Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, a university student, was found dead in her off-campus apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on the morning of September 7, sparking a probe by detectives
Nearly a decade after a student was brutally beaten to death her alleged killer has been arrested.
Faith Danielle Hedgepeth was 19 when she died in the savage attack in 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the US.
The university student was found dead in her off-campus apartment on the morning of September 7, sparking a probe by detectives.
She was said to have suffered extensive skull fractures and cuts to her face and head and had been badly beaten on her arms and legs.
A roommate found her hours later “covered by a blanket on top of her slightly askew mattress with large amounts of blood”.
Now, after nine years the Chapel Hill Police Department said they had finally arrested a suspect in the case.
Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares, 28, of Durham, was arrested on Thursday in connection with the woman’s alleged murder.
Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue said in a statement : “Our agency has been committed to bringing justice to Faith and her family since the day of her murder.
“I am proud of all the people, inside our department and in the many partner agencies that assisted us, whose hard work made this result possible.
“While today’s arrest will not bring Faith back, we are not yet done getting answers for Faith’s family.
“Today’s announcement marks the next phase of this investigation and we will, again, commit to preserving the integrity of this case with everything we’ve got.”
Speaking at a news conference where police announced the arrest, Faith’s mum Connie said: “When I got news this morning I didn’t do anything but cry.
“And thank God and praise God because I put it in his hands and it was his timing.
“I don’t know why it took so long but I just know that it was him.”
She went on to thank the police department and “anyone that had a hand in helping to investigate this case”.
She added: “When I cried it was tears of joy. Tears of relief knowing that someone has been arrested in this case.”
Wral reports that the slain woman was last seen alive at about 4am on September 7, 2012, when her roommate left their apartment in Chapel Hill.
Autopsy reports were said to have revealed she was beaten to death and sustained severe head injuries.
Investigators reportedly found a note that they believe was written by the killer that was found on her bed. The note appeared to read “I’m not stupid (expletive) jealous”.
Assistant Chief of Police Celisa Lehew, who has led the investigation for six years, added: “There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t thought about Faith or how to get this case to the conclusion she and her family deserve.
“There are many people within our department and our agency partners who feel the same way.
“While Faith’s family has been waiting for this day for nine years and nine days, I am sure it is going to renew painful emotions. Our thoughts are with all of Faith’s family and friends, and we will continue to support you in this difficult time.”
Officers said the homicide investigation will remain an active and ongoing case until the Durham County District Attorney tries the case in court.