Posts Tagged ‘Eve Carson’

Police Continue to Seek Help in UNC Student, Faith Hedgepeth’s Death…

March 11, 2013 Comments off


Faith Hedgepeth was a biology major at the University of North Carolina who was found dead in an apparent homicide on Sept. 7, 2012.

Chapel Hill police continue to investigate the death of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, a 19-year-old UNC student whose body was found in her apartment in early September.

Early in the investigation, and without releasing details about the cause of Hedgepeth’s death, police indicated they believed her death was not the result of a random act of violence.

Hundreds of students gathered on Sept. 10 in the Pit to mourn. Hedgepeth, who grew up in Halifax County, had long been active in the American Indian community.

Over the following weeks, little new information emerged. In early January, police shared additional information.

A statement issued by the Chapel Hill Police Department said the investigation had found that Hedgepeth and her roommate had been at a local nightclub, The Thrill, in the early hours of Sept. 7. They also said that Hedgepeth was last known to be alive at about 3 a.m. at the apartment she shared with her roommate and that DNA evidence collected at the apartment was left by a male suspect.

Investigators have consulted other agencies, including the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, leading them to believe that:

  • The homicide suspect was familiar with the victim and may have lived near the victim in the past.
  • The suspect was unaccounted for during the early hours of Sept. 7, 2012.
  • The suspect may have made comments regarding the victim to close associates in the past.
  • There may have been some change in the suspect’s behavior after the murder (to include an unusual interest in the case) or a change in his performance at work or school.

A reward of up to $39,000, including $25,000 pledged by the Board of Trustees, has been offered for information leading to an arrest. The police department has appealed to anyone with information about the death to call the police department’s tip line at (919) 614-6363 or the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.

Hedgepeth was part of the Haliwa-Saponi American Indian Tribe in Warren County. At Carolina, she was involved with Unheard Voices, an a cappella group; Carolina Indian Circle; and Alpha Pi Omega sorority.

She received a Gates Millennium Scholarship and an Alston-Pleasants Scholarship to attend UNC.

Via CBS News Crimesider

Take care and STAY SAFE!


UNC Chapel Hill, NC on HIGH ALERT! A murder and a sexual assault of two students within a week…

September 16, 2012 Comments off

UNC students are on alert, about an attack on a female student.

Chapel Hill Police say they’re looking for a suspect described as “a college-aged white male.”

The police say they got the report Saturday afternoon, and the victim says she was sexually assaulted in the early morning, off, but near the school grounds.

All the students we talked to had already gotten the message about the possible threat.

Nisha Walton read the warning to us, off her cell phone. She and other U.N.C. students got the warning from the school’s “Alert Carolina” about the sexual assault of a female student.

Walton said, “Most of the alerts that I have gotten have been concerning sexual assault on females. I wouldn’t say it’s something that’s common on campus, it’s usually off campus.”

Police say this most recent one also happened off campus, at a nearby home.

On Sunday, Chapel Hill Police patrolled the downtown area close to the school.

Students say they’ve learned it’s best to travel together to stay safe. Walton said, “I usually do group activities on campus, and not go somewhere when it’s like late at night or early in the morning, cause there was an incident when a girl was running and some guy tried to attack her.”

Male students say they’re worried too. Student Reddy says he also got the email saying a woman had been sexually assaulted.

Reddy said, “I am concerned, yeah campus safety is a problem, but I think the campus does have a lot of safety measures in place. And I think they do a good job for the most part. But incidents like these are problematic.”

The students praise the school for keeping them in the loop, even in cases where crime happens off- campus.

Shelby Rawlins, a UNC student , said, “I definitely think that they have to do, they have to be extra cautious. So I think that’s why they put out the email, but I definitely feel, like I feel safe enough.”

We’ve asked Chapel Hill Police for a copy of the incident report, and will release more information as we get it. Police ask people who know anything about the alleged crime to call Crimestoppers at (919) 942-7515.

Meanwhile, UNC is asking its students to keep watching the “Alert Carolina” website for updates. That website is

UNC-Chapel Hill sent out the alert Saturday warning of a sexual assault reported near campus.

The alert said Chapel Hill police were investigating a report from a female student that she’d been assaulted in a residence near campus in the early morning hours Saturday.

The suspect was described only as a college age white male.

Chapel Hill police Sunday declined to provide any more details.

The campus alert said UNC police were asking anyone with information to call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC CrimeStoppers at (919) 942-7515. Information can also be submitted online at

Via NBC17

A week ago, UNC lost a fellow student, Faith Danielle Hedgepath:

Chapel Hill Police are investigating the death of a UNC student identified as Faith Danielle Hedgepeth, and at this time they are treating the incident as a homicide.

“Police received a call after the victim was discovered in her residence at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road, which is the Hawthorne on the Hill apartment complex. Friends contacted police after they located the deceased around 11 a.m,” said Lieutenant Kevin Gunter. “At this point police do not believe this was a random act.”

Hedgepeth was a biology major from Warrenton, N.C, and a waitress at the Red Robin in Durham. She died just three weeks away from her 20th birthday.

WCHL’s Ran Northam was on the scene Friday afternoon and spoke to residents of the Hawthorne on the View Apartments. UNC staff member Dustin Bray returned home from work to find his apartment building inaccessible.

“I just got home and I guess there’s something going on here. I can’t get into my apartment right now,” said Bray.

Bray lives in the 1500 building where the incident took place.

He says he didn’t know anyone in the building but is concerned for his safety and if it is a murder, he says he will leave.

“I don’t know if I can do that or not, but I will break my lease if there’s something like that happening here. I’m moving out. I’m not going to deal with that. It’s right next to my apartment. I will leave.”

Christine Shia resides in the 1400 building which is directly across from where the incident occurred. She says she didn’t know the residents of the unit police were investigating but she says maintenance workers were there working on the unit recently.

Shia says she often saw people out and about, but didn’t know anyone by name.

“Everybody is pretty quiet over there- definitely students,” said Shia.

The apartment complex had not released any information to residents as of 4:45 p.m. Friday.

9/13/12 Update:

Faith’s homicide records have been sealed.

Chapel Hill police have ruled out a self-inflicted or accidental death in the case of UNC student Faith Danielle Hedgepeth — though they have yet to release new details about the homicide investigation.

On Monday, a Durham County Superior Courtjudge sealed several documents pertaining to the case at the request of Chapel Hill police.

Sgt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the judge sealed multiple search warrants and the 911 call alerting police that Hedgepeth’s body had been found.

As of Tuesday, an autopsy had not been completed. But Mecimore said the preliminary autopsy results — which would likely determine a cause of death in the case — are not public under state law.

Mecimore said police requested the documents be sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation.

“There are a lot of details that only someone involved would know, outside of our investigators,” he said.

“It’s useful in interviewing folks to not have the general public know those details,” he said. “It could compromise our investigation.”

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, said sealing several entire documents — especially 911 calls — is unusual in most cases.  “The law recognizes in very narrow circumstances that it’s OK to seal records,” LoMonte said. “That doesn’t justify a blanket sealing.”

Chapel Hill police have said they don’t believe the slaying was random or that the community faces a threat.

But as of Tuesday night, no arrests or suspects had been announced in the case. A cause of death also has not been released.

Chapel Hill police set up a tip line for people to provide information related to Hedgepeth’s death, and Mecimore said they are investigating leads .

LoMonte said police often benefit from releasing information about investigations.

“When you have an unsolved murder, there’s definitely a duty for either the police to either warn people or reassure people,” LoMonte said.

“You don’t want people to dangle in uncertainty.”

Raleigh attorney Hugh Stevens, of the firm Stevens Martin Vaughn and Tadych, which has represented The Daily Tar Heel in court, said sealing documents in cases like these is not unusual.

“We’ve seen it with some regularity in high profile homicide cases,” Stevens said.

“Generally speaking, the justification is that releasing information impedes investigation into finding the perpetrator.”

Chapel Hill police and Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall also had several documents — including search warrants and an autopsy report — sealed after the murder of Student Body President Eve Carson in 2008.

“Sometimes it’s very much justified depending on the facts, but you don’t know the facts because it’s sealed,” Stevens said.

Via Daily Tarheel

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Prevention, Awareness & Education with Anny and Jake Jacoby on PIDD BlogTalkRadio, Sunday, May 30th at 9:30EST

May 29, 2010 Comments off

Prevention, Awareness & Education with Anny and Jake Jacoby on PIDD BlogTalkRadio, Sunday, May 30th at 9:30EST

Dating violence is rampant and “It’s Time To Wake Up and Smell the Coffee” for parents, educators and females of all ages and our communities.  Get your heads out of the sand and stop thinking, “it won’t happen to me”, “my daughter is bright/smart-no one would ever harm her”. The reality is…..anyone can be a victim and the sooner that everyone realizes this and starts to take pro-active measures and step up to educate and train our females in all respects the sooner we can make a solid attempt to stop abuse.  Education that she will have the rest of her life, SHE IS WORTHY AND DESERVES IT.  You (parents and girls) will have to take the first step to personal safety.

The abuse that transpires is not the victim’s fault. Who is to blame is the abuser, the system, parents, our communities, our education departments (middle schools/high schools/colleges).  Yes, I’ve said it and there’s no sugar coating.  We as a society have so much at our fingertips to at least attempt to cut abuse off at the chase that is not taken advantage of.  Ask yourself, why is that?

Too many women are dying at the hands of their abusers or assailants; TIME’S UP……….the cycle of violence must be stopped. A female can be educated to heighten her awareness whereas all of her senses come to full alert. What is the difference between an healthy and unhealthy relationship.  Males must be educated as well by men who take a stance in the arena of Men Against Violence.

Join us as we chat with Joanna and her listeners about personal safety for females on Sunday, May 30th, 9:30pmEST. We’ll discuss our workshops, what personal safety entails and much more.

Jake will share with us his perspective from an instructor and male advocate point of view about violence against females.

We will take a look back over the last month to discuss abuse and assaults on females (Yeardley Love, Eve Carson, and the Angels of Husson University).

The number to call into the show with questions or comments is :


Please join us live in the chat room or email questions or comments to


Sunday, May 30, 2010; 9:30EST

Eve Carson Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty, Dodges Federal Death Penalty…

May 25, 2010 Comments off

Eve Carson Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty, Dodges Federal Death Penalty…

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — One of two men charged in the slaying of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder, avoiding a possible death sentence for his role in the March 2008 crime.

Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour sentenced Demario James Atwater to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Last month, Atwater also avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to five federal charges in the case, including carjacking resulting in death and kidnapping, in exchange for a life sentence without parole.

Under the agreement with the state, Atwater will serve his sentence in federal custody.

“Mr. Atwater, what you have admitted to doing was senseless, as it’s been said by two attorneys before me,” Baddour said. “It was wrong. It can have no place in our free society.”

Atwater also pleaded guilty to robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a felon. Charges of felonious larceny, possession of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of stolen goods were dismissed.

Baddour sentenced Atwater to 275 to 349 months on the remaining charges, to be served concurrently with the life sentence.

Carson’s mother, father and brother, from Athens, Ga., were present for the hearing and offered a statement, read by Raleigh attorney Wade Smith.

“We won’t be talking to the court about how our lives are diminished without Eve. The effects of her death are both obvious and personal. We choose not to confront Demario Atwater. The selfishness of taking another’s life is incomprehensible, and this coward is unaddressable,” Smith read.

The family continued, saying the life sentence “is consistent with the wishes of our family and honors Eve’s love of life and all people.”

A representative for UNC-Chapel Hill said the university would not comment on Atwater’s plea.

“There’s been so much made that Eve was the president of the student body at UNC, and that was a great accomplishment, and she had done many great things,” Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said. “But I think she was – she was a sister, she was a daughter – and to me, that’s probably more important than anything.”

“I just hope, by what we’re doing today, we can help the family. We can give them some sense of closure as it relates to this defendant,” he continued. “I wish we could do more. We can’t.”

Atwater had nothing to say, but his attorney, Jonathan Broun, extended sympathy to the Carson family.

“We knew that allowing a sentence that, while harsh and severe as it should be, will allow him to live. We know they are doing that, not as a favor to Mr. Atwater, but because of the love that they feel for Eve Carson, and we appreciate it.”

New details revealed

Police found Carson’s body in the early morning of March 5, 2008, in a neighborhood several blocks from the UNC campus while responding to reports of gunshots.

An autopsy found she was shot four times with a 25-caliber handgun and once – the fifth and fatal shot – with a sawed-off Harrington & Richardson 12-gauge shotgun.

“She had placed her (right) hand up to shield her head, whenever the shotgun was fired,” Woodall said, outlining the facts of the case. “The medical examiner believed that she would have survived for some period of time, as to the gunshot wounds from the 25-caliber handgun.”

Atwater and his alleged accomplice, Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., went to Carson’s home, abducted her and took her in her blue Toyota Highlander to withdraw $1,400 from ATM machines before killing her, Woodall said.

“All the other evidence tends to support that Eve Carson was – they confronted and took her from her home – if not actually inside her home, just outside her home,” Woodall said.

Atwater later admitted to his girlfriend at the time, Shanita Love, what had happened, and he told about a dozen other people parts of what happened that night, Woodall said.

The crime was random, Atwater admitted, and he and Lovette, who is still awaiting trial, had been in Chapel Hill looking for people to rob.

What investigators were never able to determine was where Atwater and his alleged accomplice kidnapped Carson. There were a couple of different stories, he told, about how she was abducted, Woodall said.

“He told (Love) that they had gone into a sorority house through an open door and got Ms. Carson,” he said.

“There was never any evidence discovered, other than this statement, that anyone went into the house,” Woodall continued.

Other evidence also put Atwater and Lovette in Chapel Hill and near Carson’s home that morning.

Around 3:30 a.m., Woodall said, a woman reported seeing “two suspicious black males” in the area of Rosemary Street near the house where Carson lived on Friendly Lane.

Video footage showed the men, identified as Atwater and Lovette, walking and, a few minutes later, driving by in Carson’s SUV.

Lovette also used a cell phone that could be traced to Franklin Street, about a mile from Carson’s home, at 3:02 a.m., Woodall said.

After Atwater’s arrest, police also found Carson’s iPod in his truck and shotgun shells consistent with the murder weapon in his home.

DNA evidence in Carson’s SUV also linked Atwater to the crime, Woodall said.

“That is some of the evidence in this case,” he said. “This is a case where there is literally a mountain of evidence, and it seems clear that the defendant was the one who fired the shotgun on this occasion.”

Respectfully submitted via

In Loving Memory of Ira Yarmolenko…

May 5, 2010 3 comments

Today, May 5, 2010 marks the second anniversary of Ira’s passing.  Ira was taken from her family, friends and community at the hands of her assailant(s); her victimization was totally random.  Today…I, along with many others dedicate today to Ira Yarmolenko.

Ira graduated from Chapel Hill High School in 2006 and began studying at UNC-Charlotte. There, she was a member of the Russian Club and a photographer and occasional writer for the student newspaper.  Ira was was born in Ukraine but grew up in Chapel Hill, a 2006 graduate of  Chapel Hill High School and a sophomore at UNC-Charlotte at the time of her untimely death.   Everything that Ira ever did was to help people.  Ira had planned to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill to major in public health after finishing the semester at Charlotte.

We celebrate Ira’s life with fond, loving memories and forever hold her in our hearts.  Wherever you may be please light a candle at 1:00pm in Ira’s memory.  Please keep all victims that we have lost as well as their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,

I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

Friends Remembering Ira:

sacrificialPoets — July 31, 2008 — Jake Jacoby performing his dedication piece for Ira at the open mic at Brave New Voices 2008 in D.C.

Words of Ira’s friends missing her greatly:

  • Local poet C.J. Suitt, the director of the youth poetry slam team Sacrificial Poets. In slams, the “sacrificial poet” goes first. He or she warms up the crowd without competing for the night’s prize.For the Sacrificial Poets group, the name also refers to   Ira Yarmolenko, whom C.J. Suitt got to know on a trip to New York City for the Brave New Voices performance poetry competition. He was a freshman at Pembroke; she was a senior at Chapel Hill High.  “She had a real appreciation for family and where she came from,” Suitt says. “She would write these poems about being in her grandmother’s kitchen. You could just see the images.”  Later when Yarmolenko enrolled at UNC Charlotte, they would call each other three times a week and challenge one another to write a poem off a word or phrase: “coffee,” beautiful” or “fly-smothered trash.”  One day in May 2008 just before the lunch rush, Suitt’s supervisor at the Rizzo Center, where Yarmolenko had also worked, told him she was dead.  Two years later, Suitt talks about his friend’s “passing away.”  The phrase seems forced, naive even. But Suitt says calling Yarmolenko’s death a murder would dishonor her memory.  “All the time that I knew her I never knew her not to be happy and smiling,” he says.  “A lot of times people need someone to point a finger at – ‘That’s the bad guy,’ ” he continues. “I think removing that allows me to focus on the positives and what I can do to keep the positive going.  “Can I provide poetry to some kid who otherwise might become a murderer? I think it can be that powerful. I think it can be that powerful because without poetry I don’t know where I’d be. And I think what it’s done for me it can do for other kids as well.”  Ira had left a voicemail just a few days before to finalize details for that summer’s Brave New Voices trip to Washington, D.C. Suitt hadn’t had a chance to call her back.  “I just listened to the message over and over,” he says. “She just sounded really happy.”
  • I missed her smiled and tell me have a good day. She always smile at me every time I went to Jackson’s Java. She was a good caring and hard working person. She is such a beautiful young lady. She is incredible human being and we’ll never forget her.I met Ira after hitching around AK for a while and she help me land a job at the village in Denali. Everyone at the lodge loved her, and with good reason. From what I knew of her, she was an amazing person. She was one of the few that showed this lonely hitch hiker friendship, and it means a great deal to me. To Ira’s friends and family, I am deeply sorry for your loss. The world seems a larger and less friendly place without Ira in it. She was such an inspiration, always smiling and always having a kind word to say to everyone… Ira, you are loved and missed. I don’t know how horrible the last hours of your life were, but I know that you’re at peace now, and wouldn’t want all of us to be so sad…. so I’ll try to smile like you, and I hope that we meet again someday, somewhere.


Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there,  I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there,  I did not die!

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there,  I do not sleep.

I am the song that will never end.
I am the love of family and friend.
I am the child who has come to rest
In the arms of the Father
who knows him best.

When you see the sunset fair,
I am the scented evening air.
I am the joy of a task well done.
I am the glow of the setting sun.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there, I do not sleep.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there, I did not die!

~Author Unknown~