A 28-year-old man was arrested Thursday for the murder of University of North Carolina student Faith Hedgepeth, who was beaten to death in an off-campus apartment in 2012.
Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares was slapped with a first-degree murder charge after his DNA was matched to the crime scene, authorities said at a news conference.
But there were few details given about the accused or if he had known Hedgepeth, who was 19 when she was killed.
“Nine years and nine days ago tragedy strike this community, our community,” Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue told reporters.
“We asked you to trust us,” he went on. “We promised you that we would one day make an arrest. Today we can report that we’re making good on that promise.”
Hedgepeth’s tearful parents offered their thanks to police and God over the arrest.
“When I got the news this morning I didn’t do anything but cry and thank God and praise God,” an emotional Connie Hedgepeth said at the news conference. “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.”
Dad Roland Hedgepeth said he was thankful to God for allowing him “to stay alive and to see this day.”
“It was an honor to be Faith’s dad,” he said in a heartbreaking statement.
Faith was a sophomore when her roommate came home to find a her dead in a bloody scene on Sept. 7, 2012, WTVD reported. Faith had been out a local club with the roommate but came back to the apartment the night prior and went to sleep, according to The Herald Sun.
A handwritten note scrawled on a fast food bag, believed to be penned by the murderer was found near Faith’s body, reports said.
Four years after the murder, police released the content of the note, which reportedly appeared to say “I’M NOT STUPID (expletive) JEALOUS,” WRAL-TV reported.
An autopsy later concluded the student had been raped, WTVD reported. Investigators didn’t say if Salguero-Olivares will be charged with sex crimes.