Justice for Molly: Ten years later, quest for justice carried on by loved ones


Julian Castillo | @julcastillophotography

A banner saying “Justice for Molly” hangs from a pavilion at Turley Park March 27, 2022 in Carbondale, Ill.

*This story has been updated for accuracy on April 7, 2022*

A memorial service for Molly Young took place at Turley Park on March 27 at 2 pm.

Molly Young was a twenty-one year old native of Marion, IL when she was found dead on March 24, 2012 in the home of her ex-boyfriend, police dispatcher Richie Minton.


Her death was initially ruled a suicide, but additional investigation came to later label the cause of death as undetermined. Since Young’s death, her family has worked to raise awareness of her case and influenced legislation to fight against opaque police procedures and reducing opportunities for government employees to abuse positions of power.

“There were young girls coming up to me and asking me about it and it was so heartwarming to see their interest,” Linda Young, Molly’s stepmom, said of the memorial service.

Molly’s father, Larry Young, began the event by getting up to speak, but overwhelmed with tears, asked Linda Young to tell a story.

“One of his fondest memories was one time when she was about 6 years old and she went to church to watch Larry get baptized,” Linda Young said.

Linda Young said the air conditioning had gone out and the priest made a comment about hoping there would be air conditioning in heaven.

“He asked her (Molly) what she thought about the experience and she replied ‘can you believe the preacher didn’t know there was air conditioning,’” Linda Young said.

Illinois Senator Terri Bryant then stood up to speak on some of the legislative updates taking place, including new laws introduced.


“When you get to the ten year point, it’s especially painful and we don’t really want to call it a milestone unless we’re celebrating the conviction of the person who we know ultimately took the life of Molly,” Bryant said.

Bryant said she was a brand new legislator when Larry Young came to her and told him finding justice in this case would be difficult because of the way the laws were written.

Bryant said her job was to fix the issue so it never happened to someone else and one of the problems they encountered was, by the time the Young family got the case to civil court, the two year statute of limitations had expired.

“The first thing we had to do was change the statute of limitations from two years to five years as most of the municipalities and government entities were dragging their feet until they ran the clock out, so now that’s a little harder to do,” Bryant said.

The second law she introduced was to strengthen Freedom of Information Acts (FOIA) laws, because if someone files a request and the documents aren’t turned over then the FOIA was ineffective. Bryant said now if there is an order from the attorney general’s office, agencies have thirty-one days to turn over the documents.

“If you don’t comply within that thirty to thirty-one days, there’s a five thousand dollar fine and one thousand dollars per day after that,” Bryant said.

Bryant said Larry Young was selfless enough to admit that Bryant might not be able to help in Molly’s case but they didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

“I promised [him] that I was going to work on this the full time I’m in the legislature,” Bryant said.

Bryant said they got both of Molly’s Laws passed within her first year in the legislature because she explained to people what was happening and they didn’t want it to happen to any other family.

“When Larry and Joe Cervantes and so many of you came to Springfield and were willing to testify, we’re going to keep fighting to make sure there is justice for Molly,” Bryant said.

“Ten years is a long time and so the little ones have grown up and loved ones have passed away but we’re going to keep fighting for justice,” Larry Young said.

Former National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) criminal justice chair Elius Reed asked if Illinois State’s Attorney Joe Cervantes was considering reopening the Molly Young case.

“We appreciate all that he’s doing to advance the case and bring it to a conclusive end with justice for Molly finally carried out,” Larry Young said.

Former radio show host Monica Zukas said, when she first met Larry Young, the Justice for Molly Facebook page was in its infancy.

“Larry was looking around for someone to play the 911 call made before Molly was found and after I played it on my radio show, the membership of the Justice for Molly Facebook page shot up,” Zukas said.

Zukas said even though not all supporters are visible, they are working tirelessly to ensure justice in the background.

“I feel like the mountains we’ve moved were monumental, like getting Molly’s Laws passed, and that the support of the community and on social media is awesome,” Zukas said.

She said the family needs Cervantes to finish the job and try to take the case to a grand jury, but that she was positive that there will be justice soon.

“It’s good people like you that help people like them make the change,” Larry Young said.

He said they’re still offering a $5,000 reward for any information that could lead to the arrest of the person who murdered Molly.

The memorial concluded with the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow” to remember Molly’s fondness for rainbows, according to Larry Young.

Staff reporter Joel Kottman can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter: @JoelKottman. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.