JACKSON/PERRY Cos.—While there have been no recent developments on the investigatory end in the case of the death of Molly Young, there have been some indirect matters occur recently.
Almost immediately after we learned last week that the Special Prosecution Unit of the Appellate Prosecutor’s office in Springfield had stepped into the case on a request from duly-elected Jackson County prosecutor Mike Carr, we learned that there had been some changes to the investigators in the case…and, apparently, in the structure of the hierarchy within Zone 7 investigations.
And it’s likely over what has happened in the case of Molly’s death.
Molly Young, 21, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 24, 2012, at the apartment of an ex-boyfriend, Richie Minton, a dispatcher for Carbondale police, who was supposed to have been at work at 7 a.m., about two and a half hours after she died. However, her death wasn’t reported until several hours later (9:02), at which time Minton and his roommate, Wes Romack, apparently concocted a story and spun it out for a 911 call…this happening hours after neighbors in the apartment complex had seen police activity at Minton’s place, none of which was reported to investigating authorities in the days and weeks to come. Neither man was ever taken in for questioning; Minton, with his parents by his side by the time authorities got there, had already lawyered up, so apparently authorities thought it implausible to attempt to question him. What their excuse was for not questioning the roommate is unknown.
Cmdr. Steven Shields
The entire investigation, it appears, was a sham, and designed to further cover over whatever really happened that morning. But with the perseverance of Young’s family, national media attention has been given the case, this coming after Illinois State Police authorities took it upon themselves to declare the investigation “closed” and submitting the bulk of their documentation to Larry Young (Molly’s father) before Carr declared that it was still “open.”
At the press conference Carr held to announce that the case was still open, Zone 7 Investigations Commander Steven Shields was among the contingent who flanked Carr on either side while he spoke, appearing to want to convey authority in this manner.
He fell flat, as the questions asked by reporters at the conference (who appeared to know more about the case than Carr did) revealed that ISP and Carr were maintaining the erroneous notion that Young died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound…a fact that a coroner’s jury held earlier this year clearly established was not the case.
Apparently, all the media questions and coverage, and the bowing out of Carr mere days after Larry Young called for his recusal, has had a profound impact on ISP as well.
Last Thursday we learned that Shields either has already resigned his position as commander at Zone 7, or is in the process of it. A call made to Zone 7 and directly to Shields’ extension did not find his voice on the voicemail, but instead was the voice of someone with the last name of Tuttle, asking to leave a message.
As well, last Thursday, we learned that Aaron Cooper, who gave most of the (slanted) testimony at the coroner’s jury inquest in January, has been reassigned from Special Agent (the case agent on the Young death) to road trooper.
This is in advance of the SPU firing the investigation back up, the likely course of action now that the case has been taken out of Carr’s hands.
What the SPU will do with the case remains unknown as yet; and whether these ISP developments impact the investigation at all also remains to be seen.
We’ll have more, however, in the upcoming edition of Disclosure, which is going to be available here at the website via the e-Edition a week from tonight; or for those who prefer to hold the print version in their hands, the paper will be on stands beginning September 10, including new locations in Williamson County. Be watching for updates; and have your subs renewed or updated so you won’t miss out on the next issue, on stands only three weeks.