RALEIGH, N.C. It is beginning to look like the blank space on the birth certificate where the father's name is supposed to go might never be filled in, as speculation over the paternity of Rielle Hunter's baby continued on Saturday.
Hunter issued a statement through her attorney saying she would not submit her daughter to a genetic test to determine the father of the girl born to her in February.
That came a day after former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards admitted to ABC News that he had an affair with Hunter. But he vehemently denied that he got her pregnant and said he would take a paternity test to prove it. He said their affair ended in 2006 before she would have become pregnant.
Efforts to reach Edwards on Saturday were unsuccessful.
Hunter and a former Edwards' campaign aide, Andrew Aldridge Young, posted statements online in December saying that Young was the father.
But on Saturday, ABC News reported that Hunter's sister, Melissa, challenged Edwards to take a DNA test, saying "somebody must stand up for my sister."
Then, Robert Gordon, a New York lawyer, issued a statement to The Washington Post that Hunter would not be tested.
"She wishes to maintain her privacy and her daughter's privacy," Gordon said. "Furthermore, Rielle will not participate in DNA testing or any other invasion of her or her daughter's privacy now or in the future."
Reached by phone, Gordon told The News & Observer that he and Hunter would have nothing else to say.
By implication, that could leave Hunter's earlier statement naming Young as the father as the final word on the matter.
Young was a devoted foot soldier in John Edwards' brief political career. But whether he was dedicated enough to falsely claim Rielle Hunter's baby was his or if he simply had an affair with the same woman as his boss is a matter of much speculation.
Young, 42, and his family have been in hiding, just like Hunter, since The National Enquirer began reporting on the affair late last year.
Young is a North Carolina native who went to work for Edwards' campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1998, working as a low-level staffer. The following year, he married a nurse, Cheri Lynn Pfister, who was 25 at the time, and the couple settled in Cary. They began to raise a family that would grow to three children.
Young followed Edwards to the Senate, working on his staff there. In July 2000, the Youngs bought into a 4,850-square-foot house in Raleigh.
By the spring of 2002, Young split his time between Edwards' Senate office and his political action committee, the New American Optimists, which The N&O noted at the time was a sign of Edwards' escalating political ambition. That same spring, Young was looking for an office in Raleigh that would house Edwards' re-election campaign and the Washington-based PAC, which was financing his presidential exploratory efforts.
Young moved up the ranks, at least in title, in January 2003, when Edwards announced the formation of Edwards for President Inc., an exploratory committee. Young was director of operations.
Edwards' expected entry into the campaign brought national media to Raleigh, including TV trucks that crowded the streets near his home and damaged neighbors' lawns. Edwards sent a note to his neighbors telling them to get in touch with "our assistant" Young who would arrange for Edwards' lawn-care service to repair the damage.
By 2006, Young was engrossed in Edwards' increasingly certain presidential bid. It was in July that year when Hunter began her six-month contract to produce a series of videos for the One America Committee's Web site to personalize Edwards, who had been criticized as being too wooden during his Senate campaign.
Edwards told ABC News that his affair with Hunter ended in 2006 and that he didn't know when Young might have become involved with the woman. Young continued working for the campaign, primarily organizing fundraising events in North Carolina, until approximately one year ago. Campaign finance records show he was making about $3,500 a month.
By then, the Youngs had sold their home in Raleigh for $1.2 million. Carolyn Grissom, who bought the house, told The N&O in December that the Youngs seemed like a happy couple.
"They looked to me like two teenagers at a prom," Grissom said. "It was like she worshipped the ground he walked on and she could do no wrong in his eyes."
In August 2007, the Youngs rented a house in the gated community of Governor's Club in Chapel Hill. The serenity of the stately setting might have been upset in October, when the Enquirer published a story alleging Edwards had an affair; but the stress had surely intensified by Dec. 19, when the tabloid reported the "other woman" was pregnant and living in Governor's Club near the Youngs.
A week before that story appeared, two Enquirer reporters showed up at the Youngs' house, peering into a side window and startling Cheri Young. Andrew Young drove up as the reporters scurried to the front door and began knocking, according to a tape of Cheri Young's call to 911.
"My husband is talking with them. ... He's trying to tell them to leave and they're not leaving," she says, and then speaks to the reporters: "There's no explaining, sir, you need to go."
In January, the Youngs moved out of Governor's Club. It appears that Hunter left about the same time. Both of them resurfaced in Santa Barbara, Calif., in July, when the Enquirer reported on Edwards meeting with Hunter in Beverly Hills.
The N&O has attempted to contact the Youngs and their relatives in person, by mail, and by phone call at various times between October and this month without success. News reports on Saturday suggested both the Youngs and Hunter were moving out of Santa Barbara now.