Published: March 19, 2013 Updated 7 hours ago
From staff reports
CHAPEL HILL — An annual powwow on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus Saturday will honor Faith Hedgepeth, the 19-year-old student whose slaying in September remains a mystery.
Close to 1,800 people are expected at the 26th annual Carolina Indian Circle Powwow. The free public celebration, “Keeping The Faith, Through Honoring Our Traditions,” will be hosted by the Carolina Indian Circle to which Hedgepeth belonged.
Hedgepeth’s body was found by her roommate Sept. 7 in their apartment at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road, in the Hawthorne at the View apartment complex.
In January, Chapel Hill police announced they had a man’s DNA evidence from the scene. It was the first information police had released since initially saying they did not think the killing was random.
Police have not said how Hedgepeth died or released any other information, saying it might keep them from identifying suspects with information only investigators know.
A judge has resealed search warrants for the same reason. Last Wednesday, Durham County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson resealed warrants for 60 more days, Assistant District Attorney Charlene Coggins-Franks said Tuesday.
Hedgepeth, of Warrenton, was a member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe, the third-largest Native American tribe in the state, after the Cherokee and Lumbee. Members live on mostly rural land along the Halifax County/Warren County line.
Saturday’s powwow will open at 11 a.m. at Hooker Fields on South Road. Free parking will be available in the Cobb deck off Manning Drive.
“The Carolina Indian Circle Powwow is one of the hallmark events for our campus every year,” Amy Locklear Hertel, director of the UNC American Indian Center, said in a release.
“It is a time to celebrate native culture, connect with one another, and bring awareness of native communities to campus,” she said. “Most importantly, it is entirely student run, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Native students at Carolina.”
Food, craft and jewelry vendors will be on hand. Dancers in traditional regalia will compete for cash prizes in categories such as fancy dance, traditional dance, grass dance and women’s jingle dancing.