Local News

Authorities: Youngs in Financial Trouble Before Slaying

Posted January 11, 2007 12:17 p.m. EST
Updated January 11, 2007 9:50 p.m. EST

— Michelle and Jason Young were in financial straits before she was beaten to death two months ago, according to a court document released Thursday.

Michelle Young, 29, was killed in their Wake County home Nov. 3. She was pregnant at the time of her death, and her 2-year-old daughter was found unharmed by her side.

Authorities haven't made an arrest in the case.

Although no suspects have been named, investigators have obtained fingerprint, footprint and DNA samples from Jason Young to compare with evidence found at the crime scene.

The request for such evidence, which was made four days after the slaying but released Thursday, stated that authorities feared any physical injuries Michelle Young's assailant might have suffered would heal quickly and that investigators discovered the Youngs were experiencing financial difficulties.

"The deceased was covered by a substantial life insurance policy with (Jason Young) as the beneficiary," the document said. "The deceased was pregnant and was making plans to cut back on her employment following maternity leave."

Michelle Young was a senior financial consultant in the Tax Department of Progress Energy, where she had been employed for three years. Jason Young, 32, worked for Sentric, a medical equipment wholesaler in Raleigh, before taking another job in medical sales with ChartOne last summer.

The couple purchased a $379,000 home in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision south of Raleigh in May 2005. They also owned a townhouse on Arete Way where they had lived for two years after marrying in 2003.

The court document doesn't disclose how investigators knew of Michelle Young's plans.

Sources close to the investigation said the life insurance policy could pay out between $1 million and $2 million.

It is unclear whether a settlement has been paid on policy, but the insurance company has the right to depose Jason Young before paying out on the policy.

"It sparks an interest in us," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said of the couple's financial situation.

The court document also stated that Jason Young isn't cooperating with investigators. Search warrants returned in the case last month said he was having a relationship with a woman in Florida, a sorority sister of Michelle Young at North Carolina State University, for three months prior to his wife's death.

"If he was cooperative with us and talked to us, it would certainly help us," Harrison said, adding that no one has been ruled out as a suspect in the case.

The Young murder is the cover story on the issue of People magazine that is expected out on newsstands Friday.