Local News

Authorities: Wake Mother's Slaying Probably Not Random

Posted November 6, 2006

— Wake County authorities said Sunday that the slaying of a young mother pregnant with her second child does not appear to be a random act of violence and are asking for the public's help in solving the case.

Michelle Marie Young, 29, was found dead Friday afternoon inside her home at

5108 Birchleaf Drive

by her sister. Young's 2-year-old daughter was found unharmed at her side.

"It's a tragedy," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Saturday. "I mean, for anybody to leave a child like that in the house -- if they knew it was there -- it's a tragedy. It's a shame."

Harrison described the homicide as very violent, but would not give details about the crime scene. He did say there were no signs of a forced entry.

Young is believed to have had company until about 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, Harrison said.

Investigators think Young's husband, Jason Young, also left town Thursday night for a business trip and was at his parents' home in Brevard when Young's sister found the body Friday afternoon. Young's sister apparently found the body after Jason Young sent her to the house to pick up something for him, Harrison said.

A preliminary autopsy report indicates that Young, who was about 20 weeks pregnant, died from blunt force trauma, but Harrison would not say where she was hit or how many times she was hit. He said he did not immediately know how long she had been dead before her body was found.

Authorities said they have no suspects in the case, but are asking anyone who might have seen suspicious activity or unfamiliar vehicles on Birchleaf Drive from midnight to 6 a.m. Friday to call the sheriff's office at

919-856-6800

.

Yellow crime-scene tape cordoned off the residence Sunday morning as investigators with the Wake County City County Bureau of Identification examined the crime scene. Sheriff's investigators resumed investigation Sunday afternoon and were expected to remain at the scene until at least Monday morning.

"CCBI has got quite a bit of evidence," Harrison said. "We're collecting everything. That was quite a large house, and we want to make sure anything foreign we can identify."

People close to the Youngs who spoke to WRAL on Friday said it had already been a "bizarre" year for the couple. State Highway Patrol records show the two were in an accident in May in Transylvania County, where their car veered off the road into a river.

Investigators said they know about the accident, but would not say whether it is part of their investigation.

Young worked at Progress Energy in the tax department. It is the second high-profile death of a Progress Energy employee in recent months.

In August, investigators say Cynthia Moreland was abducted from a downtown Raleigh parking garage. She worked for Progress Energy for more than 25 years. Her body was later found in Harnett County. Antonio Chance is charged in her death.

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