One of the most puzzling — and most brutal — unsolved murders in the Triangle is getting attention from an Investigation Discovery (ID) true crime TV show this weekend.
Faith Hedgepeth, an almost 20-year-old UNC college student and a member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe from Hollister, was found bludgeoned to death in the apartment she shared with her roommate, Karena Rosario, on the morning of Sept. 7, 2012. Rosario and friend Marisol Rangel discovered the body.
The Chapel Hill Police Department has investigated the murder but has never made an arrest.
For the new ID series “Breaking Homicide,” former Rhode Island police Sgt. Derrick Levasseur (you may also recognize him as the 2014 winner of "Big Brother") and forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie investigate cold cases with the purpose of advancing stalled investigations.
A two-hour episode airing at 10 p.m. Sunday on ID has Levasseur and Mohandie in Chapel Hill talking to police (they didn’t get much there); Hedgepeth's parents; Rangel; Faith’s former boyfriend, Michael Ty McNeil; and others close to the case. The duo also consults with specialists, including analysts who evaluate the handwriting on the note left at the scene and the 911 call placed by Rosario.
By the end of the show, Levasseur and Mohandie have narrowed in on the individual they think most likely holds the answers to the case.
“We believe that Karena Rosario is a strong person of interest, based on her behavior, based on the facts and circumstances, based on the text messages,” Levasseur said in a phone interview this week. "And that’s where we believe the focus should be for the Chapel Hill Police Department.”
From the standpoint of a outsider, at least, there are definitely a few intriguing new clues introduced by the show. Their conversation with McNeil was curious, for example, and they got interesting info from the former roommate of the man Rosario spent time with on the morning of the murder.
In the end, Levasseur, who along with Mohandie tackled the Michelle Norris murder in Rhode Island for the first episode of "Breaking Homicide," thinks the Hedgepeth murder can be solved.
"I think this case is very, very solvable and would be surprised if it’s not solved," he said. “But it’s going to take a different angle. It’s going to take a different person or it’s going to take the suspect — and I believe there may only be one person who was in that apartment — slipping up because of the pressure put on them by this show, or them seeing how it’s affected the people around them and finally coming forward."
Anyone with information on Hedgepeth should contact Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515 or at crimestoppers-chcunc.org. Callers can remain anonymous.
Watch 'Breaking Homicide'
"Breaking Homicide" airs at 10 p.m. Sundays on Investigation Discovery (ID). The Faith Hedgepeth episode is available to watch now on the network's IDGO app or on InvestigationDiscovery.com. Following Sunday's episode, a digital companion to the show, "Breaking Homicide: Final Theory," will stream on IDGO and on InvestigationDiscovery.com.
Locally, you'll find ID on channels 76 and 138 on Time Warner Cable/Spectrum; channel 260 on AT&T UVerse; channel 339 on Google Fiber; channel 192 on Dish; and channel 285 on DirecTV.