UNC student's death treated as a homicide

Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, 19, was found by friends in her apartment on Old Chapel Hill Road at 11 a.m., according to Chapel Hill police

jsmialek@newsobserver.comSeptember 7, 2012 

Faith Danielle Hedgepeth

— A UNC-Chapel Hill student was discovered dead in her apartment Friday morning, and police are treating her death as a homicide.

Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, 19, was found by friends in her apartment at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road at 11 a.m., according to the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Hedgepeth was a biology major from Warrenton, according to UNC-CH’s directory.

Police were still investigating late Friday but said they do not think her death was a random act. Police said they had not determined how she died.

Hedgepeth lived at Hawthorne on the View apartments, formerly called Willow Brook apartments, a complex about four miles from the campus. Police were still at the apartment Friday evening, restricting access to the building in the rear of the complex.

Chancellor Holden Thorp released a statement to students, faculty and staff Friday evening alerting them to Hedgepeth’s death.

“In this time of grief, our thoughts are with Faith’s family and all the people whose lives she touched here on campus,” Thorp wrote.

Hedgepeth came to UNC-CH as a Gates Millennium scholar after graduating from Warren County High School in 2010, according to the high school’s website. The Gates Millennium Foundation awards 1,000 scholars each year with full scholarships to four-year colleges or universities. The program focuses on minority students with high academic and leadership promise, according to the program’s website.

Hedgepeth was a member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe of Hollister and at the time of her high school graduation planned to one day go to medical school and study to be a physician, according to an “Indian Time” newsletter published by the state Commission of Indian Affairs.

Staff and students plan to gather from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the American Indian Center in UNC-CH’s Abernethy Hall to talk about Hedgepeth and her impact on campus, according to Leslie Locklear, a friend and fellow UNC-CH student. Locklear also created a Facebook group that plans a candlelight vigil in honor of Hedgepeth for 9 p.m. Monday in the school common area known as the Pit.

Correspondent Tammy Grubb contributed to this report

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