Police search local motel as part of N.C. homicide investigation

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

RALEIGH, N.C. — Deputies from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office briefly extended the investigation of a mother slain in her Raleigh home on Nov. 3, 2006, to Hillsville, Va., to check on her husband’s whereabouts at the time of the crime.

The body of Michelle Young was discovered by her sister that day while her husband Jason was traveling, according to a search warrant issued in February and recently unsealed.

Computer records show that Jason Young had checked in at the Hampton Inn in Hillsville at about 10:49 p.m. on Nov. 2.

Michelle Young, 29, was beaten to death in her bed at home. Media reports say she was pregnant.

The couple’s other child was found alive by the family member who discovered Michelle Young’s body.

No charges have been filed in the case, according to media reports.

Security camera video from the motel captured images of Jason Young in the lobby while he checked in.

Investigators took the video from 14 security cameras at the Hampton Inn back to Raleigh for further analysis, according to the search warrant used in Carroll County.

The video showed that during time it took Jason Young to check in, he was wearing “a light colored long sleeve pullover garment.”

The investigators saw in the recordings that Jason Young returned to the lobby area at about 11:59 p.m.

“On this occasion he appears to be wearing a dark colored long-sleeve pullover garment with a lighter colored thin stripe bisecting the chest area,” the search warrant said. “The whereabouts of this second garment has never been established and is unaccounted for at this time.”

Video shows Young going toward a side exit on the south side of the motel.

“The exit door where this security video camera is located is the same door that hotel employees discovered a rock had been placed in the door jamb,” the document said. “This action had the effect of blocking the door from closing and automatically locking.

“It also made in unnecessary for anyone to use their keycard when entering through this door.”

The computerized system creates a record when a keycard is used, and whom the card was assigned to, the search warrant noted.

Jason Young’s keycard was used only once, about six minutes after he registered at the front desk, the police information says.

“As seen in the security video, Jason Young does leave his hotel room,” the search warrant says. “However, the next recorded use of a keycard is approximately 11:41 a.m. by the Hampton Inn housekeeping staff.”

In the search warrant, investigators asked for permission to search a self-storage facility rented by Jason Young for shoes that might match a print found at the scene of the crime, the pullover Young was seen wearing in the video at Hillsville, valuables from the Youngs’ home and cash gas receipts dating from that period.

Investigators had credit card transactions for gas showing that Young had filled up at 7:32 p.m. at the Handy Hugo in Raleigh on Nov. 2, then Nov. 3 at a gas station at noon in Duffield, Va., and again at 8:32 p.m. at an Amoco in Burlington, N.C.

“If Jason Young returned to his residence on the night of November 2nd, 2006, and/or the morning of November 3rd, he would have needed to purchase additional fuel,” the search warrant said.

To avoid a record of the sale on a credit card, Young would have had to pay in cash, the warrant said. That’s why investigators included the request to search for cash gas receipts.

Michelle Young’s body was discovered by her sister after Jason Young had called Nov. 3 and asked the sister to go by his home, according to the search warrant.

Jason Young had wanted the sister to pick up printouts from his computer, “said to have been of a belated anniversary gift,” the documents said. “Mr. Young supposedly did not want [Michelle Young] to discover the surprise gift he was planning for her.”

Investigators say Jason Young was informed of his wife’s death after he reached his parent’s home in Brevard on Nov. 3.

His mother told investigators that when Young arrived at her home, he was wearing a white shirt and tie and had no luggage with him, the search warrant says. She told investigators that her son did not wash or change while at her home.

He and his family members went to Raleigh, where police searched his Ford Explorer.

The search warrant describes Jason Young as being uncooperative with police.

Young hung up on a detective that had contacted him as he was en route back to Raleigh on Nov. 3, and he refused to go to the scene of the slaying or speak with investigators until he had secured legal counsel.