Local News

Sketch Producing Tips in Pregnant Mother's Slaying

Posted June 18, 2007

— A sketch of a person wanted for questioning in the slaying of a pregnant mother last week has produced more than two dozen tips since Friday, police said Monday.

An officer responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle early Thursday morning 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.

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.

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.

Since police released the sketch of the man late Friday, they have received dozens of tips to a special hotline set up to handle leads in the case.

"The detectives upstairs are working the case 24 hours a day. They're following all the leads we're getting, and we are very appreciative of what we're getting from people calling in," said Capt. Chris Bertram of the Raleigh Police Department.

"The focus, like I said, is try to find this person because we believe he may have some information that may assist us in the investigation of the case," Bertram said. "We're not saying this person is a suspect. It is someone who was seen nearby and we would really like to talk to him."

Meanwhile, Nielsen's family waits for answers. Her brother posted a note on his MySpace.com page asking the public to call police if they have any information about the crime or the composite.

Nielsen will be buried later this week in Utah, where she lived before moving to Fuquay-Varina.


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  • ussstink Jun 20, 2007

    Is anyone suspicious of the man who "found" the knife and threw it over the fence?

  • wolfmandan Jun 19, 2007

    There's a very special place in Haydes for someone like this person. I hope he gets the express train there!!..And RPD..keep up the good work!!..You folks are the Best!!..

  • Adelinthe Jun 19, 2007

    There may not have been eyewitnesses, but there was video security at the front of the store which captured a likeness of the person in the sketch. Get it?

    The video also showed a pick up truck pulling a trailer pull into the store lot, around behind the store (where there is no video security) and back around front leaving at about 2:30 am.

    It's only a matter of time, and I pray they are swift and harsh with judgement.

    Praying for the family.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • carrese Jun 19, 2007

    I'm sure the police are working around the clock and just like everyone else, I want this person caught too. Afterall, this happened less than a mile from my house. However, RPD...@yahoo.com, police are almost purely a reactionary force and respond only AFTER a crime has been committed. This is why I urge my family and friends to procure a concealed carry permit, be extremely proficient with your weapon and be vigilant. Ultimately we cannot rely on the police to protect us.

  • BEACH Jun 19, 2007


    I am so SORRY FOR YOUR LOST ALSO will look at your site
    Prayers for this family, I sure hope they catch this person.

  • rpdwife05 Jun 19, 2007

    carrese -at- unc -dot- edu:"It's no wonder the sketch has produced lot's of tips (whether relevant or not) since the sketch is so poor and ambiguous. How can police even create a sketch without an eye witness? Poor police-work on RPD's part."

    ARTICLE: "and said they want to identify a man SEEN near the convenience store in the pre-dawn hours Thursday"

    Obviously this man was seen near the area around the time of the murder...Thats why they produced this sketch. They had to go off the description given to them...I'm sure they did the best they can. Nothing POOR about thier police work. They want this sicko caught.

    Anyone with info please call... They are working round' the clock on this case.

  • carrese Jun 19, 2007

    It's no wonder the sketch has produced lot's of tips (whether relevant or not) since the sketch is so poor and ambiguous. How can police even create a sketch without an eye witness? Poor police-work on RPD's part.

  • juli28428 Jun 19, 2007

    I also thought the person of interest was a female because of the features, mainly the eyebrows. This is such a sad, horrible story.

    lastchance --- my thoughts and prayers are with you as well as Jenna's family.

  • LADY1 Jun 19, 2007

    Sounds like to me he might had been after some money also, and she didn't have any. So he is just a hard cold killer. God be with the family and hope this person is arrested soon.

  • rpdwife05 Jun 19, 2007

    I can believe that a human being would do this to someone. Her poor family. Praying that the monster who did this is caught soon!
    Last chance: I remeber that case. I am so sorry you have yet to find justice for your son. Such a senseless murder. Know that even if they are not caught in this life...they will pay for their crime.