Local News

Wake County Woman's Death Ruled Homicide

Posted November 4, 2006
Updated December 27, 2006

— Wake County authorities are now investigating the death of a young Wake County mother as a homicide.

Wake County deputies were called to a home in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision in south Raleigh around 1:30 p.m. Friday after 29-year-old Michelle Young's sister found her body. Young's 2 ½-year-old daughter was found unharmed at her side and is now staying with relatives. Young's husband Jason was out of town, according to investigators.

"It's a tragedy for somebody to leave a child in the house like that if (the alleged perpetrator) knew it was there," said Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

Young was an employee of Progress Energy and worked as an accountant in their tax department. She was also pregnant with her second child at the time of death.

Investigators said there were no signs of forced entry. The home remained on lockdown Saturday as authorities continued to search for clues.

Harrison told WRAL late Saturday that investigators are awaiting a preliminary report from the state medical examiner before speculating on a possible cause of death.

Neighbors of Young's Birchleaf Drive home said Friday that crime scene tape and investigators weren't something they are used to seeing on their quiet street.

"It's a safe neighborhood," said Fran Acquaviva, a neighbor who lives around the corner from the crime scene. "It's a terrible thing that happened."

Neighbors to whom WRAL spoke didn't know the family, but said that people keep to themselves in the neighborhood. Police went door-to-door passing out business cards, looking for leads.

Jim Tate lives across the street and said he saw no indication of anything amiss.

"I basically told (the officer) that I came home last night, drove out this morning, and didn't notice anything remarkable," Tate said.

Progress Energy released a statement late Saturday, saying that employees of the company are saddened by Young's death and their thoughts and prayers are with her family.

This is the second alleged homicide of a Progress Energy employee in recent months. In August, investigators said Cynthia Moreland was abducted from a downtown Raleigh Parking garage. She worked for Progress Energy for more than 25 years.

Moreland's body was later found in Harnett County. The suspect in her death, Antonio Chance, faces a possible death penalty sentence if convicted.
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