Local News

Progress Energy Offers $10K Reward in Michelle Young Case

Posted July 18, 2007

— Progress Energy is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to a conviction in the death of an employee who authorities say was beaten to death in her home last November.

A senior financial specialist in Progress Energy's tax department since 2003, Michelle Young, 29, was found dead facedown in her bedroom on Nov. 3, 2006. She was five months pregnant. Her 2-year-old daughter was found next to her, unharmed.

"While no amount of money can equate a life that was so tragically lost, in Michelle's case, we're doing what we can, hopefully, to be the motivation that someone perhaps needs to come forward and do the right thing," Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes said.

According to an autopsy report, Young was beaten numerous times and suffered a fractured skull. Several of her teeth were knocked out, and her jaw was broken. She also had bruises on both hands and a cut on her left thumb, the report said.

Wake County sheriff's investigators spent at least two weeks at Young's home collecting evidence and examining the crime scene, have conducted more than 100 interviews and have followed up on leads in at least three states.

Authorities have not named any suspects in the case, but have said they do not think the homicide was a random act.

"There may be somebody that's a little reluctant of telling us something," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Wednesday about Progress Energy's reward. "Maybe this money will inspire them to do so. I think it's a good idea."

Young was last seen alive the night before her death when she had apparently been visiting with friends until about 10:30 p.m.

Her husband, Jason Young, was out of town on business when his wife's body was found, authorities said.

Investigators have been tightlipped about the case, but search warrants released in early December offer some information. They show that authorities seized evidence from the Young residence belonging to Jason Young and that Jason Young had been uncooperative with law-enforcement authorities.

Jason 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 refused to speak with investigators.

Progress Energy said it will post a flier advertising the reward and phone numbers in various locations around Raleigh.

Anyone with information about the case should contact the Wake County Sheriff’s Office at 919-856-6800.

Last year, Progress Energy also offered a reward when another of its employees was killed.

Cynthia Moreland, 48, was abducted from a parking garage beneath the company's headquarters on the morning of Aug. 22.

Her body was found behind an abandoned Harnett County barn on Sept. 1. A week later, police charged Antonio Chance, 29, with kidnapping and murder. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty.


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  • dontpullmyleg Jul 19, 2007


    The overkill is the reason why Wake Cty Sheriff's office called this non-random. As in "we know who did this." According the the profiles that law enforcement officials use to winnow down a suspect list, overkill is near the top of the list of reasons to suspect an intimate--and it don't get any more intimate than a spouse now does it?

  • dontpullmyleg Jul 19, 2007

    Why has the other Raleigh newspaper taken Jason Young out of the reward poster photograph?

  • SpunkyGrits The One and Only Jul 19, 2007

    If he is only in another county, then another article that I read in this case was inaccurate. It stated that he had moved to Arizona. I apologize if this was not the case.

    I think that, more likely, if he wanted her dead, he would have had someone use a gun, make it quick, and not in front of the kid. I just don't see the reason for the unnecessary violence in the method of the killing.

    Not trying to be funny here, but you don't have to see the reason for the unnecessary violence in the method of killing. It is what the killer saw that matters. As to the murder being in front of the kid, she is young enough to probably forget anything that she saw. What more convincing way to get away with murder than to have someone else kill your wife, and then call an innocent person to go check on something for you so the child will be safe? Also, he has had great people like Scott Peterson to watch and learn from.

    Just basing this on facts, not LifeTime.

  • ok4now Jul 19, 2007

    If anyone has information, search your heart, come forward and help solve this awfulness.

  • TruthBKnown Jul 19, 2007

    And to the one that said you would be surprised at how accurate instincts can be, you're right. And my gut instinct tells me he is innocent (see my two previous posts for my reasoning...)

  • TruthBKnown Jul 19, 2007

    I think a lot of the women on this page have been watching too many crime dramas and Lifetime network. Look at all the gang activity lately, drive-by shootings, kidnappings in broad daylight, etc. I just think it much more likely to be something like that than the husband. I'm going to have to see more evidence before I would convict him in the court of public opinion than just him being out of town, being uncooperative with the police, and yes, him having an affair.

  • TruthBKnown Jul 19, 2007

    I actually think it is more likely that he DIDN'T do it (or have someone else do it). Here's why: He would have to be one of the biggest psychopaths in the country to have her killed in such a brutal way, and right in front of the kid. I think that, more likely, if he wanted her dead, he would have had someone use a gun, make it quick, and not in front of the kid. I just don't see the reason for the unnecessary violence in the method of the killing.

    Also, I know if I were in his shoes and I really was completely innocent, I would have an attorney just because the husband is almost always the initial suspect. Especially if I didn't have a really good alibi, just the knowledge that I was innocent, I would say as little as possible for fear that I may give the appearance of guilt. My point is that him not being very cooperative with the police is not automatic evidence that he is guilty. He knows he is about to be put through the legal wringer, and why possibly help convict himself?

  • angora Jul 18, 2007

    "He has sold everything and moved to another state."

    Hasn't moved to another state. Just another town within NC.

  • resjudicata Jul 18, 2007

    what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Dont forget people were angry b/c the general public was upset b/c so many proclaimed their guilt before they went to trial.

    Sigh - such hyprocrisy!!!

  • Sick of Thugs 5 Jul 18, 2007

    You would be surprised at how accurate instincts can be.