Archive for November, 2006|Monthly archive page

Back to Basics: The Night of the Murder

New information is hard to come by in the investigation into the bludgeoning death of Michelle Fisher Young of Raleigh, North Carolina. What information we have is being bandied about on crime forums as armchair sleuths attempt to piece it together and determine who is responsible. Meanwhile, people who claim to know the Youngs have been entering into the discussions — some in an attempt to defend Jason Young from what they consider a misinformation campaign designed to vilify the husband, others who have some suspicions of their own about his involvement, and a few who seem to be trying to gather information and figure out what happened just as the rest of us are. While we wait for something to break, I suggest we take a more organized approach at analyzing what we have at hand. There’s plenty to work with, but it’s scattered throughout news reports, interviews, and forum postings. Granted, what we “know” is only as reliable as its source, but we can only work with what we’ve got.

  • Michelle was 20 weeks into her third pregnancy. The couple was expecting a boy and had a two-and-a-half year old daughter named Cassidy. Michelle’s second pregnancy ended in a therapeutic abortion in June of 2006, when shortly after a May 29 car accident in Transylvania county, it was determined that the baby had stopped developing. Michelle conceived again a couple of weeks later; if the 20-week gestational age is accurate, her baby boy would have been conceived on or about June 30. Friends of Jason insist that the loss of the second pregnancy and the car accident are unrelated, but it’s unlikely that her doctor could make that determination with medical certainty. Another person who attended the funeral related hearing that the miscarriage was a result of trauma from the car accident and that Michelle was not wearing her seatbelt when their car went off the highway and down an embankment into the French Broad River. There have been a couple of different explanations given by friends of the Youngs regarding the accident.
  • Someone using the name “ConcernedCitize” posted the following:

    That area is a bad area to be driving in. I have heard (3rd party) that Michelle was trying to reach for something in the back seat when it happened. Jason just lost focus for split second. They were on a curve at the time. It happened very quickly and apparently a common problem area for aaccidents.

  • Another poster who claims to know the Youngs well, wrote the following using the name “just the facts”:

    The car wreck in the spring occurred when Jason thought the back of the SUV wasn’t closed properly. He glanced back to look at that and his wheels went a little bit off the road. He over corrected the vehicle and that’s when the wreck occurred. Despite the media’s effort to make that into a huge story, there is no 100′ drop off there where they went into the river. Michelle was not wearing her seat belt by her choice, not because he tried to trick her into taking it off. It was a wreck plain and simple. If having a wreck with your spouse in the vehicle is now considered an attempted murder, I guess hundreds of thousands of people nationwide are guilty.

I’ve been informed by someone who has seen the accident report that Michelle told the highway patrolman that she was wearing her seatbelt. However, it’s not an uncommon thing for people to claim to have been wearing their seatbelt even when they were not. After all, failure to wear a seatbelt is a ticketable offense in North Carolina, as in most other states. In all likelihood, it would be impossible to prove now whether that accident was an orchestrated attempt on the lives of Michelle and her unborn child, and that incident will probably never make it into the courtroom should Jason go to trial for this homicide. It is interesting to note, however, what a stunning surpise the third pregnancy would have been for Jason under such circumstances.

  • Jason left Thursday evening on a business trip to Virginia. Police have not made public the time of Jason’s departure, but one friend who has posted at the CourtTV forum stated that Jason was leaving as Michelle’s friends were arriving that evening. It’s been widely reported that Michelle had company on Thursday evening until approximately 10:30 p.m. The CourtTV poster has put forth that it was a regular thing for Michelle and her friends to watch Grey’s Anatomy together. ABC runs the program from 9-10 p.m. on Thursday evenings in North Carolina. The location of Jason’s business meeting has not been specified by investigators nor by people who claim to know him, but an industrious sleuth at CourtTV’s forum suggested Blacksburg, Virginia as a potential destination. ChartOne, Jason’s employer, apparently does quite a bit of business there. If you look at this map, you can see that Blacksburg is a good candidate logistically, as Jason had plans to swing by his parents’ home in Brevard after his meeting, spend the night there, and return to Raleigh on Saturday.
  • Jason’s evening departure for a Friday morning business meeting has been the subject of some perplexity from the beginning. Why would he leave in the evening only to arrive at his destination late at night to attend a meeting the following morning? Why not sleep at home and get up early to make the drive? Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, the following:

    • that he left shortly before Grey’s Anatomy started at 9 p.m.
    • that his sales meeting was scheduled for 9 a.m. the following morning in Blacksburg, Virginia.
    •  

    Blacksburg is a 3.5-4 hour drive from the Youngs’ Raleigh residence. If Jason had opted to make the drive on Friday morning, he would have had to depart at 5 a.m. to make a 9 a.m. appointment. Having guests in the house until 10:30 p.m. and the possible sleep disruptions that accompany a pregnant wife and a toddler might make it difficult to get up that early. On the other hand, a 9 p.m. departure would make for a rather late arrival with Jason probably getting checked in and to bed at about 1 a.m. That’s a lot of late night driving after a busy day only to turn around and attend a meeting and drive an additional 4.5 hours to Brevard the following day. I’ve done a fair bit of traveling. It’s not unusual to break a trip up and spend the night somewhere in between, especially when you want to arrive at your destination early in the day. Judging by what Jason told a friend at Michelle’s funeral, that’s probably what he did.

    Jason Young has said he slipped out that evening to get a head start for an early morning sales meeting in Virginia, according to Fussell, who said he talked to Jason Young at his wife’s funeral. [emphasis added]

    A “head start” suggests that he wasn’t planning to drive all the way to the destination in one trek. Friends of Jason have revealed that he arrived at his hotel and called Michelle at 11 p.m. If, as we have assumed for this argument, Jason left home shortly before Grey’s Anatomy began, then he drove for approximately two hours before stopping for lodging, possibly on the west side of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Naturally, that would place him overnight within a two hour drive back to the home, which leads me to an interesting point. Less than three days into the investigation, police notified the public that they were interested in information regarding the Youngs’ neighborhood on the night in question.

    Stephens urged anyone who noticed any vehicle on the roads around Young’s home between 1 and 5 a.m. Friday to call the Wake County Sheriff’s Office at 856-6800.

    That window was later widened to include the hours between midnight and 6 a.m., but it’s the 1-5 a.m. window that sparks my interest. How did they arrive at that time frame for the homicide? They can approximate a time of death based on the core body temperature and advancement of rigor mortis, but I’m not convinced that they were able to do that to such a degree of accuracy as to rule out the two and a half hours between the 10:30 p.m. departure of Michelle’s friends and 1 a.m. (or even the two hours following Jason’s 11 p.m. phone call). There must have been some other, as yet undisclosed, factor that went into making that estimation. Perhaps, investigators have had Jason Young in their sights as the perpetrator from the beginning. They could certainly have determined in the first 2-3 days of the investigation the location of Jason’s overnight lodging and the origination of his 11 p.m. call. Relative certainty of his involvement and a travel time of two hours to the scene of the crime may have been the deciding factor in estimating the 1 to 5 a.m. window of opportunity. The 5 a.m. closure of that window would allow Jason the four hours necessary to return to his hotel, check out, and make a 9 a.m. business meeting in Blacksburg, as well.

    Well, it’s a theory anyway. Blacksburg may not have been the destination point, but there are probably other sites that would fit the same criteria. There is more that we know in relation to the discovery of the body and the avenues of investigation being pursued by police. To keep this entry from getting too long and allow discussion to focus on this portion of the case, I’ll save the rest for another entry.

    Trenton Duckett: POI

    Authorities have named a close friend of Melinda Duckett as a person of interest in the August disappearance of 2-year-old Trenton Duckett. Chai-Wen Chen, a 25-year-old male friend of the boy’s mother, works across the street from the Belleview Wendy’s where Trenton was last seen with his mother the day of the alleged abduction. It is believe that Melinda handed the boy off to someone that Sunday in an attempt to keep him away from his father, Joshua Duckett, and staged the abduction from the apartment bedroom that evening.

    I hope this pans out. I was starting to get that Holloway feeling about this case.

    WESH.com has a thorough article on the latest news. Other entries are accessible through the category menu in right sidebar of this blog.

    Timeline update: The 12:08 phone call made by Melinda Duckett on Sunday was to Chen. I’ve updated the map and timeline entry accordingly.

    A Mother’s Plea

    Linda Fisher, of Sayville, NY, addressed the media on November 13 at the gravesite of her slain daughter, Michelle Young, who was 20 weeks into her third pregnancy. It appears that Ms. Fisher took special care to emphasize two things in her statement. I have formatted them in this transcript to reflect that emphasis.

    My name is Linda Fisher, and Michelle Young is my daughter. We are shaken and heartbroken over the tragic loss of Michelle. She’s the wife, a sister, a granddaughter, and most importantly the mother of my only granddaughter, Cassidy (sobbing).

    I’m asking for anyone who has seen or heard anything — as trivial as you might think it is, anything — to please come forward and help find the person who murdered our daughter…my daughter.

    I also want to thank, or take the opportunity to thank, everyone who has given their love and support to us during this horrible time. And I want you to please understand that our family is in mourning, and we appreciate the privacy to grieve.

    And I have great faith in the police that they will help find the person who is responsible for taking our Michelle away from us. I love her. (sobbing) I love my Michelle, and she’s gone.

    Thank you.

    ABC-11 (WTVD) has raw video of Ms. Fisher’s statement.

    Update: WTVD has removed the raw video from their site. WRAL is providing a link to video of the complete statement on this page.

    On January 24, 2003, Sharon Rocha addressed the public regarding the disappearance of her pregnant daughter, Laci Peterson of Modesto, California. The Rocha family had very recently been informed of Scott Peterson’s affair with Fresno massage therapist, Amber Frey, solidifying their suspicions that Scott was responsible for Laci’s disappearance and probable murder.

    I would like to thank all of you for being here today and for respecting our request last week for some time to spend alone with our family. We appreciate your support of our family’s search to find Laci.

    I want to thank Kim Petersen, with the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation, who has been working with all of you and relaying our wishes to not conduct interviews last week. We had a very difficult time last week.

    I also want to thank all of the volunteers, the police department, fire department, Brad Saltzman and everyone at the Red Lion Hotel, the chaplains at the police department, all of my friends and family, the hundreds of thousands of people who have visited Laci’s web site with their prayers, and everyone who has been involved with the search for Laci. The support we’ve received from everyone has been our salvation.

    Since Christmas Eve, our one and only focus has been to find Laci and bring her home to us. I love my daughter so much. I miss her every minute of every day. I miss seeing her. I miss our talking together. I miss listening to the excitement in her voice when she talks to me about her baby. I miss not being able to share with her the anticipation of her approaching delivery date. I miss listening to her talk about her future with her husbandand her baby. I miss sharing our thoughts and our lives together. I miss her smile and her laughter and her sense of humor. And I miss everything about her.

    Someone has taken all of this away from me and everyone else who loves her. There are no words that can possibly describe the ache in my heart or the emptiness in my life.

    I know that someone knows where Laci is, and I’m pleading with you, please, please, let her come home to us. You can send an anonymous letter to the police department, or you can make an anonymous phone call to the police department tip line at area code (209)342-6166. (Or anonymous messages may be sent using our Leads and Tips form.)

    If someone out there has observed or possibly discovered, on their property, anything unusual or suspicious, no matter how minute or insignificant it might seem to you, please call the police department. This may be the missing link to finding Laci.

    Please keep looking for Laci and help us end this nightmare.

    Thank you.

    Laci’s family appeared on Larry King Live on February 25 in an effort to keep the case in public awareness. Sharon made the following plea:

    We’re hoping that somebody out there knows something, but we know there is someone who knows something and if that person would just come forward and let us know where she is so that we can bring her home.

    The first part of that sentence is clearly addressed to the public, but the second part is obviously meant for Scott Peterson.

    On April 21, 2003, after Laci’s and Conner’s bodies were found on the shores of the San Francisco Bay, Sharon Rocha again addressed the public, taking care to send a special message to the person she held responsible for the murders. Scott Peterson had been arrested on the same day the bodies were positively identified. The following is an excerpt:

    Laci meant the world to me. She was my only daughter. She was my best friend. We miss her beautiful smile, her laughter, her love, her kind and loving ways. I miss seeing her, talking to her and hugging her. We have been deprived of meeting and knowing Laci’s son, our grandson and nephew. We will miss them and mourn them for the rest of our lives.

    Soon after Laci went missing I made a promise to her, that if she has been harmed we will seek justice for her and Conner and make sure that the person responsible for their deaths will be punished. I can only hope that the sound of Laci’s voice begging for her life, begging for the life of her unborn child, is heard over and over and over again in the mind of that person everyday for the rest of his life. The person responsible should be held accountable and punished for the tragedy and devastation forced upon so many.

    A transcript of the complete statement can be read at www.findlaci2003.us.

    Most everyone following the Michelle Young case has noticed and commented on its similarity to the Peterson case. While the list of similarities continues to grow as we learn more about the case, the main differences are the manner of death (bludgeoning in the Young case versus asphyxiation in the Peterson case), the existence of another child in the Young family, and, most importantly, the fact that Laci was missing for nearly four months whereas Michelle was found within hours of her murder.

    I contend that the similarities between Michelle’s and Laci’s murders have not gone unnoticed by the Fisher family. Linda’s statement, though much briefer, seems to echo the more salient elements of Sharon Rocha’s various statements. I believe that both Linda Fisher and her younger daughter, Meredith, have, at minimum, strong suspicions as to Jason Young’s involvement in Michelle’s death. Ms. Fisher’s statement was her best attempt at communicating that suspicion, without flagrantly accusing Jason Young and potentially damaging the investigation and prosecution of the case, and petitioning the public’s assistance.

    Update: Michelle Young

    It was reported tonight on Greta van Susteren’s On the Record that Michelle was pregnant at the time of the car accident in May 2005. While driving on a local highway, Jason apparently lost control of the vehicle, veering off the highway and traveling down a 100 foot embankment into a river. The water was only a few feet deep, and both he and Michelle were able to escape the car unharmed. Michelle was taken to the hospital out of concern for her pregnancy. The highway patrolman who investigated the accident at the time has recently been interviewed by homicide investigators.

    Here is a link to an article with information similar to that reported on GVS: WRAL

    Still, they are examining every aspect of the couple’s life together, including a May 29, 2005, Transylvania County car accident in which Jason Young drove off a road and down a 100-foot embankment into the French Broad River. Neither he nor Michelle Young were seriously injured.“They just wanted to know the circumstances and if I saw anything unusual with the wreck, which I did not,” said sate Highway Patrol Trooper David Hicks, who investigated the crash.

     

    The media originally reported that this car accident happened in May of this year and people who claim to know the couple seemed to confirm that.

    People close to the Youngs who spoke to WRAL on Friday said it had already been a “bizarre” year for the couple. State Highway Patrol records show the two were in an accident in May in Transylvania County, where their car veered off the road into a river.

    However, Michelle could not possibly have been pregnant in May of 2006 and only be at 20 weeks gestation at the time of her death. The 2005 date makes more sense. An anonymous poster wrote the following in the comment section of this entry:

    Jason was ecstatic over the upcoming birth of his baby boy, as was Michelle. She had lost a child earlier in the spring when the fetus stopped developing in utero and she had to have a medical abortion. They were elated when she was able to get pregnant again.

    I see now why investigators are interested in that mysterious accident.

    The home is still actively being investigated as a crime scene, with repeated visits from the district attorney’s office. That says to me that evidence relating to the identity of the killer was found in the home, and additional evidence implicating that person is expected to be found there. Investigators are patiently building their case.

    More thorough coverage of this case can be read in this previous entry: Michelle Marie Young: Reason to Suspect…

    Meredith and Cassidy: Partial 911 Transcript

    There’s a lot of chatter on crime forums regarding two-year-old Cassidy’s statements to her aunt while Meredith was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. Many who’ve listened to it believe they hear her mention the word “Daddy” when Meredith asks the toddler what happened to her mother. Regardless of my suspicion of Jason Young, I hear nothing of the sort. The following is a transcript of the relevant portion of the 911 call as I hear it.

    MEREDITH: Cassidy, come here, sweetie. I’m here with her daughter.

    DISPATCHER: ‘kay.

    MEREDITH: There’s…there’s like blood footprints all over the house from her daugther…like her daughter’s little footprints.

    DISPATCHER: ‘kay, listen to me. What’s your first name?

    MEREDITH: Meredith

    DISPATCHER: Alright, Meredith…

    MEREDITH: Yes sir.

    DISPATCHER: Did you see what happened?

    MEREDITH: I..I..I just came here on a fluke. I usually…you know…don’t come here during the day.

    DISPATCHER: Okay.

    MEREDITH: She shouldn’t be home. She should be at work. Like…

    DISPATCHER: Okay, listen to me.

    MEREDITH: Yes sir.

    MEREDITH: (inaudible) right now.

    DISPATCHER: Did you say…Can you tell me why she looks dead…looks like she’s dead?

    MEREDITH: I don’t know. I have no idea. There’s blood all over the place.

    DISPATCHER: ‘kay, did you say she’s cold?

    MEREDITH: Sh..uh yes.

    DISPATCHER: m’kay.

    MEREDITH: Yes. (crying)

    DISPATCHER: Alright, stay on the phone.

    MEREDITH: Okay

    CASSIDY: (inaudible) there’s blood. Can you see my…(inaudible)…get a washcloth into my…(inaudible)…?

    MEREDITH: Yes, sweetie.

    (Cassidy still talking but inaudible.)

    MEREDITH: Sweetie, did you see what happened to Mommy?

    CASSIDY: Uhn-uh

    MEREDITH: Did she fall?

    CASSIDY: Um…um…she gotta boo…She got boo-boos everywhere and…and…she got (Dispatcher cuts in to ask: Alright, do you think she’s beyond any help?)

    Listen to the 911 call and follow along with the above transcript. See for yourself if Cassidy implicates her father or even utters the word “Daddy”. I don’t hear it.

    I don’t believe that child was witness to any of the violence inflicted upon her mother. It’s highly doubtful that she was even awake when the perpetrator was in the house, in my opinion. The aftermath was horrendous enough, but hopefully her youth will protect her from those memories to some extent.

    Trenton Duckett: New Development

    Police have renewed their search for two-year-old Trenton Duckett, operating on the assumption that he is still alive. A witness reported seeing the Leesburg, FL, boy with his mother in a Belleview Wendy’s restaurant on August 27, the same day he was reported missing. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office will hold a press conference tomorrow to release additional details to the public.

    Sources: Bradenton Herald and Orlando Sentinel

    More information about Trenton’s disappearance is available in this timeline entry. Other Duckett entries can be accessed by utilizing the Categories dropdown menu in the sidebar of this blog.

    Update: November 15, 2006, 1:36 pm, CT

    Additional information was released at today’s press conference:

    Pogue and other officials said a drive-thru worker at a Wendy’s restaurant in Belleview remembered seeing Melinda and Trenton between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. that Sunday. About 20 minutes after the first sighting, the Wendy’s worker saw Melinda come through the drive-thru again. This time, Tenton was not in the car. The Wendy’s worker was interviewed and passed a polygraph test, officials said.

    Then there’s this unexpected news:

    As authorities renew their search for missing Central Florida boy, Trenton Duckett, WKMG-TV in Orlando has learned that a private investigator is looking into his mother’s apparent secret side business of creating and performing in amateur pornographic videos.

    Nude photographs of Melinda Duckett, including one image where she is straddling a child’s crib and another explicit video where the sound of a crying baby can be heard in the background surfaced in the missing boy investigation and caused concerns for detectives, the report said.

    Before Duckett’s suicide, authorities said they thoroughly looked into her alleged involvement in the adult entertainment industry to see if the 21-year-old made any enemies or possibly had given her son away to someone she met while making the movies.

    Whoa. Well, that might explain where the cash stashed in her car under the ashtray came from.

    Michelle Marie Young: Reason to Suspect…

    If, after reading my previous entry on the murder of Michelle Young, you haven’t figured out that I consider Jason Young (the victim’s husband) to be the prime suspect, allow me to spell out for you the factors behind my logic.

    • Jason reportedly left Raleigh on Thursday night to conduct business on Friday morning and was at his parents’ house in Brevard, NC, on Friday afternoon. In and of itself, this alibi would cause me to look twice at Jason Young. Without independent corroboration of his whereabouts at the time of Michelle’s death, his alibi is questionable, at best, and convenient, impinging on staged, at worst. We know only that he was at his mom’s house when he was told of Michelle’s death; his whereabouts at the time of the homicide are, as yet, unaccounted for.
    • Add to that the fact that Michelle had company at the home until approximately 10:30 on Thursday night and, by some accounts, Jason left on his business trip during that visit. What better way to bolster his alibi than to have one or more witnesses to his departure?
    • The mysterious fax is perhaps the biggest red flag for me. If the contents of that fax were meant to be a secret from his wife, why have it sent to the house in the first place. It makes no sense. In my opinion, it was just a ruse to get Meredith to the house so that she would discover Michelle’s dead body. Perhaps Jason wanted to provide care for two-year-old Cassidy rather than leave her unattended in that horrible scene while he holed up at Mom’s house. After all, even a murderous spouse can have concern for his child. Or perhaps he just didn’t want to be the one to find the body and report the murder to police. I have seen it posted elsewhere by someone claiming to know the Youngs that it was not a fax at all that Jason asked Meredith to pick up for him, but in fact a computer printout related to a surprise gift for Michelle. That makes even less sense than the alleged fax. Things sent to my computer from elsewhere do not automatically get printed out. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Was Meredith supposed to log on to his email account to intercept this secret gift confirmation? If so, she didn’t have to enter the home to do that.
    • Upon his return to Raleigh, Jason’s car was impounded by police and all of its contents confiscated. Granted, I’m not an expert on North Carolina law, but I can’t see them being legally able to do that without probable cause — meaning investigators had to have reason to believe that he was involved and evidence to support that allegation could likely be found within the car.
    • Jason was compelled by court order to submit fingerprints and DNA samples to police. One can argue that the same would routinely be needed to rule him out as a suspect. Jason’s fingerprints and DNA woud naturally be found in the home because he lived there too. However his fingerprints in her blood or on the murder weapon could not so easily be explained. Neither could scratches on his body, his skin scrapings beneath her fingernails, or his blood at the scene. In addition, though it isn’t necessarily probative of guilt, the need for a court order to obtain those samples is troubling.
    • Investigators assured the public that Michelle’s murder did not appear to be a random act. What that says to me is that all indications are that the perpetrator entered the house with the intention of harming Michelle. This was not the case of a burglar who felt forced to eliminate witnesses after being confronted by the resident. This was no attempted sexual assault escalating to murder. Facts to support that theory are as follows:
      • There were no signs of forced entry into the house.
      • Cassidy was left unharmed, probably sleeping in her bed while her mother was murdered in her own.
      • The family dog, described by Meredith as “freaking out” when she arrived, was left unharmed in the home.
      • Other than the brutal slaying of her sister and its aftermath (i.e., Cassidy’s footprints, stamped in the blood from Mommy’s “boo-boos”, throughout the house) Meredith saw no other signs of disturbance or anything unusual in the home.

        DISPATCHER: All right. Try not to touch anything more than you did. Was anything out of place or unusual when you came in?

        FISHER: This place does not look like it what it normally looks like.

        DISPATCHER: OK, what…

        FISHER: There`s blood in the bed.

        DISPATCHER: OK, all right, try not to touch anything else, OK?

        FISHER: OK, I just moved a pillow.

        DISPATCHER: All right. Just leave everything exactly where it is then.

        FISHER: OK.

        DISPATCHER: Do you see anything else that looks unusual?

        FISHER: No. (To niece: Cassidy was anybody here?) The dog was freaking out when I got here. (To niece: Was anybody here, sweetie?)

    • Investigators have appealed to the public for any information pertaining to the crime scene between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am. What narrowed the time frame for them? We can deduct that the 6:00 am end point was arrived at perhaps because that was the normal time for Michelle to get up and get ready for work and there were no signs that she had done so. But what about the beginning point? We know that Michelle was last seen by her friend(s) at approximately 10:30 pm on Thursday night. What caused investigators to exclude the hour and a half between the friends’ departure and midnight? I understand that time of death can be approximated by the body’s state of rigor mortis. I’m not convinced, however, that it can be determined with enough accuracy to exclude that hour and a half. There is certainly some other reason — some as yet unrevealed explanation — for that exclusion. Investigators’ decision to keep that detail close to the vest leads me to believe that it is of vital importance to the investigation.
    • Gerald McIntyre, Jason’s stepfather, stated that Jason fell to his knees in their front yard when he was informed of Michelle’s death. At first glance, this might seem to some to be the normal reaction of a grieving spouse. Not so for this skeptic. I would have expected stunned disbelief and even a hostile rejection of such shocking news as the initial reaction. From my perspective, Jason falling to his knees suggests immediate acceptance of the unfathomable. That speaks to me of prior knowledge, which he could not have unless he were responsible for her death.

    In addition to the above list, there are reports of a mysterious car accident in May of this year (proximately preceding the conception of child number two, by my calculations) and rumors of a “shotgun wedding” and Jason’s marital discontent, adulterous relationships, and gambling debts. Whether the rumors will bear out in truth is incalculable, but it’s often the case that where there is smoke, there is also fire. All considered, the details reported, in combination with Michelle’s second pregnancy, are reason enough for me to hone in on the husband. I suspect that it’s much the same for investigators, but I’m betting that they have more to go on.

    Update: 10:00pm, CT

    It was reported tonight on Greta van Susteren’s On the Record that Michelle was pregnant at the time of the car accident in May 2005. While driving on a local highway, Jason apparently lost control of the vehicle, veering off the highway and traveling down a 100 foot embankment into a river. The water was only a few feet deep, and both he and Michelle were able to escape the car unharmed. Michelle was taken to the hospital out of concern for her pregnancy. The highway patrolman who investigated the accident at the time has recently been interviewed by homicide investigators.

    Here is a link to an article with information similar to that reported on GVS: WRAL

    Still, they are examining every aspect of the couple’s life together, including a May 29, 2005, Transylvania County car accident in which Jason Young drove off a road and down a 100-foot embankment into the French Broad River. Neither he nor Michelle Young were seriously injured.

    “They just wanted to know the circumstances and if I saw anything unusual with the wreck, which I did not,” said sate Highway Patrol Trooper David Hicks, who investigated the crash.

    The media originally reported that this car accident happened in May of this year and people who claim to know the couple seemed to confirm that. However, Michelle could not possibly have been pregnant in May of 2006 and only be at 20 weeks gestation at the time of her death. The 2005 date makes more sense. An anonymous poster wrote the following in the comment section of this entry:

    Jason was ecstatic over the upcoming birth of his baby boy, as was Michelle. She had lost a child earlier in the spring when the fetus stopped developing in utero and she had to have a medical abortion. They were elated when she was able to get pregnant again.

    I see now why investigators are interested in that mysterious accident.

    The home is still actively being investigated as a crime scene, with repeated visits from the district attorney’s office. That says to me that evidence relating to the identity of the killer was found in the home, and additional evidence implicating that person is expected to be found there. Investigators are patiently building their case.

    Note: I’ve decided to make this update a new entry.

    Growing Pains

    I stabbed myself in the foot this morning. Literally. I was putting away the clean dishes and inadvertently let slip a kitchen knife from my hand. Not a big butcher knife or a little paring knife. Just your standard average-sized kitchen knife. It’s nothing I haven’t done before, but I’m usually quick enough and cognizant enough to move my foot out of the way. Not this time. My foot stayed put. I don’t know why. Maybe the synapses didn’t fire, telling my foot to move; maybe my foot just didn’t respond; maybe I misjudged, thinking the knife would miss and moving my foot would be unnecessary. Of course, it hurt. But it was more of a bruising pain. Glancing down and seeing the knife on the floor and no blood, I assumed that it had hit hilt-down. So I just picked up the knife and went on about my morning routine. Later I noticed, while taking a shower, a small blood-filled hole in the top of my foot. There’s a little bruise beneath it. The knife must have bounced off my bone instead of impaling itself in my flesh. The injury is no big deal, but I keep puzzling over why I didn’t move my foot. I must be getting old. Maybe this incident will go down in my personal history as the day I first realized that I really am middle-aged.

    10:45 am
    On second thought … Naaahh! If last year’s dirtbike spill didn’t do it for me, why should a little hole in my foot make a difference? It’s all in the attitude, right?

    The Murder of Michelle Young

    It is written, there is nothing new under the sun. These cases of husbands murdering their pregnant wives keep reminding me of that fact. I’m weary of them. Weary of all crime. So weary that I was hesitant to write yet another blog entry about yet another young woman whose life has been cut short at the whim of a selfish mate. So now you’re probably wondering why I’m forging ahead. I learned of this murder via a post at Websleuths crime forum. After following the link and Googling other news reports about the murder of Michelle Marie Young and her unborn son, I found one site that provided an mp3 file of the 911 call made by Meredith Fisher, the victim’s sister. This woman was clearly in a state of shocked disbelief throughout the call, struggling to remain composed in the face of the horrible scene she’d discovered and provide critical information to the 911 operator.

    “I just came here on a fluke.”
    At approximately 1:30 pm, Meredith entered her sister and brother-in-law’s Wake County, North Carolina, residence at the request of Jason Young, Michelle’s husband and father to the couple’s two-year-old daughter. It seems Jason wanted Meredith to intercept a fax, ostensibly pertaining to a gift for his 20-week-pregnant wife, to prevent Michelle, who should have been at work on a Friday afternoon, from seeing it and ruining the surprise. It didn’t take Meredith long to realize that something was very wrong. Ms. Fisher told the 911 dispatcher who took her call that the dog was “freaking out” when she arrived. Small bloody footprints were tracked throughout the house, and Meredith discovered two-year-old Cassidy beside her mother’s body, face down in the master bedroom. There was blood everywhere, including beneath a pillow in the bed. At the direction of the dispatcher, Meredith attempted to turn Michelle over in order to render aid, but the body was in an advanced state of rigor mortis, freezing the limbs in such a position as to make it very difficult to turn her. As Meredith relayed this information to the dispatcher and stated that her sister was cold to the touch, he informed the shocked and distressed, but remarkably composed, woman that it wouldn’t be necessary. He advised her not to touch anything else in the house and connected her with the local sheriff’s office who already had responding officers en route to the residence.

    Investigators have learned that Michelle had a guest at the home until approximately 10:30 pm, though they have not yet revealed the identity of that guest or the nature of the visit. It was also reported that Jason Young allegedly left home on a business trip on Thursday night. Police have not yet revealed the time of his departure nor provided any details in support of his alibi. On Friday afternoon, Jason was at his parents’ home in Brevard some 275 miles away in the mountains of North Carolina. According to his step-father, Jason fell to his knees in their front yard upon hearing the news of Michelle’s murder. Jason is a salesman. We’re to believe that he left home Thursday night for parts unknown to conduct business on Friday before arriving at his mother’s home, a five hour drive from Raleigh, that afternoon.

    Now to the point of what prompted me to write this entry. After listening to Meredith’s 911 call and educating myself on the reported facts of the crime, I returned to the discussion thread at Websleuths only to find that a few of the posters there were maligning the victim’s sister — commenting that she was waaaay too calm in reporting her sister’s murder and speculating that she may have been romantically involved with Jason. Needless to say, I was (and am) appalled. In response to making clear my feelings about it, I got several excuses and explanations from other participants. Paraphrasing:

    • It’s way too early to pin this on the husband.
    • People who know the couple have stated that they’ll be shocked if it turns out to be him.
    • This is a crime forum; we speculate about everyone involved.
    • Meredith found the body. That automatically makes her a suspect.

    This comment by christine2448, in particular, irked me:

    I truly am sorry you feel those of us sleuthing out all the people involved in a case is despicable, I disagree.Of course the husbands car is being looked at, If I were LE he’d be my prime suspect right now and I’d be looking at EVERYTHING of his. We don’t know that the sisters car hasn’t been checked, or won’t be…not everything is reported/released to media, and that is where we get most of our info.

    Of course the husband is being finger printed, as I’m sure the sister was and I’m sure others and more to come.

    Of course the police are talking to the husband, I am SURE they are also talking to the sister and every other Jane, Dick and Harry that the deceased knew, especially the sister, who was the 1st on the scene.

    As far as the husband running of in the middle of the night, I am understanding, correct me if I’m wrong, there was company at the house until 10:30….I don’t remember, what time did the husband say he left? Was it in the middle of the night?

    Of course the husband lawyered up, I woulda.

     

    Yes, Christine, by all means, ignore the husband’s illogical and flimsy alibi. Overlook the fact that police had to have had probable cause in order to convince a judge to allow them to impound his vehicle and confiscate all of its contents. Toss aside the fact that there are no signs of forced entry into the house. Disregard investigators express interest in interviewing Jason Young. Brush off today’s report that police were taking fingerprints, and possibly collecting other specimens, from Jason Young. It makes so much more sense to cast aspersions on the victim’s sister based solely on your perception of her comportment in the midst of horrific circumstances.

    **Exercising restraint to refrain from typing expletives here**

    That’s it in a nutshell. If I could properly collect my thoughts, I’d write more, but I have no time or focus now. Discuss at will, and I’ll check in later.

    Note added at 8:57 pm, CT

    I just realized that I was in such a rush to post this entry that I neglected to provide any links to sources. I apologize for that omission and will provide them as soon as I can find time to do so tomorrow.

     

    Here we go again…

    I am so sick of husbands murdering their wives. It just never ends.

    Michelle Marie Young, pregnant mother to a two-year old daughter, was found murdered in her home last Friday. This WRAL article will get you started on the case. I’ll write more about it later today.