Nathaniel White-Young, 30, now faces two counts of murder, according to an affidavit in Kingsport General Sessions Court. Records state that Melissa Mingle, 37, was “with unborn child” when she passed away in the hospital on Monday. That was one day after she was found unconscious on the front lawn of her home on Fordtown Road.
A Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office incident report states that neighbors spotted Mingle and called 911. Court records state that responding officers observed a fire inside the residence.
The flames were put out by volunteer firefighters, with the cause traced to a push mower upside down in the living room. The odor of gasoline was very strong, according to the reporting officer, and the mower’s gas cap was located on the back patio.
According to court records, investigators later spoke with someone who talked with White-Young after the incident. During that conversation, White-Young allegedly stated that “he had really messed up by pushing her down and she hit her head, he then started a small fire to get help.”
A detective’s affidavit adds that, according to hospital staff, Mingle suffered severe trauma by being “struck in the head with an unknown object.” A police report added that she might have sustained broken bones.
Prior to the arrival of authorities at Mingle’s home, White-Young fled with her son that he had fathered. The child was later dropped off at another location, and Sullivan County detectives learned White-Young might be headed to Hamblen County.
Records at the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office state that about 7:30 Monday morning, police were alerted to a suicide note at a gas station. A clerk did not see who left it at the pump, but it reportedly urged whoever was reading it to call Kingsport police.
“I’m Nathan Young I went to see the sunrise on the lake,” the note reportedly reads, then names an individual who knew a camping spot where he could be found.
The note reportedly ends with, “I’m sorry I don’t deserve to live.”
Police reviewed surveillance footage and identified White-Young as the person who left the note. They pegged a 1994 Honda Accord as the car he was driving, then located it parked at a lake access point on Anderson Bend.
The vehicle was running, according to police, and had a hose attached to the exhaust and snaking into the cab. Inside, an unresponsive White-Young was lying down in the driver’s seat.
Two officers pulled White-Young from the car, at which time he “began gasping for air and stopped breathing.” As police awaited the arrival of EMS, they administered CPR and White-Young’s breathing resumed.
White-Young received treatment at a hospital in Hamblen County, which delayed his return to Blountville until Tuesday.
The original warrants for White-Young’s arrest, filed prior to Mingle’s death, were for attempted murder and aggravated arson. He now faces two counts of first-degree murder. As of Wednesday, he remained held without bond.
According to Mingle’s obituary, she was a graduate of Sullivan South High School and loved to dance. She owned and operated Lasting Impressions Dance Company in Colonial Heights and worked as a nurse’s assistant for Ballad Health.
Along with her son, Mingle is survived by her parents, brothers, grandparents, nephews and a niece.