Molly Young family not giving up hope

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Geoffrey Ritter
Carbondale Times

CARBONDALE — More than a year after her mysterious death in a Carbondale apartment, closure remains elusive in the case of 21-year-old Molly Young, although her family says it will continue to push for answers.

Jackson County State’s Attorney Mike Carr said Tuesday that he has no new developments to report in the case, and a representative for the family says that while the case appears to be idling, they have no intention of giving up.

“It looks like things are sort of parked in neutral right now,” said Charles Lamont, the spokesperson for the Young family. “The family is not giving up hope that all of the truth will come out. We’re not going to give up until we have the whole truth.”

Despite frigid temperatures and intermittent snow, friends and family of Young gathered Sunday, the one-year anniversary of her death, at Turley Park in Carbondale for a memorial vigil. Attendees shared stories of Young’s accomplishments in art, lit candles in her memory and signed letters to Attorney General Lisa Madigan seeking her assistance in the case.

Emergency medical technicians and Carbondale Police responded shortly after 9 a.m. March 24, 2012, to the Carbondale apartment of Richie Minton, Young’s on-and-off boyfriend and a dispatcher with the Carbondale Police Department, following a 911 call in which Minton indicated Young had overdosed. Upon arriving, authorities learned Young had died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Responding officers secured the apartment as a crime scene, and because of Minton’s employment status, the investigation quickly was handed to the Illinois State Police. Minton already had obtained a lawyer by the time State Police investigators arrived at the Carbondale Police Department to interview him, and he has not spoken to investigators since then.

At the January inquest, State Police officials testified that in the 24 hours preceding her death, Young exchanged a series of text messages with Minton and his roommate in which she admitted a desire to end her life and confessed to attempting a drug overdose one day before her death.

Police also found journals in her car and bedroom at home, in addition to an undated suicide letter, in which she detailed an extensive history of depression and suicidal thoughts. The toxicology report showed no abnormal levels of drugs in Young’s body, and the inquest jury ultimately ruled the cause of her death undetermined due to a lack of evidence.

Young went to bed at home the night before, but she left her home around 3 a.m. in response to a call and text message from Minton, who had been out drinking and was requesting her help, investigators said. Around 4:40 a.m., a text sent from Young’s phone to Minton’s roommate indicated she planned to shoot herself in the head, investigators said. Minton told Carbondale Police that he had been asleep and woke to find Young’s body on the floor next to his bed. He also said he had tried to perform CPR.

Police were unable to identify any fingerprints on Minton’s .45-caliber pistol that fired the shot, and investigators found no gunshot residue on Minton’s or Young’s hands, State Police officials testified.

Lamont declined to discuss the specifics of what actions the family is working on, but he said they hope to eventually understand Minton’s side of the story.

“The only other person we know was there was Richie Minton,” Lamont said. “We want to know his story. The truth doesn’t need to hide.”