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A Year Later, Michelle Young's Grieving Mom Speaks

Posted November 1, 2007
Updated November 2, 2007

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— A year ago, Linda Fisher lost her daughter and best friend, Michelle Young.

"She and I had this wonderful mother-daughter relationship. We talked every day," Fisher said Thursday, two days before the anniversary of her daughter's death. "And still, until this day, I want to pick up the phone and call her. And I know I can't do that."

On Nov. 3, 2006, Young, 29 – and pregnant with her second child – was found dead inside her Wake County home. Her 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was at her side, unharmed.

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

"Parents should never lose their children, especially in such a tragic way," Fisher said. "It's a loss I don't want anybody else to ever feel."

Fisher lives in New York but is visiting North Carolina to honor her daughter's memory this weekend. When her friends and family asked her how she wanted to spend Nov. 3, all she wanted to do was be with her daughter.

"So, the only way I can do it is to come here (to North Carolina) and to sit by her grave and talk about all the wonderful things about Michelle that I remember," she said.

Cassidy, now 3½ years old, is living with her father, Jason Young, in western North Carolina. The two moved to be closer to his family shortly after his wife's death.

"It makes me very sad to know that Cassidy is going to grow up without her mother, her wonderful mother, who adored her," Fisher said.

"The way she mothered Cassidy was a beautiful thing," she added, recalling how her daughter would sing to the little girl songs, such as "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

Fisher says she hopes to one day be a part of her granddaughter's life again. But for now – this weekend – her focus is on her daughter.

"I think there's going to be moments when we're smiling and talking about happy times about Michelle," she said. "And there's going to be very sad times when we'll cry. That's what I think, but you never know."

Authorities have made no arrests and named no suspects, but they continue to say they are making progress in the case.

Until now, Fisher has remained relatively quiet about her daughter's death and has not spoken publicly, partly because she was concerned what impact, if any, it could have on the investigation.

But she says waiting for a resolution in the case has been tough for her and her family.

"We're having a hard time. There are good days and bad days. We all miss Michelle so very much," Fisher said. "This is the most horrible tragedy, and it's going to change our lives – has changed our lives and will change our lives forever."

Wake County sheriff's investigators do not think the crime was random. Michelle Young was last seen alive at 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 2. Her husband was out of town on business when his wife's body was found.

In search warrants related to the case, he has appeared to be a focus of the investigation. In part, the documents say Jason Young had been having a relationship with a Florida woman and that he had refused to talk with investigators. Authorities, however, have not named him as a suspect.

Fisher says she is ready for a break in the case.

"I would like the case to be solved," Fisher said. "I would like the case to be solved."