Local News

Progress Energy Offers $10K Reward in Michelle Young Case

Posted July 18, 2007 11:06 a.m. EDT
Updated July 18, 2007 6:35 p.m. EDT

— Progress Energy is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to a conviction in the death of an employee who authorities say was beaten to death in her home last November.

A senior financial specialist in Progress Energy's tax department since 2003, Michelle Young, 29, was found dead facedown in her bedroom on Nov. 3, 2006. She was five months pregnant. Her 2-year-old daughter was found next to her, unharmed.

"While no amount of money can equate a life that was so tragically lost, in Michelle's case, we're doing what we can, hopefully, to be the motivation that someone perhaps needs to come forward and do the right thing," Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes said.

According to an autopsy report, Young was beaten numerous times and suffered a fractured skull. Several of her teeth were knocked out, and her jaw was broken. She also had bruises on both hands and a cut on her left thumb, the report said.

Wake County sheriff's investigators spent at least two weeks at Young's home collecting evidence and examining the crime scene, have conducted more than 100 interviews and have followed up on leads in at least three states.

Authorities have not named any suspects in the case, but have said they do not think the homicide was a random act.

"There may be somebody that's a little reluctant of telling us something," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Wednesday about Progress Energy's reward. "Maybe this money will inspire them to do so. I think it's a good idea."

Young was last seen alive the night before her death when she had apparently been visiting with friends until about 10:30 p.m.

Her husband, Jason Young, was out of town on business when his wife's body was found, authorities said.

Investigators have been tightlipped about the case, but search warrants released in early December offer some information. They show that authorities seized evidence from the Young residence belonging to Jason Young and that Jason Young had been uncooperative with law-enforcement authorities.

Jason Young talked with investigators the day his wife's body was found and later gave fingerprints under a court order, but Harrison said he has refused to speak with investigators.

Progress Energy said it will post a advertising the reward and phone numbers in various locations around Raleigh.

Anyone with information about the case should contact the Wake County Sheriff’s Office at 919-856-6800.

Last year, Progress Energy also offered a reward when another of its employees was killed.

Cynthia Moreland, 48, was abducted from a parking garage beneath the company's headquarters on the morning of Aug. 22.

Her body was found behind an abandoned Harnett County barn on Sept. 1. A week later, police charged Antonio Chance, 29, with kidnapping and murder. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty.