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Warrant: Michelle Young's daughter might have been drugged

Posted December 5, 2008

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— Under suspicion that Michelle Young’s killer tried to drug her daughter to keep her from interfering with her mother's slaying, investigators asked the court to obtain a sample of the child's DNA, according to a search warrant unsealed Friday.

In an affidavit for the July 25, 2007, warrant, detectives said they had found a bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol/Adult Rapid Blast Liquid and a medicine dropper that contained liquid residue on Cassidy Young’s dresser.

They believed it was used to medicate the child with the belief that it would have made her drowsy.

"Once the child was asleep, the perpetrator would have been able to commit or continue their attack without worrying about interference from the child," the affidavit said.

Michelle Young was found beaten to death on the floor inside her bedroom on Nov. 3, 2006. The 29-year-old was five months' pregnant with her second child.

Although authorities have not called her husband, Jason Young, a suspect, multiple search warrants returned in the case indicate he is a focus of their investigation.

In the warrant made public Friday, investigators said Michelle Young's sister found Cassidy under the sheets on her mother's bed.

Her feet were clean, and there were no obvious signs of blood on the bedside, despite small bloody footprints found on the floor in the child's bathroom.

In an affidavit for a second warrant released Friday, investigators said they found a small trace of what appeared to be blood on the hallway carpet between Michelle Young's bedroom and the bathroom.

"This would lead to a logical conclusion that the child had been carried from one room to the other in lieu of the amount of blood left on the bathroom floor," the affidavit states. "In order to maintain the clean condition that the child was discovered, removal from the scene would have been the simplest action."

That and a pair of keys found on the kitchen counter also prompted authorities to ask to search Michelle Young's SUV, which they believe could have been used to carry Cassidy from the residence.

Three other search warrants were also unsealed Friday – one for Jason Young's Verizon cell phone text messages and two others for his Yahoo! e-mail account.

Detectives said their investigation led them to believe he had been engaging in detailed e-mail conversations with witnesses and that because he was “an avid cell phone text message sender and receiver,” he might have also been communicating with witnesses that way.

The Yahoo! e-mail account was also the subject of a search warrant issued Tuesday and carried out.

In supporting their request for the most recent warrant, detectives said they had found a number of Internet searches for terms such as "head trauma knockout" and "anatomy of a knockout" on another computer that belonged to Jason Young.

Investigators also described e-mail exchanges Jason Young had with his sister about the case, as well as with a Florida woman with whom investigators say he was having an extramarital relationship.

Jason Young told investigators he was out of town on business when his wife was killed, but he has generally been uncooperative with investigators. He spoke to them once and, under a court order, gave DNA samples.

He has since moved to Western North Carolina, where his family lives.

Earlier this week, he failed to meet a deadline to contest claims in a lawsuit by Michelle Young’s mother, Linda Fisher, that he was responsible for his wife’s death.

Her attorneys have said that by not responding, he is essentially admitting to the allegations. They will ask a Wake County District Court judge in the coming weeks to declare him his wife's slayer, they said.

His attorney, Roger Smith Jr., has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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