A point of contention in the 2012 murder of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student Faith Hedgepeth is the voicemail she left via pocket-dial on her friend Euna Chavis’ cellphone. The voicemail is a major plot point in the Investigation Discovery special on Hedgepeth called Who Killed the Co-Ed? An ID Murder Mystery. Here’s what you need to know about the voicemail, why police have discounted that it happened during Hedgepeth’s murder, and why a forensic audio expert believes it did, in fact, happen during the murder.
The Voicemail Timestamp Is From the Nightclub
The timestamp on the voicemail is from 1:23 a.m. the day Hedgepeth was murdered, which is when she and her roommate, Karena Rosario, were at a Chapel Hill nightclub called The Thrill. The voicemail was on Euna Chavis’ phone — and she initially deleted it because she thought it was an accidental pocket-dial.
“I realized I had this voicemail from her in the middle of the night, but it sounded like music playing in the background and staticky fabric rubbing up against the phone, like a pocket-dial. She was known to be a pocket-dialer, so I deleted the voicemail,” said Chavis in the ID special.
But when she heard that Hedgepeth had been murdered, she called her cellphone service provider and they were able to help her retrieve the voicemail. But because of the timestamp and the garbled audio, police discounted the voicemail as having any bearing on the case.
A 2016 Analysis of the Voicemail Revealed Some Shocking Audio
In 2016, Arlo West, a forensic audio expert, analyzed the voicemail and what he found led him to believe they “had some evidence here that would help solve this case.”
“The voicemail was really distorted, very staticky. It’s just harsh, hard to hear. But after I enhanced the audio, a picture was being painted in front of my eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” said West, adding, “The first thing I noticed is there were four voices here — two male voices and two females.”
Female 1: “Ow, my head. … Ow! Help me! Get off me!”
Female 2: “Do it.”
Male 1: “I think she’s dying … Do it anyhow.”
He also said female No. 2 could be heard threatening female No. 1, saying, “F*ck you, I’m pissed. I’m gonna kick your face, b*tch. I figured out that bullsh*t. You liar. You intentionally lied. Don’t be a p*ssy, put up a fight.”
Finally, one of the males could be heard saying, “I can’t believe that you really did it, Rosie,” and female No. 2 said, “go help Eric.”
West said, “I did wonder if Rosie might be a nickname for Karena Rosario, and this name Eric could be from her boyfriend, Eric Takoy Jones.”
Hedgepeth’s family members say they are certain they can hear Hedgepeth screaming for help and that the other female is Rosario, who was sometimes called “Rosie.”
But Police Are Standing By the Timestamp
Despite what the enhanced audio revealed, police are convinced the 1:23 a.m. timestamp indicates the voicemail was sent while the girls were at the nightclub.
But West told ID, “I found with the particular brand of phones Faith and Euna had, both had issues with timestamping and voicemails being sent incorrectly, at different times. The towers transmitting the cell phone signals were glitchy at best. I believe to a high degree of forensic audio certainty that that timestamp is incorrect.”
Who Killed the Co-Ed? An ID Murder Mystery airs Thursday, May 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and is being rebroadcast Friday, May 29 at midnight ET/PT on Investigation Discovery.