Local News

Warrant gives new look into Michelle Young murder probe

Posted November 6, 2008 5:00 p.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2008 9:11 a.m. EST

— Wake County authorities found a number of Internet searches, including "head trauma knockout" and "anatomy of a knockout," were made on one of Jason Young's computers prior to the beating death of his wife, Michelle Young, more than two years ago.

The information comes from affidavits that investigators gave a Superior Court judge to back up a request for a new search warrant for the computer that Novo Nordisk had assigned to Jason Young. The executed warrant was returned Thursday after investigators got the computer from the Williams Mullen law firm on behalf of the company.

They show that investigators were focusing on the slain mother-to-be's husband, his phone records, e-mails, conversations and actions before and after his wife was killed.

Michelle Young, 29, was five months' pregnant with her second child when her sister found her lying face down in her bedroom on Nov. 3, 2006. Her then-2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, was unharmed in the same room.

Among other searches that investigators told the judge they had found earlier on a computer of Jason Young's were real estate and owner-listing information for the couple's home at the time, 5108 Birchleaf Drive; "ischemia" (a decrease in the blood supply caused by constriction or obstruction to blood vessels); "divorce" and "right posterior parietal occipital region" (back of the head).

Crime-scene search

The warrant's supporting paperwork reveals that a search of the residence conducted by the City-County Bureau of Identification showed a pillow, located in Michelle Young’s bedroom, carried two footwear impressions in what appeared to be blood.

Further analysis of the footprints showed the number “10” in the shoe’s imprint. The FBI footwear database matched the shoe impression to two Hush Puppies brand shoes that had been discontinued, the warrant stated.

A DSW Shoe Warehouse card was found during the crime-scene search of the Young’s residence. Authorities contacted the DSW store in Cary to locate shoe purchases made by Jason and Michelle Young. It was determined that a pair of Hush Puppies Orbital plain-toe, slip on, men’s casual leather shoes, size 12, were purchased along with three other pairs of shoes on July 4, 2005, according to affidavits investigators supplied in requesting the warrant.

Hush Puppies officials told investigators the Hush Puppies Orbital model had the same outsole design as both the discontinued brands. The shoe had also been discontinued.

A search of the crime scene also found bottles of Tylenol Extra Strength adult cold medicine and Pancof-PD, a drug used to treat cough and nasal congestion associated with upper respiratory tract infections and allergies, in daughter Cassidy’s bedroom, according to the affidavits. Pancof-PD has sleep-inducing side effects.

The medications were located on shelves with children’s vitamins and medications. The safety of the Pancof-PD’s components – chlorpheniramine, dihydrocodeine and phenylephrine – for children younger than 2 has not been established, according to the Web site Drugs.com.

Cassidy Young’s medical records, obtained through a May 29, 2008, court order, showed no mention, prescription or reference to Pancof-PD, investigators said. The records did contain notes of children’s medications, ibuprofen, Tylenol and rash creams, the affidavits continued.

Investigators found Jason Young was a pharmaceutical sales representative for Pan American Laboratories, now known as Pamlab, from March 2002 until January 2005. According to the warrant, company representatives told investigators Jason Young was trained about and represented Pancof-PD.

Phone records and e-mails

Investigators also recovered a number of e-mail exchanges between Jason Young and Michelle Money, a Florida woman with whom they say he was having an extramarital relationship.

Phone records from a month prior to Michelle Young's death also indicate approximately 980 phone calls and text messages between him and Money.

There were approximately 207 cell phone contacts between the two over the next two years and at least one face-to-face meeting, the search warrant says.

Further phone calls from Oct. 4, 2006, to Nov. 3, 2006, also are of interest to investigators, the warrant says, including 28 calls to his mother, Pat Young, on the day Michelle Young was found and four calls from her mother, Linda Fisher, on the same day.

Investigators say that calls from Fisher would have been unusual and that Jason Young's "failure to return those calls needs to be placed in context."

"A call from Linda Fisher would be unusual … Jason Young has a pregnant wife at home, and he has called her twice without reaching her (at work)," the warrant says.

He made one phone call prior to arriving at his mother's house on Nov. 3, and that was to Money, the warrant continues.

E-mail conversations between Jason Young and his sister about his wife's death are also mentioned in the warrant.

"I hired a good attorney … and I haven't been arrested even though it's been obvious that the focus has been on me," he writes.

Marital problems

In addition to Jason Young’s relationship with Money, investigators interviewed two of his former co-workers who claimed he was “very flirtatious” and did not appear to be happily married.

The first co-worker interviewed said Jason Young told her, “I’m not getting sex” and “She (Michelle) bribes me for sex,” according to the warrant.

The second co-worker was trained at Sentric Medical by Jason Young. She said he spoke inappropriately with her about sex and said he was sexually frustrated with his wife.

In e-mails, Jason Young also was found to have denied or hidden his marital status. In May 18, 2006, an e-mail to a female who attended Camp Illahee in Brevard, where Jason Young was an instructor during his teens, he wrote “I didn’t end up getting married…," according to the warrant.

Last week, Michelle Young's mother, Linda Fisher, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jason Young, claiming he murdered his wife.

Jason Young told Wake County sheriff's investigators that he was out of town on business when his wife was killed, and authorities have never said they suspect him.

Since his wife's death, Jason Young has moved with his daughter, now 4, to western North Carolina to be closer to his family.

Neither Sheriff Donnie Harrison, the Wake County District Attorney's Office, nor attorneys representing Fisher would comment on Thursday's warrant and affidavits. Calls to Jason Young's attorney were not immediately returned.

Earlier this week, however, Harrison said the case is still active with investigators assigned to it full-time.

"We meet on this almost every day. It is no way a cold case," Harrison said. "Hopefully, we'll make an arrest in the near future."