Instagram Influencer Michelle Young Found Dead

A U.S. Army soldier, known for her popular fitness and fashion Instagram account, tragically ended her own life, according to close friends who shared the news on Saturday. Staff Sergeant Michelle Young, 34, was a single mother to a 12-year-old daughter, who friends say was the center of her universe. The news of her passing was shared on a GoFundMe page set up to support her daughter.

Sarah Maine, a close friend of Young, described her as a beautiful soul, an incredible friend, a dedicated soldier, and a loving mother. Maine’s heartfelt message on the GoFundMe page highlighted the hidden struggles that people may face, regardless of their outward appearance. She expressed the profound sense of loss and unanswered questions left in the wake of Young’s passing.

Young had a 16-year-long military career, having enlisted at approximately 18 years of age. During her service, she completed two tours in Afghanistan. Just days before her death, Young had shared a touching birthday message for her daughter, Gracie, on Instagram, expressing the joy she found in motherhood.

Friends remember the close bond between Young and her daughter, as evidenced by numerous social media posts depicting their loving relationship. This past Halloween, the mother-daughter duo dressed up as Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, showcasing their shared sense of fun and creativity.

Young had amassed a following of over 100,000 people on Instagram, where she modeled clothing from a company focused on female veterans’ athletic wear. She used her platform to advocate for improved mental health services for veterans and to fight against homelessness among former soldiers. Young also volunteered at a local shelter, providing crisis trauma response.

In a poignant post during Suicide Prevention Week in September, Young shared her personal experience with suicide, revealing that her older brother had taken his own life when she was just 14. She encouraged anyone struggling with mental health issues to seek help.

The circumstances surrounding Young’s suicide remain unclear. Maine, in a separate post, emphasized the prevalence of mental illness, particularly in the military, and called for better support systems. A GoFundMe page set up in Young’s memory has raised nearly $25,000, which will go directly to her daughter.