Local News

Sketch Released in Pregnant Mother's Slaying

Posted June 15, 2007

— Less than a day after a pregnant mother was found murdered behind a Raleigh convenience store, police said they received a mysterious phone call that could provide a lead in the case.

Police also released a composite sketch late Friday of a man they want to question in the case.

An officer responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle found the body of Jennifer Kathleen "Jenna" Nielsen, 22, of Fuquay-Varina, behind the AmeriKing Food Mart on Lake Wheeler Road, across from the State Farmers Market, early Thursday morning.

Nielsen, the mother of two boys who was eight months pregnant with her third son, was on her early morning route to restock USA Today newspaper boxes when she was killed, police said. The cause of death hasn't been released.

At about 1:30 a.m. Friday, a Spanish-speaking man called 911 dispatchers from a pay phone near the intersection of South Saunders and West South streets and said he had information related to Nielsen's death, said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

The caller quickly hung up, but investigators went to the phone booth and checked it for fingerprints and other clues, Sughrue said.

Police described the slaying as a random act and said they want to identify a man seen near the convenience store in the pre-dawn hours Thursday.

The man is described as being in the late teens or early 20s, standing about 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing about 120 pounds. The man had black hair pulled into a ponytail and wore a dark-colored sleeveless shirt and baggy denim shorts.

Anyone familiar with the man is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department. A special telephone line at 919-227-6220 has been dedicated to receive tips about the crime.

A reward will be available for information that assists the investigation.

Nielsen's family said all they want is justice in the case.

"This person murdered a pregnant woman with a child inside of her," said her husband, Tim Nielsen. "This person killed two people."

Her 3-year-old son, Schyler, wants to know where his mother in, said her brother, Jason Kubota.

"He keeps saying, 'Mommy. Mommy's come home,' you know. And we say, 'No, Mommy's not coming home,'" Kubota said.

"They're not going to ever see their mommy again," Tim Neilsen said of his sons. "We're going to keep going. I mean, we really have no other choice."

As they planned funerals in Utah for both Jennifer Nielsen and her unborn son, relatives asked for anyone with information about the slaying to come forward.

"People might have seen somebody leave, somebody come by," Kubota said.


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  • mypuckytaz Jun 17, 2007

    People who are drunk, high, etc. aren't thinking clearly - they don't care how much money they get - they just want to get it! This is a sickening shame that someone in our society could do something so wrong and disgusting. I pray that the killer is found - and as the Bible says - an eye for an eye - may this killer be put to death, in the most hideous way possible. God bless the family of this young woman and her baby - her children at home asking for her - this is so pitiful. Her husband and parents have a lot of work ahead of them, taking care of two small children, who will be constantly crying and asking for a mother, they will never see again.

  • IceCreamMan Jun 17, 2007

    The Lake Wheeler Rd area is very rough as is, and I'm afraid of how much worse it will become if the powers that be convert Dix to a huge park. I am hopeful they think better of this and go with a plan that would bring a better class of people this area.

  • islandgirl Jun 17, 2007

    This is so sad, and disturbing... how in the hell are you going to take ones life, and then to top it off theres a child inside of her that is pretty much full term..... I cannot imagine what this young lady was thinking when this animal was attempting to harm and kill her and her unborn child... I pray and hope that they find the person responsible for this terrible crime and make him pay dearly..... Find this monster and get him off the streets.. Everyone involve may you all find the strength and faith in God to keep going, and those little angel, im so sadden for them, { their calling for their mother } so sad....There is so much that this family is going thru and will continue because those kids will get older and they will want to know whats going on, or what happen... thru all there sorrows, may god be with all.... May Justice be served...

  • Sabertooth Jun 17, 2007

    This doesn't seem to be a robbery gone wrong, since I don't think a person that delivers newspapers would carry a lot of money.
    There seems to have been a lot of anger envolved for something like that to have happened. Could it have been the spouse, lover or lovers quarrel? It bears looking into.

  • moose13 Jun 17, 2007

    What a TRAGIC story, may justic be served...for once...may the family find peace with God!

  • busylady Jun 17, 2007

    I heard the 911 call and the man who had the decency to call in had to constantly repeat the information over and over to the 911 operator. Absolutely ridiculous. The operator should be able to understand the information without having the caller constantly repeat the information over and over because isn't that why she's working 911? A requirement should be that she should be able to process the info quickly. I couldn't believe how poorly she was able to process the information. Very disturbing!!

  • ladyblue Jun 17, 2007

    I just want to drop in again and give my condolences to this family. This story breaks my heart more than most. Her character and life was so full and dedicated to her family. She was so gifted and caring. Why this? I've had to ask God's forgiveness as well for the hate I'm feeling for this murderer. Please if anyone knows anything that may help, come forward for these people's sake. They moved to this state to start a wonderful life, not loose their life.

  • 1WakeCitizen Jun 16, 2007

    my hearfelt prayers go out to this family!

    May the killer find the noose he deserves.

  • Madman at the Wheel Jun 16, 2007

    The state of our society disgusts me. This a sickening story and my heart hurts for the motherless children. The sad part is, if this suspect is ever caught he will not get what he deserves. He MIGHT get a needle in the arm and drift off to sleep, OR he will probably get to spend the rest of his life in prison living off of the tax payers hard earned money because capital punishment is "too cruel." God be with the victim's husband and children.

  • gopanthers Jun 16, 2007

    To many post to read and catch up. So If I repeat I'm sorry. I hope this Scumbag is charged with Double Hommicide and they fry him. And I'm being polite about it. If you knew what was really running through my mind somebody would report me.