Evidence lost in police response to Young's death

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Geoffrey Ritter
Carbondale Times

CARBONDALE — State Police are awaiting test results that will “turn on the lights” regarding the March shooting death of Molly Young, the case’s principal investigator says, and those results could determine whether the case moves forward as a suicide or homicide investigation.

Illinois State Police Lt. Stan Diggs says some potential evidence, however, will never be part of the investigation after Young’s on-and-off boyfriend — both a resident of the apartment and a telecommunicator for the Carbondale Police Department — apparently washed his hands and change his clothing before State Police arrived.

Diggs says police are awaiting phone records and blood-spatter test results on clothing before determining how to proceed in the death of Young, 21, a Marion High School graduate who was found the morning of Saturday, March 24 in the apartment after having sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Those results should arrive within the next week or two, Diggs said.

State Police continue to treat the incident as a suspicious death, and authorities have made no arrests or filed any charges. An assistant to Jackson County Coroner Thomas Kupferer said it still could be several weeks before a complete report on Young’s death is available.

“It’s going to turn on the lights,” Diggs said of the blood testing currently being done in Collinsville. “That’s going to help us one way or another.”

Diggs said Carbondale telecommunicator Richie Minton, son of a longtime Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy, already had an attorney present when State Police investigators arrived that morning. Diggs also said the Carbondale Police Department “was allowing him some latitudes” before State Police arrived to assume command of the investigation.

Diggs said that precluded investigators from conducting a gunshot-residue test on Minton’s hands, although such a test would not necessarily offer any conclusive results, he added. Diggs said that once a weapon was fired, anyone in the vicinity could have residue on them.

(UPDATE: Subsequently released police reports show authorities conducted gunshot residue tests on the hands of Minton, his roommate and Young. Results were negative for all three.)

Diggs said State Police have spent several hours interviewing Minton’s roommate, whose identity has not been verified by the Times, but Minton is “not being real accommodating with us.” As of Monday, Minton had not agreed to sit for an interview with investigators, Diggs said.

An attempt by the Times Tuesday morning to reach out to Minton and identify his attorney was unsuccessful. Also, the Carbondale Police Department has declined to comment on the matter, deferring to the State Police as the lead investigative agency.

Young’s father, Larry Young, told the Times last week that he and the rest of Molly Young’s family was disappointed that several hours passed between his daughter’s death and the time when family first was notified. Diggs said the process of obtaining a warrant to enter the apartment slowed the early investigation.

Larry Young also said he does not believe his daughter’s death was a suicide, citing her excitement at having recently started a new job and the fact that she had made plans to go shopping on the weekend when her body was found.

Neighbors or other witnesses who may have information pertinent to the investigation are asked to call the Illinois State Police at 618-542-2171.