Suspect arrested 9 years after college student Faith Hedgepeth’s murder

Crime

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – An arrest has been made in the 9-year-old investigation into the murder of UNC-CH student Faith Hedgepeth, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue announced Thursday.

A 28-year-old Durham man was arrested Thursday morning without incident by agents with the SBI.

Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, Assistant Police Chief Celisa Lehew said.

He is being held at the Durham County Detention Center without bond.

Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares from an Aug. 16, 2021 arrest in Raleigh for driving while impaired. (Raleigh/Wake CCBI)

“This investigation is not complete. Our work is not done,” Lehew said.

The assistant police chief said Olivares was not a suspect at the beginning of the investigation.

On Sept. 7, 2012, the 19-year-old’s body was found in her Chapel Hill apartment bedroom. An autopsy revealed she died from a severe beating to her head.

Connie Hedgepeth, Faith’s mother, spoke Thursday following the announcement of the suspect’s arrest.

“When I got the news this morning, I didn’t do anything but cry and thank God and praise God,” Connie Hedgepeth said.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said police detectives and SBI agents conducted thousands of interviews as part of the investigation.

She thanked the Chapel Hill Police Department and SBI for their work on the case.

“When I cried, it was tears of joy, tears of relief that someone had been arrested,” Connie Hedgepeth said.

Stein said 13 analysts at the State Crime Lab worked on the case, who worked through 53 submissions of evidence from the case and analyzed 229 different samples to rule out suspects.

Law enforcement provided a sample on Wednesday to the State Crime Lab which was able to create a DNA profile derived from the original crime scene, Stein said.

Hedgepeth’s body was found sitting upright in a pool of blood against a bed with her shirt pulled up in an off-campus apartment, according to authorities.

Composite by Parabon NanoLabs

Police also found a note written on a fast-food takeout bag. It read “I’m not stupid” followed by the words “bitch” and “jealous,” officials said.

Investigators recovered DNA from semen collected through a sexual assault kit and from elsewhere at the crime scene, police said.

In 2016, Parabon NanoLabs created a composite sketch of a suspect based solely on DNA and not eyewitnesses.

The man is described on the sheet as having olive skin, brown or hazel eyes, black hair and few or no freckles, according to the sheet.

On Thursday, Lehew said the composite created by Parabon matches the suspect arrested in the case.

Hedgepeth was a sophomore on scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she was killed.

She wanted to become a pediatrician and help her Haliwa-Saponi community in Warren County.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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