Durham DA’s Office won’t seek death penalty for Faith Hedgepeth’s accused killer

Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares was arrested Sept. 16 and charged with first-degree murder in...
Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares was arrested Sept. 16 and charged with first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Faith Hedgepeth.(WNCN)
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 1:56 PM EDT
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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Faith Hedgepeth’s accused killer will not be eligible for the death penalty, the Durham County District Attorney’s Office confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the district attorney’s office, the case against Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares, 28, of Durham, is a “noncapital” case and District Attorney Satana Deberry will not seek the death penalty.

Salguero-Olivares was arrested on Sept. 16 and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth.

Police said Olivares was not a suspect at the beginning of the investigation.

On Sept. 7, 2012, the 19-year-old’s body was found in her Chapel Hill apartment bedroom. An autopsy revealed she died from a severe beating to her head.

RELATED: Man charged in 2012 murder of UNC student Faith Hedgepeth.

Hedgepeth’s body was found sitting upright in a pool of blood against a bed with her shirt pulled up in an off-campus apartment, according to authorities.

Police also found a note written on a fast-food takeout bag. It read “I’m not stupid” followed by the words “bitch” and “jealous,” officials said.

On the day the arrest was announced, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said police detectives and SBI agents conducted thousands of interviews as part of the investigation.

Stein said 13 analysts at the State Crime Lab worked on the case, who worked through 53 submissions of evidence from the case and analyzed 229 different samples to rule out suspects.

Law enforcement provided a sample on Sept. 15 to the State Crime Lab which was able to create a DNA profile derived from the original crime scene, Stein said.

Investigators recovered DNA from semen collected through a sexual assault kit and from elsewhere at the crime scene, police said.

In 2016, Parabon NanoLabs created a composite sketch of a suspect based solely on DNA and not eyewitnesses.

The man was described on the sheet as having olive skin, brown or hazel eyes, black hair and few or no freckles, according to the sheet.

Police said the composite created by Parabon matched Salguero-Oliveras.

Hedgepeth was a sophomore on scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she was killed.

She wanted to become a pediatrician and help her Haliwa-Saponi community in Warren County.

Salguero-Oliveras is being held in the Durham County Detention Center without bond.

Police have not said how the suspect and Hedgepeth were connected.

No trial date for Salguero-Oliveras has been set at this time.

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