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6 Months Later, Young Murder Case Still Unsolved

Posted May 2, 2007
Updated May 3, 2007

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— Michelle Young was devoted to her family and supportive of her friends and coworkers, and in the busyness of life, she would make a conscious choice to make time for those who needed her.

But her first love was being a mom, Young's own mother recalled.

"Michelle loved spending time with (her daughter) Cassidy and lit up just talking about her," Linda Fisher said.

Six months ago, Young, a senior financial consultant for Progress Energy, was found dead inside her south Raleigh home. Five-months pregnant, the 29-year-old was laying facedown on her stomach in her bedroom. Her 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was unharmed at her side.

The case remains unsolved as investigators pore over evidence and continue to interview witnesses. People close to the case don't want any piece of evidence overlooked, but they also want an arrest.

"Bring someone else in. Bring in the FBI. I don't know. It's just taking too long," said Marie Stranad, who lived near Young in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision. "That woman went through a horrible, horrible ordeal."

According to an autopsy report, Young died from blunt force trauma to the head after being hit at least 10 times. Several of her teeth were knocked out, her jaw was broken, and she had bruises on both hands. She also had injuries to her neck that showed her killer also tried to strangle her.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison has said the case is complex and that investigators don't want to rush to judgment. He has said, however, that progress is being made.

"It's a case that we're just taking our time (with) and making sure," he said.

Authorities have said they do not believe Young's slaying was a random act, but they have not said whether they have suspects in the case.

Young was last seen alive at about 10:30 p.m. the night before her body was found. Authorities said she had been entertaining some friends at her home.

Her husband, Jason Young, who was out of town at the time, has appeared to be a focus of the case, but Wake County sheriff's investigators have not called him a suspect.

"The sheriff's department has been very careful, as I understand it, in keeping an open mind and not narrowing it and coming up with one suspect," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt told WRAL in her first interview about the case.

Young talked with investigators the day his wife's body was found and later gave fingerprints under a court order, but Harrison said he has generally been uncooperative with law-enforcement authorities.

"Why hasn't he talked to us? I can't give you that answer, because he won't talk to us," Harrison said. "If he talked to us, would it help this case? Absolutely."

Authorities have said very little publicly about the case, but search warrants show that there might have been problems in the Youngs' marriage and that Jason Young might have been having a relationship with a Florida woman prior to his wife's death.

Investigators seized computer disks, photographs, cellular phones, computers, financial records, insurance papers and Jason Young's Ford Explorer, among other items.

But a piece of evidence that was missed were tests to determine whether Young was sexually assaulted.

According to the autopsy report, the North Carolina medical examiner never performed any, which means investigators cannot rule out sexual assault as a motive for the crime.

North Carolina medical examiner John Butts said such tests are only performed when there is obvious evidence at the scene or on the victim's body of sexual assault or when law enforcement officers request it.

"Collection of such (rape) kits is not routine for female homicide victims, unless they fall into these categories," Butts said.

Investigators would not comment on how, if at all, that could affect the case.

Friends and family, meanwhile, continue to hold out for resolution and for their loved one's killer to be brought to justice.

"We hope that if anybody knows anything, however small, they will come forward with information," said Jennifer Powers, a longtime friend of Michelle's who spoke to her two days before her death.

"We had so much fun growing up together, and I was really looking forward to growing old together," she said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Mother-of-2 May 5, 2007

    This sounds too much like the Lacy Peterson case with the exception that he is showing no greivance in his wife's murder...Sounds like to me he is guilty as sin...but who am I to judge...just look at the facts...no tears at her funeral..no show at her memorial in honor of her...he left with her daughter...Further more...this is what is labeled as a "crime of passion" in my terms...there are so many facts that lead right back to him...He is un-cooperative in helping in his wife he supposedly made vows in front of God and that he loved ...me....I would be right there with the cops helping in any way I could...you could not keep me away had it been my spouse...I mean come on...He calls his sister-in-law to go over there...How conveint...can you say "aliebi" ... I mean come on look at all the red flags...Has he no compassion for what his wife has gone through let alone the un born little boy that was their child?...Has he no heart?..I feel for him when his judgement day comes...Whether it

  • BIG YAWN May 3, 2007

    Even if his silence can't be used against him, I won't be able to serve on the jury if he's charged. I believe he's already guilty. If it were my wife I would be turning over every rock looking for the slug that did this. I'm sure that's the same reaction from anyone who loves their spouse more than life itself.

  • packandcanesfan May 3, 2007

    If my husband was brutally murdered and the police had no suspect, I would be at the police station daily and offering any help I could give them...including going door to door in my neighborhood to find help.

  • Michael Kenyon May 3, 2007

    Since all the fun stuff has been taken away by wral, I'll summarize.

    1. LEOs & DAs must present a case that convinces a jury beyond a "reasonable doubt" that the accused did what he/she is accused of.

    2. Defense Attys present a case that, if they can't prove the person didn't do it, tries to cast a "more-than-reasonable doubt" that it was somebody else who did it.

    3. If a rape test wasn't done, then the defense attys can claim that she was attacked by some third party rapist, and the DA can't positively dispute it. Will that be enough to get him off? Probably not, if there is sufficient evidence that he did do it.

    4. If the test had been done, the DA could point to the test (assuming the result was negative) and disprove that theory.

    5. If they bring him to trial and he is found "not guilty" due to lack of sufficient evidence, or due to the def. atty casting more-than-reasonable doubt, the is off the hook, legally, forever.

    6. Often in cases like this, they don't bri

  • Arkansas Razorback May 3, 2007

    Michelle's husband being uncooperative and not talking to the police is unacceptable. I wonder why he even has the choice of talking or not. What could be his reason for not wanting to help the police find his wife's killer?

  • MISS OH BABY May 3, 2007

    ummm what do door to door selling have to do with the topic of her murder?

  • Teddy May 3, 2007

    Why are all you people so concerned about the nasty things Byrdman says. IGNORE THE MAN! Lets keep our eye on the ball shall we? A young woman has been brutally murdered. My prayers go out to all who loved her and I pray the sick individual that did this will be caught.

  • Michael Kenyon May 3, 2007

    "So, if I kill my husband, I don't have to talk to the police?"

    You don't EVER have to talk to the police. Remember, "you have the right to remain silent." In this case though, it's pretty incriminating that he won't talk with them, but even that can't be used against him in court.

  • Juliett May 3, 2007

    This has probably been addressed in earliers posts, but I don't understand this: "Why hasn't he talked to us? I can't give you that answer, because he won't talk to us," Harrison said. "If he talked to us, would it help this case? Absolutely."

    So, if I kill my husband, I don't have to talk to the police? I would think if he is innocent, he would want to help all he could to find his wifes killer.

  • gi jane May 3, 2007

    "the North Carolina medical examiner never performed any, which means investigators cannot rule out sexual assault as a motive for the crime"

    How many five month pregnant women are the targets for a rape crime? But I dont know the stats on rape either and I cant speak for most men but it just seems weird to think that she was killed to cover up a rape. The way she was killed seems personal. Like whomever did it had a grudge or at least history with her.