North Carolina man apprehended after nine years for beating a student to death, and has been charged with first degree murder.
Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, 19, was found dead in her off-campus residence nearly a decade ago, and her alleged killer has been apprehended.
In 2012, Durham, North Carolina resident Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares, 28, was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of a 19-year-old University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student, during a press conference, Assistant Chief of Police Celisa Lehew, who has overseen the investigation for six years, announced the arrest. Miguel is being held without bond at the Durham County Detention Center.
Miguel who was not viewed as the suspect at the beginning of the investigation, according to the assistant police chief, Lehew stated that:
“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.
“This investigation is not complete. Our work is not done. 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.”
The university student was discovered dead in her off-campus flat on September 7, forcing a police investigation. She was alleged to have suffered significant skull fractures and cuts and bruises, as well as being severely battered on her arms and legs.
A roommate discovered her hours later, “wrapped with a blanket on top of her slightly askew mattress with large amounts of blood.” A note was also discovered on a takeout bag from a fast-food restaurant. “I’m not stupid,” the message said, followed by the words “bitch” and “jealous,” according to officials. DNA was retrieved from sperm collected using a sexual assault kit as well as from other areas of the crime scene.
At the news conference, NC Attorney General Josh Stein claimed the state crime lab matched Salguero-Olivares’ DNA to DNA recovered at the crime site. “The importance of DNA is highlighted in this instance,” Stein added.
Faith’s mother, Connie, stated at the press conference where the arrest was announced:
“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 as well as “everyone who assisted in the investigation of this matter.” According to the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Miguel Salguero-Olivares’ first court appearance is set for September 21 at the Durham County Courthouse.
Hedgepeth was a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full scholarship when she was killed. She aspired to be a pediatrician so she could serve the Haliwa-Saponi people in Warren County.