After 9 Years, Chapel Hill Police Announce Arrest Of Durham Suspect In Murder Of UNC Student Faith Hedgepeth
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.
Thanks to the NC State Bureau of Investigation, the State Crime Lab, Chapel Hill Police and other law enforcement who worked relentlessly and have never given up on solving the murder of UNC student Faith Hedgepeth more than 9 years ago. Arrest made this morning. - RC— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) September 16, 2021
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."