Pregnant newspaper carrier's stabbing death still unsolved
Posted June 14, 2012
Updated June 16, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Thursday marked five years since a pregnant Fuquay-Varina woman was found dead outside a Raleigh convenience store in what police have called a random homicide.
Jenna Nielsen had been delivering newspapers on the morning of June 14, 2007, at the AmeriKing Food Mart on Lake Wheeler Road when someone stabbed her in the neck and left her body behind the store.
The 22-year-old was weeks away from giving birth to her third son, to be named Ethen.
Although investigators found DNA at the crime scene, Nielsen's death has never been solved.
Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Thursday that the case remains under investigation. He urged anyone who might know something about the crime – no matter how small or insignificant the detail might seem – to call Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.
Early in the investigation, detectives put out a description of a person wanted for questioning who was seen near the convenience store on the night of the crime.
Police have described him as a short, slightly built man in his late teens or early 20s with black hair pulled back into a long ponytail. He was wearing a dark-colored sleeveless shirt and baggy denim shorts. His ethnicity is not known.
Nielsen's family is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
In the years since her slaying, family members have set up a website, Justice4Jenna, in an effort to keep the case in the public eye.
"It's hard to believe that it has been 5 years since someone selfishly stole you from our family," a message posted on the site Thursday said. "There isn't a day that goes by that you and Ethen are not in our thoughts."
Nielsen's death also prompted lawmakers last year to enact "Ethen's Law," which would find anyone who commits murder, manslaughter or assault against a pregnant woman guilty of the same crimes against the fetus.