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Investigators Covering All Possible Angles in Probe of Young Homicide

Posted November 15, 2006
Updated May 22, 2011

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— From a car accident in the mountains to forensic evidence found in the home, Wake County investigators are covering all possible angles in their effort to find out who killed a young, pregnant mother nearly two weeks ago.

Michelle Young, 29, was found dead in her home in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision of southern Wake County with her unharmed 2-year-old daughter at her side on Nov. 3, according to investigators. She was four months pregnant.

Twelve days after the discovery, the house at 5108 Birchleaf Drive is still an active crime scene. Investigators say they are preserving the scene in case they need to gather more evidence.

Over the course of the investigation, they have taken fingerprints from any person who had access to the house, including Young's husband, Jason Young, who gave his fingerprints under a court order.

"Just because someone is being fingerprinted does not mean they're a suspect.," said Sam Pennica, director for the City County Bureau of Identification, which is analyzing physical evidence in the case. "They must identify every single fingerprint found in the home."

Wake County authorities said Jason Young was in Brevard in the western part of the state when his wife's body was found. Authorities have not interviewed him and are not calling him a suspect in the case.

Still, they are examining every aspect of the couple's life together, including a May 29, 2005, Transylvania County car accident in which Jason Young drove off a road and down a 100-foot embankment into the French Broad River. Neither he nor Michelle Young were seriously injured.

"They just wanted to know the circumstances and if I saw anything unusual with the wreck, which I did not," said state Highway Patrol Trooper David Hicks, who investigated the crash.

Investigators have also interviewed and collected fingerprint evidence from other people, although they have declined to say how many or whom.

Authorities said Young had company at her home until about 10:30 p.m. the night before her death. They want the public's assistance in solving the case and ask anyone who might have seen suspicious vehicles or activity in the area from midnight to 6 a.m. that Friday to call the sheriff's office at 919-856-6800.

Family and friends of Young remembered her as a devoted mother and loving wife. A consultant in the tax department at Progress Energy, coworkers said Wednesday in a statement that she had a promising future:

We want to echo the positive sentiments shared by her family and friends. Michelle always had a ready smile and a great sense of humor. She shared and laughed with everyone. Her sense of humor extended to her work. No matter how difficult a task, she would gladly accept the challenge and smile—and maybe make a humorous comment. She was a talented communicator and leader who was able to bring diverse groups together to find and solve complex issues. Michelle’s kindness, positive attitude and her willingness always to help and listen made her a friend and confidante to so many people. In addition, Michelle made work fun by always taking the initiative to organize social events and to recognize her co-workers' personal and professional achievements. Michelle was an outstanding professional who had a very promising future. She inspired all of us in so many ways, and her presence was a true blessing.
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