Tuesday, November 14, 2006

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.


Taximom said...

As usual, AJ, spot on.

That "falling to his knees" always bothered me too. To me, that says he knows it's true and final at that point without even going "whaaaa?"

I know, I know, there is no handbook on how to handle yourself in that situation. (I think there is!)

Have a nice day!

Average Jane said...

True and final. Exactly, T-mom.

Anonymous said...

Below is a list that another friend of the family put together. I wanted to respond to what they wrote with the information I know of as well….

Here are some facts you might like to know since this board and court tv's discussion board seems to not have very many of them straight. Jason and Michelle young were a happily married and devoted couple when the tragedy hit. Now the tragedy is not only the loss of Michelle and their unborn son, but the persecution of Jason, an innocent man.

1) There was no fax. There was a print out sent to the home. The print out involved information about a purse. It was the couples 3rd anniversary. The third year is leather. Michelle wanted a nice purse. Jason wanted input from her sister and friends as to the selection and hence why her sister was sent to pick up the print out.

* I have heard the same thing.

2) Jason called Michelle when he arrived at his hotel in VA (the location of the business meeting). That was at about 11 PM. All was fine. Jason called Michelle the following morning. Her phone went to voice mail. That was not unusual because she had a doctor's appointment scheduled that morning. It is fair to say he most likely assumed she was there with her phone turned off as most doctors offices require. He called again later on and her phone went to voice mail. Keep in mind that she worked in the tax department at a major company. It is a fair assumption to say he thought she was in a meeting or possibly had gone to lunch.

* I had heard about him calling her at 11pm the night he arrived in Virginia but not about the call in the morning. However, it does sound like that is what happened.

There is no person in the country who can honestly say if they call their spouse and their phone goes to voice mail, then they immediately call the police and assume something is wrong. Why would you? I often can't get ahold of my better half when traveling or when I'm in meetings. Sometimes I might get voice mail for a couple of hours. If you talked to someone the night before and they were okay and you have no reason to believe anything is not right, a couple of calls going to voice mail is not a major cause for alarm to most normal people.

3) On another board, someone absurdly asked, why Jason was not notified of his wifes death while he was driving to Brevard. Can you imagine if you were driving somewhere by yourself, to suddenly receive a phone call stating your wife and unborn son were dead and presumed murdered? Can you imagine the shock of that? Upon learning of Michelle's death, the young family made the decision that no one should receive news like that while driving a car alone. Jason was told of Michelle's death when he arrived at their home. I believe most normal families would have behaved in this way.

*I had heard the same

4) Jason young has complied with everything he has been asked. It is normal to get a court order in these cases for the spouses DNA. He never fought that order or tried to avoid giving his DNA or fingerprints and has willingly cooperated with police. People are upset he got a lawyer. Unfortunately, this day in age, its necessary because police do get things wrong and do twist things.

* This is completely true.

5) Yes, his vehicle was impounded, as was Michelles, and her sisters. Most news reports neglect to mention that there were several vehicles impounded and that again, in a case such as this, it is perfectly normal for the spouses to be one of them.

*This is also true.

6) In the spring the couple was involved in an accident in which the vehicle went off the road and into a river. Neither of them were hurt and both walked away uninjured though their car had water damage. It is absurd to assume because someone was involved in a wreck earlier that they were trying to kill their spouse. It also makes no sense - they both were in the car, they both went into the river. They both potentially could have been hurt or killed. State highway patrol responding to the scene commented on the number of accidents that had occurred at this particular spot and said there had beeen numerous requests for a guard rail there.

*This connection was ridiculous from the beginning.

7)Life insurance. Yes, there is life insurance. Both Jason and Michelle carried life insurance at a signficant level. They both frequently traveled by airplane and felt it was important.

*They were loving parents wanted to make sure their daughter was protected in case something happened to them. Buying life insurance when you have child is not abnormal. Everyone should do it.

8) There were not monetary problems or financial pressures. Both had substantial incomes.

* They both made a good living. Look at their house!

9)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 spoke with someone who had spoken with Jason the week of Michelle’s murder. He was very excited about having a boy.

10) No signs of forced entry. This is wide open. Someone could have had a key. She could have let someone in. She could have forgotten to lock the door. This was a big house with several entry doors. Michelle had commented several times how with this pregnancy she was forgetting things Apparently due to hormaonal changes, pregnant women go through phases of forgetting stuff. I dont' know if that happened, but I think its possible. What if she just didn't lock one of the doors that night?

* There are many things that could have happened. She could have left the door unlocked when the guests left or they could have come in another way..open window, open garage etc.

11) Across the woods from this house is a trailer park. The youngs were not aware of this when they bought their house in the spring. The trees had full leaves then and you couldn't see it. In the fall, when the leaves came off the trees you could. There was ample woods behind the house that would hide someone who wanted to walk through or watch the house. On one occassion recently the youngs had called the police because they heard some type of argument or fight occuring in the woods. On 2 other occassions, they thought they heard a scratching or tapping on their door at night. Upon getting up to check it out, they saw no one/nothing and presumably thought they were imagining things.

* I had not heard this but it is very telling.

12) A friend of Michelle's watching TV with her that night spoke of having a creepy feeling the whole time they were watching TV as if they were being watched.

*Again very telling.

Average Jane said...

Thanks for that very informative and interesting comment, Anonymous. There's certainly a lot to consider. I hope the police get to the bottom of it all.

I still don't understand the computer printout regarding the gift though. I'll have to give this thing some more thought.

Average Jane said...

Anonymous, you say the car accident happened in the spring. Did you mean the spring of this year? The media is now reporting that the car accident happened in May of 2005, which would make more sense. She couldn't have been pregnant in May 2006 and only be 20 weeks into her pregnancy on November 3.

You also posted this:

She had lost a child earlier in the spring when the fetus stopped developing in utero and she had to have a medical abortion.

So now I'm wondering if the car accident and the loss of the unborn child are related.

Anonymous said...

None of what "anonymous" wrote above explains why Jason, as a currently innocent man, is not working with investigators to find the real killer(s). :shrugs:

Perhaps "anonymous" should suggest that to Jason next time they talk with him. ;)