Friend of Murdered UNC Student Describes Moment She Found Her Body
"There was just blood everywhere," Faith Hedgepeth's friend Marisol Rangel said.
— -- Marisol Rangel says she’s lived in fear since the day she discovered the body of her murdered friend Faith Hedgepeth.
“It's just been really hard, just missing her and everything and just trying to get answers and why,” Rangel told ABC News’ “20/20.”
Hedgepeth, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was found bludgeoned to death in her apartment on Sept. 7, 2012. Rangel and Hedgepeth’s roommate Karena Rosario were the first to discover her body.
No one has ever been charged for Hedgepeth’s murder, and the Chapel Hill Police Department says it is still investigating who killed her and why.
“It's just really nerve-wracking just because it's -- like, no one knows or anything, or whoever does doesn't say anything. And it's just scary because you just don't know,” Rangel said. “It could be someone you know. It could be someone random.”
“You don't know. You don't know who you can trust. You don't know who you can talk to,” Rangel added.
On the night she was killed, Hedgepeth went to a club with Rosario at around 12:40 a.m., according to police. They returned to their apartment complex, at the time named Hawthorne at the View, by 3 a.m.
Then, police say, at 4:25 a.m., Rosario left the apartment, got into former UNC soccer player Jordan McCrary’s car and went to his apartment. Rosario told police that Hedgepeth was in bed at the time.
Later that morning, Rangel said Rosario called her to ask for a ride because she couldn’t reach Hedgepeth on the phone. Rangel said she too was unable to reach Hedgepeth.
Rangel said she thought Hedgepeth may have overslept, so she said she offered to drive Hedgepeth and Rosario to campus for their classes that day.
After she picked up Rosario, they went back to the apartment and saw Hedgepeth’s car still there.
“That's when we went upstairs. And all I remember is just calling her name just 'cause we knew she was there,” Rangel recalled. “That's when we went to the room. And we found her … There was just blood everywhere.”
Rangel and Rosario told police they found Hedgepeth dead in the bedroom. Hedgepeth was partially nude and had suffered what appeared to be severe head trauma, police later said.
“After that, we went and started calling 911,” Rangel said. “I was in the room, and -- but Karena kept walking out and in of the room. But I was just telling her to tell them to hurry up.”
On the phone with 911, Rosario told police she found things in the apartment that were not there before, including an empty bottle of rum covered in blood, which police later identified as the murder weapon.
“I was just in shock, and just so sad, and just wanted someone to come. I just felt like it was taking so long for them to get there,” Rangel said. “They were telling us to put her on her back, but we couldn’t.”
Police eventually arrived to the scene which was covered in blood.
“Faith was wrapped, partially, in a comforter that had been located on the bed. There was some blood splatter throughout the bedroom as well as where the pillow might be,” Chapel Hill Police Lt. Celisa Lehew told ABC News’ “20/20.” “There was no sign of forced entry.”
A DNA profile was generated from semen collected at the scene, and investigators believe that DNA belongs to Hedgepeth’s killer.
Four years later, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue remains confident that they will find who killed Hedgepeth.
But until Hedgepeth’s killer is caught, Rangel said she remains fearful.
“I know that police officers probably have a lot of different cases, but it's like, when it's someone that close, it's like you want an answer,” Rangel said. “I don't like being alone in a house just 'cause I just get really scared.”
Rangel said she thinks about Hedgepeth often.
“I think about her. And it hurts, because I miss her,” Rangel said.
Watch the full story on ABC News' "20/20" on Friday, Sept 23 at 10 p.m. ET.