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After 9 Years, Chapel Hill Police Announce Arrest Of Durham Suspect In Murder Of UNC Student Faith Hedgepeth

Faith Hedgepeth's mother Connie Hedgepeth
Faith Hedgepeth's mother Connie Hedgepeth speaks to media in Chapel Hill on Thursday, Sept. 16. Her daughter, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill and a member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribal community, was murdered in 2012.

On Thursday afternoon, officials from the Chapel Hill Police Department announced the arrest of a 28-year-old Durham male suspect in the 2012 murder of UNC-Chapel Hill student Faith Hedgepeth.

Hedgepeth, who grew up in Hollister, N.C. and was a member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribal community, was found murdered in her apartment on September 7, 2012.

"Due to the hard work of our team and our many remarkable partners, we stand here today to announce that we have a subject in custody for the murder of Faith Hedgepeth," said Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue.

Chapel Hill Assistant Police Chief Celisa Lehew said suspect Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares of Durham was arrested Thursday morning without incident. He has been charged with first-degree murder and is currently in the Durham County Jail under no bond, said Lehew.

Hedgepeth's mother, Connie Hedgepeth, said she cried "tears of joy" and "tears of relief" when she received the call this morning that a suspect had been arrested.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said the arrest was made after a DNA sample provided by law enforcement matched DNA collected at the crime scene in 2012.

"Today's important announcement proves the power of partnership, persistence, and the potency of DNA," said Stein.

Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry highlighted the problem of violence against Indigenous women in the country.

"In some communities, [Indigenous women] face murder rates ten times higher than the national average. Too often, these cases do not get the attention they deserve," she said.

Lehew said the search for more information into the murder of Hedgepeth will continue.

"This investigation is not complete. Our work is not done. We will continue to work this case until every lead has been extinguished and any parties that have a role in or knowledge of this tragedy are brought to justice."

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Natalie Dudas-Thomas serves as WUNC’s Social Media Producer. Combining her background in journalism and digital marketing, Natalie previously worked at WGBH Boston and served as Social Media Producer for PRI’s The World. Most recently, Natalie managed her own business consulting with dozens of nonprofits and women-owned businesses to help increase their web presence. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and she's presented at SXSW discussing how the use of GIFs can help advance journalism.
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