Local News

Young Homicide Case Turns to the Web

Posted February 7, 2007 7:43 p.m. EST
Updated February 7, 2007 8:34 p.m. EST

— Wake County authorities investigating the beating death of a Wake County mother interviewed a local businessman who wrote on his blog his experience viewing autopsy photos in the case, the blogger says.

The blogger, who identifies himself as "RPD," describes in detail what he saw in each of the 27 photos taken of Michelle Young, 29.

It's been three months since Young's sister found the pregnant mother dead inside her home with her young daughter, unharmed, at her side. Investigators still have not named a suspect in the case.

On the Web, there are thousands of entries and blog posts from people like RPD who are interested in the case. Many bloggers write that they are frustrated that there has been no arrest, despite the fact that investigators have clearly put some focus on the victim's husband, Jason Young.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby says investigators are in no rush to make an arrest but that they are focused on a proper and thorough investigation.

In an era of hour-long television crime dramas, such as CSI, he says, the public needs to understand that it takes more than 44 minutes to solve a case.

"It takes a lot of self-discipline not to just jump at something where there might be probable cause but to get all of the information out and make sure they don't go off half-cocked," Willoughby said.

More and more investigators, in general, are also using the Internet as a tool to help solve cases. Willoughby believes investigators venture into cyberspace, not out of desperation, but because they want to leave no stone unturned.

"I would expect that the investigators look at everything to try to determine what could be a credible lead and follow it," he said.

Although investigators questioned RPD about his blog post, the Wake County Sheriff's Office will not say what role the Internet has played in helping them with the Young case.

As for RPD, sources close to the case say they do not believe he is connected to Young's death. RPD admits that intrigue was his motivation to see the photos, because his neighbor was a friend of Young. He says that despite his screen name, he is not a Raleigh police officer.