from that buttdial was that it came from Faith’s phone. Because Euna still had the voicemail, she played it for ‘Breaking Homicide.’ Because the buttdial happened at 1:30am, it’s believed that Faith accidentally phoned Euna while she was still at the nightclub. That buttdial/voicemail was analyzed by Arlo West, to help give some insight into what happened in the hours leading up to Faith’s murder. 

Nothing could be made out of the mostly inaudible voicemail until Crime Watch Daily hired audio expert Arlo West- who enhanced the recording and claimed he heard Faith’s cry for help while a male voice said “I think she’s dying”, and a female voice said, “Do it anyhow”. The female voice sounded angry and Arlo alleged the two voices used the name ‘Eriq’ and ‘Rosie’ (short for Rosario), respectively. Faith’s father was convinced it was an audio recording of her murder and Arlo asserted the same. But the police had qualms about it because the timing of the voicemail seemed off, as it did not correspond with her reported time of death. And, although Karena left the nightclub a few seconds prior to Faith, it didn’t seem from the surveillance footage that the girls were in any sort of argument or disagreement. When asked if he knew about the bag found next to Faith’s body with the words “Bitch” and “Jealous”, Arlo replied on ‘Breaking Homicide’ that he wasn’t privy to that knowledge. This is important to note because IF he was aware of it, it could have potentially ruined the credibility of his analysis of the voicemail. If you ask me- I think it’s a garbled mash of loud music and a few people trying to have a discussion over the music, and what the phone picked up was just of them yelling over the sound system in the nightclub. But I’m no trained forensic analyst. 

‘Breaking Homicide’ had the bag with the words ‘bitch’ and ‘jealous’ analyzed. From what they were able to gather, the handwriting on the bag looks “unstable” and “moody.” When they asked if a male or female wrote the note on the bag, the analyst believed that a female was the one who wrote it. The analyst believes that normally, a male doesn’t use the words ‘bitch’ and ‘jealous’ in that fashion, but that it’s extremely common for a female. If you ask me however, I believe that a male is just as likely to have written it than a female. What is important about the bag/note, is that it didn’t have a spot of blood on it at all, but that it was found near the crime scene which was extremely bloody. So whoever wrote it- whether they were male or female- were comfortable enough to have brutally murdered Faith then scribble on a bag before leaving the apartment. The only person who knew that no one else was coming to that apartment would have been Karena. 

The third suspect is Karena Rosario. Upon finding Faith’s body, Karena dialed 911. When asked by the operator for the location of the emergency, Karena first responded with, “Hi, um, I just walked into my apartment and my friend, like, she’s unconscious.” Now, I’ve never found myself in that type of dire emergency of finding my best friend- on the floor of the bedroom, wrapped up in a blanket and completely covered in blood- but I can tell you that I wouldn’t be that polite with the operator. I’d be frantic, screaming, crying and begging them to hurry their asses to my location so I could try to help my friend. Karena, on the other hand, although her voice was teary, she didn’t seem like she was frantic. Karena had also said to the operator, “There’s blood everywhere. I don’t know what happened. She’s on her back, but, like, I think she fell off the bed ‘cause she’s like, off the bed. There’s blood all over the pillows, like, and the comforter. I just don’t know what happened.” Another thing I found really strange, is that she said that she was unaware of what happened to Faith… three times. To me, she’s trying to distance herself from the victim and the situation, which normally happens when you’re guilty. Don’t get me wrong though, Karena very well could have been completely traumatized by the whole ordeal and that it could have very well been word vomit. Another thing that happened three times during that 911 phone call is that Karena says that it “looks like someone has been in there…” Again, is it just word vomit and she’s completely beside herself, or, is she trying to distance herself from the crime scene because she knows exactly what happened? 

One way to find out is to get Karena’s side of the story. But, she hasn’t spoken out about Faith’s murder publicly. And why is that? I would think that if you loved your best friend, you would want to do whatever you could to help apprehend the killer. But it almost seems like Karena is trying to avoid the whole situation entirely. Again, why is that? Especially after all these years later. During the ‘Breaking Homicide’ episode, it’s explained that after Karena was picked up from her apartment by Jordan, and taken to Jordan’s residence, Jordan’s roommate briefly saw Karena. That roommate claims that he- and Jordan, saw a “red speck” that looked like blood on Karena’s clothes. Apparently, Jordan and his roommate relayed this information to the police because investigators showed up to Jordan’s residence with a warrant and tried to locate Karena’s shirt. Police and investigators never told the show or other news outlets afterwards what their findings were. 

Here’s what I’ve laid out- we know for a fact that Faith and Karena left the nightclub at 2:07am due to the surveillance camera timestamp. By the time the girls arrived back at the apartment, it was 2:30am. Ten minutes later, at 2:40am, the downstairs ELDERLY neighbor heard the thumping. A half hour later, at 3:30am, Faith accessed her facebook page. At 3:43am, Faith sent the text message to Karena’s ex-boyfriend, Brandon Edwards. At 3:50am, Faith sent a text message to Ty. Karena, who had also been trying to contact Edwards, decided to leave and go to Jordan’s. Karena peaced out at 4:25am with Jordan.

IF we’re to believe that the thumping noises were actually Faith being murdered- at supposedly 2:40am, then who accessed her facebook page.. Karena? Who sent Brandon and Ty those text messages… Karena? And… Karena would have all the answers, because SHE WAS THERE. Hypothetically, if what Arlo said was true (that Faith and Karena were fighting in the nightclub, caught on the voicemail) then Karena had motive. If we’re to say that Faith WASN’T the one who texted Ty, the only other people who had knowledge of what was written in the text was Karena and Ty. And don’t forget the note; whom some believe was written by a female, who was upset. Karena would have wanted to distance herself from the apartment immediately, and knew that she needed to be away from the crime scene for a substantive amount of time. At that point, that’s when she phoned Jordan to basically establish an alibi. Motive means opportunity.

Let’s not forget about Eriq Jones- ya know… the one who threatened Faith’s life. That although having a protection order against him from Karena, he somehow manages to live at another apartment in the complex. Now this is totally hypothetical, but maybe he was at home, possibly outside smoking a cigarette with a close buddy and he sees Karena leave with Jordan. Because he was known to have a temper, and to be… jealous, Eriq and his friend go over to the apartment, and Eriq knowing full well that Faith was there alone. Because Karena didn’t lock the door, he walked inside the apartment, and with his friend they could have woken Faith up, demanding to know where Karena was and who she was with. Everything clearly spiraled out of control after that, and Eriq- with his buddy (it would explain the source of seman on or near her body (autopsy reports state that she wasn’t sexually assaulted)- that was tested against Eriq and ruled out) were the ones who murdered Faith. Motive means opportunity. 

Karena, Ty, and Eriq’s DNA have all been found in the apartment, so immediately, all three were suspects. And all three’s DNA have been ruled out. I believe that Karena, Ty and Erik definitely know more. And I believe that the reason this case hasn’t been solved, is because they don’t have a DNA match against evidence- and over 800 people have been cleared. Will we ever know? I think so, definitely over more time. (Just look at what happened with the Golden State Killer.) 

In 2016, police released an image generated by Parabon NanoLabs, a genetic testing lab in Reston, Virginia, of what the suspect who left the semen behind might look like based on the phenotype in his DNA profile. According to Parabon, the suspect was Native American and European mixed ancestry or Latino with olive skin, brown or hazel eyes and black hair.

Police and family members believe Faith likely knew the person or persons involved in her murder. But because of Faith’s social, bubbly personality, they discovered she was connected to a large circle of friends that extended across the college campus and beyond. “She never met a stranger,” Faith’s father Roland said. “She was just a joy to be around. And goofy. Goofy like me, and just loved to laugh. She was friends with everyone.” 

Faith’s sister Rolanda told Dateline she believes the department is working hard to solve the case, but didn’t think it would take eight years. “Nothing ever prepares you for this,” Rolanda said, “I miss hearing her call me ‘Ro’ in her little Faith voice. So many years have passed. But I’m hopeful we’ll get closure. I’m always hopeful.”

Faith’s father fears that as the years slip by, the truth of what happened to his daughter will never be known. “With each year, instead of getting closer, I feel like we’re getting further away from knowing why someone would do this to her,” he said.

Faith not only made an impact when she was alive, but her legacy lives on now with the Faith Hedgepeth Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is offered to help a Native American woman from a North Carolina tribe earn a higher education. “She wanted to help people. That was her dream,” Connie said. “Now she’s helping women like herself every year.” Connie said they have given out 22 $1,000 scholarships in the years since Faith’s murder. “I have peace now, because she’s with the Lord,” Connie said. “But I always say, ‘Lord, whoever played a part in her death, may Faith dance on their heart every night and every day and that every time they close their eyes, they think of her, and think of the life they stole from her.’ We can only hope and pray that one day someone comes forward.” 

The family is offering a $40,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for Faith’s murder. Anyone with information about Faith’s case should contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at (919) 614-6363 or Chapel Hill Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515 or

Faith and her father, Roland.
Rolanda, Faith’s sister on the left, and Connie, Faith’s mother on the right. They are holding a picture of Faith.
Surveillance footage of Karena walking into the nightclub, escorted by a member of security. Faith was following, immediately behind them.
Surveillance footage of Faith walking out of the nightclub. She had her arm on a friend, who walked out with her, but did not get into the car with her. Karena had already left the nightclub, just seconds before.
Karena Rosario on the left, Faith on the right.
Overhead view of the building where Karena’s apartment was located. It was the last building in the complex.
Karena’s apartment building. Her apartment was the one on the top, to the right.
Just outside of Karena’s apartment.
The Bacardi Peach Red Rum bottle that was used to violently beat Faith to death.
The take out bag that the killer(s) used to write the note on.
Faith’s autopsy that details some of the trauma she sustained during her murder.
Faith with her high school sweetheart, Alex.
Ty, Faith’s boyfriend from Chapel Hill.
Eriq, Karena’s violent ex-boyfriend who threatened to kill Faith.
The phenotype of what investigators believe the person looked like who left the DNA at Faith’s crime scene.
Faith’s final resting place.

Published by caitiejobug

I’m a SAHM of one, a loving wife, daughter, and sister. Reading and writing are my favorite hobbies, along with watching true crime documentaries.

2 thoughts on “Desperate For Answers: The Murder of Faith Hedgepeth

  1. I’ve never heard of a bottle used as a murder weapon. How did this empty bottle not break? I’m doubtful this was the cause of death. The autopsy drawing doesn’t illustrate why those confusions caused death. No evidence of strangulation? Something is missing.


  2. i’ve followed this case and just want to tell you – what a fantastic overview you’ve written of a VERY unusual murder. i write this the day after a suspect has been arrested based on DNA matching the crime scene. suspect doesn’t have any connection to any of the people in faith’s life. surprising end to this very sad homicide.


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