Local News

Michelle Young murder probe focused on husband

Posted August 18, 2008

— The husband of a pregnant woman who was found beaten to death in her Raleigh home nearly two years ago refused to help investigators or talk with detectives until he had retained a lawyer, according to newly disclosed search warrants.

The warrants, unsealed Monday, also show police found DNA evidence belonging to Jason Young in blood spatter at the crime scene and bloody shoe prints on a pillow there inside the couple's home at 5108 Birchleaf Drive.

Michelle Young, 29, was found dead in the bedroom of the house Nov. 3, 2006. Her daughter, Cassidy, then 2, was by her mother's side and was unhurt. Investigators have said do not think the crime was random.

Michelle Young was last seen alive at 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 2. Jason Young was out of town on business when his wife's body was found, authorities said.

In affidavits submitted to the court Feb. 13 in support of search warrants for the homes of Jason Young's mother in Brevard and sister in Etowah, detectives said they had tried enlisting his assistance in the early stages of the investigation, but that he refused.

"Due to Jason Young's lack of cooperation, it became necessary for investigators to confirm his whereabouts during the evening of Nov. 2, 2006, and the early morning hours of Nov. 3, 2006," authorities wrote in the affidavit.

Hotel surveillance video

Wake County sheriff's investigators seized computer records and video from 14 surveillance cameras from the Hillsville Hampton Inn in Virginia – more than 170 miles from Raleigh – where Jason Young claimed to be at the time of his wife's death.

The affidavits stated that video shows Jason Young in the lobby of the hotel between 10:49 p.m. and 10:51 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2006, wearing a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt with buttons at the neck. He is visible again on video recorded at 11:59 p.m. wearing a dark, long-sleeved shirt with a light-colored horizontal stripe.

Shortly after his second appearance, he is shown headed toward a side exit where hotel employees discovered a rock had been placed in the door jam to keep the door from closing and automatically locking, investigators said.

"It also made it unnecessary for anyone to use their keycard when re-entering through this door. This is important because the keycard system records when a keycard is used. It also records to whom the keycard has been assigned."

Jason Young's key card was used on one occasion, approximately six minutes after he checked into the hotel, according to the affidavits.

On the day of Michelle Young's death, Jason Young went to his mother's house in Brevard. His mother, Pat Young, and stepfather, Gerald McIntyre, told investigators that Jason did not remove any luggage from his SUV while at their house and did not wash, change or throw away any clothing.

After learning of Michelle Young's death, he headed back to Raleigh with his parents, sister and brother-in-law, the warrant states. Upon his arrival at the home of his sister-in-law, uniformed deputies searched his car and seized the contents. According to the warrant, the dark shirt seen in hotel video was not recovered.

Shoe prints and DNA evidence

Investigators also identified two footprints on a pillow at the crime scene – one made by a Franklin athletic shoe and another made by a Hush Puppies brand shoe. They followed up with a DSW Shoe Warehouse store after a purchase card for that store was found in the Young residence.

Similar impressions of shoe prints were found on some stained decking boards during a search of the home more than a year later, investigators said.

Records show that Jason Young purchased four pairs of shoes on July 4, 2005, including Hush Puppies with the same sole style as that found at the crime scene. The warrants, however, did not indicate whether police found the Hush Puppies.

Investigators also found DNA on a closet near where Michelle Young's body was discovered, and it that matched Jason Young's. A partial DNA sample found on a jewelry box was a partial match that could not exclude Jason Young.

Cash among missing items

Investigators said that during a May 3, 2007, interview with Jason Young's mother, Pat Young identified several items missing from the crime scene, including a white and yellow gold bracelet, an egg-shaped sterling silver tooth box, a man's platinum wedding ring, a pair of diamond earrings and a pearl necklace.

Approximately $500 in cash was also missing, and, according to the affidavits, investigators were looking for cash gas receipts.

"If Jason Young returned to his residence on the night of Nov. 2, 2006, and/or the morning of Nov. 3, 2006, he would have needed to purchase additional fuel for his car. In order to avoid making a recorded bank and/or credit card transaction, a cash purchase would have been necessary," they wrote.

Still no suspects

Although the three search warrants focus on Jason Young, he has not been named a suspect in his wife's slaying.

Sheriff Donnie Harrison declined to comment on the case Monday, but he said in a Feb. 18 interview that detectives were following up on everything they could.

"It just takes time," Harrison said. "There's so much involved in this case – so many things involved in this case – that we just want to take our time, and this is just a part of it."

Jason Young and his daughter moved to the western part of the state and are now living at this mother's home.

The house on Birchleaf Drive was put on the market last July and was recently sold.

Jason Young's attorney could not be reached for comment Monday.

112 Comments

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  • Timbo Aug 19, 2008

    "Have you heard of double jeopardy. A person cannot be tried for the same crime twice."

    That used to be the case. Just ask anyone who's been tried for "Violation of Civil Rights" by the feds. The cops that were acquitted by a jury of assaulting Rodney King were then retried by the feds. Happens all the time.

    But I agree with you, I'd rather the cops take their time and do it right than rush it.

  • superman Aug 19, 2008

    Have you heard of double jeopardy. A person cannot be tried for the same crime twice. It is better to get as much as you can as evidence etc before you charge the person so you can be pretty sure of a conviction. If he is found innocent and they find additional evidence later-- he cannot be retried for the same crime.

  • pebbles262004 Aug 19, 2008

    Just wondering , If they have this on him,why can't they charge him .

  • granny2shoes Aug 19, 2008

    dear itls - if you don't cooperate with law enforcement, that shows you have something to hide - duh-------- that little jerk will get his --- give um enough rope, they'll hang themselves.

  • superman Aug 19, 2008

    Is he working? I cant believe any company would want him on their payroll. As for talking to the police-- if he is innocent he has nothing to hide. He knows that the spouse is always looked at very carefully by the police-- so I would be talking and co-operating to clear my name in the case so they would be looking for the real killer. Looks real bad-- his wife killed and he has a girlfriend.

  • Space Mountain Aug 19, 2008

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

  • tarheelblue919 Aug 19, 2008

    i think if it had been a stranger who hurt michelle the little girl would have been upset and crying. i think that he killed her, its to much against him. ofcourse he is innocent until proven guilty, but he fought this way to hard. guilty dog always barks right? he fought to hard, and he moved away! if it were me, i would move because of the memories but stay in the area and do everything i could to help find out who killed my childs mother, my wife....hes got something to do with it...

  • byrdman319 Aug 19, 2008

    Well, I have been banned from this site several times for bashing North Carolina law enforcement, but finally I will say "Good Job" Yes, it has taken over 2 years for this to happen, but good police work..........finally. Now the only problem, is Jason still even in the states? He has had plenty of time to get out of the country, hopefully justice will be served.

  • anastasia Aug 19, 2008

    anastasia, defense attorneys would argue that his DNA is expected to be there since it is his house and that the blood came second. Sad, but true.
    chatamite

    Of course his DNA is in his house, but it can be ascertained as to whether the DNA was there before the blood, or it came at the same time as her blood was spattered around the room. The way I read the warrant, his DNA was found mingled with her blood. Very different from common DNA found in a home. I'm curious to know if it's been determined as to what form of DNA of Jasons was found? Blood, body fluid, etc.?

  • april65 Aug 19, 2008

    I too wonder if this case is also connected to the Jenna Nielson case. It happened a few months later. Maybe Jason thought she could identify him or something.

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