::Sheriff Says Michelle Young Case Ongoing
By Emily Kiser, Raleigh Chronicle Crime Editor
Thursday, August 16, 2007
RALEIGH - Nine months after Michelle Young was found murdered in her Raleigh home, Sheriff Donnie Harrison said he has no suspects but the case is ongoing. Young's husband, Jason Young, is also still not cooperating with investigators.
Michelle, age 29, was four months pregnant with her second child.
"It's an ongoing investigation and we're making a lot of progress," Harrison said. "We will solve this case. There's stuff we just don't want to talk too much about right now."
At 1:30pm on November 3, Michelle's sister, Meredith Fisher, entered the Young's home after receiving a voicemail from Jason earlier in the day, asking her to retrieve a fax from the home he shared with Michelle. When she arrived, she found Michelle's two and a half year old daughter alone in the house and Michelle dead on her bedroom floor.
When Fisher called 911, an operator asked if she saw what happened.
"I just came here on a fluke, I usually don't come here during the day," she answered. Fisher said Michelle was lying face down in her bedroom, and the home didn't look like it normally did, adding there was blood in the bed.
A search warrant of the home said there was blood splatter on the walls and a lamp in the room.
"There was so much stuff down at the crime scene," Harrison said. "There was a lot of evidence, a lot of things we used to send to the FBI and CCBI [and] private labs."
An autopsy report released in January noted a hair found on Michelle's left hand, though Harrison would not confirm if it was significant to the case.
The report also determined the cause of death to be blunt force injury to head, in which more than 13 lacerations in a half-moon shape caused extensive bruising.
A set of scratches consistent with fingernail scratches was on the left side of Michelle's neck, the report said, indicative of attempted strangulation.
Jason told investigators he was in Virginia on a business trip the night of the murder, though Harrison wouldn't confirm if this was accurate.
The fax Jason asked Fisher to pick up was a computer printout of an item on the Internet, but Chief of Operations Richard Johnson wouldn't elaborate on what it was or when it was sent.
A search warrant of the house stated the fax had been printed from the computer hours before Michelle was found.
A nontestimonial identification order, served on November 7, said Jason and Michelle were experiencing financial difficulties, and Michelle was covered by a "substantial life insurance policy" with Jason as the beneficiary.
Under a section titled, "Facts which establish reasonable grounds," it stated Michelle was making plans to cut back on her employment following maternity leave.
Jason has not been named a suspect or a person of interest in the case, Harrison said.
"We are not ruling out anybody," he added. "We are just collecting evidence."
Search warrants were given to the home and Jason's car, computer and two cell phones.
During the investigation, investigators allege that Jason had been having a "relationship" with Michelle Money, a friend of Michelle's who lived in Florida, beginning in September 2006 and the two had been engaged sometimes in daily correspondence.
A search warrant was also issued for Money's residence. According to the warrant, Money said she and Jason corresponded by phone or email almost daily.
Jason's failure to cooperate has led investigators to talk to more than 100 witnesses, Harrison said, in order to eliminate possible suspects.
"By him not talking to us we've had to go inside and work out and outside and work in," he said. "So there's a lot of people that we've talked to trying to find out some information that we could've got very easily from him."
Investigators have not talked to Jason since the day the body was discovered, Harrison said. He would not confirm nor deny a life insurance policy reported to have been taken out on Michelle months before her death, in which Jason would be the beneficiary.
Jason is currently residing in North Carolina, Harrison said.
He also said he sees no connection between Michelle's murder and the murder of Jenna Nielsen, a pregnant woman who was found dead in a convenience store parking lot in Raleigh on June 14. ::
Editor's Note: This article was corrected to say that Sheriff's Department investigators allege that Jason Young had been having a relationship with Michelle Money.