Local News

Slain Mom's Family Announces $10K Reward

Posted June 29, 2007
Updated June 30, 2007

— The family of a slain pregnant woman stabbed to death more than two weeks ago announced on Friday a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Jenna Nielsen, 22, was out delivering USA Today newspapers when she was stabbed to death sometime in the early-morning hours of June 14, Raleigh police said.

She was eight-months pregnant with her third son, Ethen.

"We believe this $10,000 reward will help bring the needed tip to break the case," Nielsen's father, Kevin Blaine said.

Surrounded by more than a dozen family, friends and police officers, Blaine also announced his family's effort to push for the recognition of a fetal homicide law in North Carolina, which prevents prosecutors from seeking double murder charges.

Currently, Blaine said, the state, along with 14 others, "disregard the life of an eight-month-old child."

"When learning of this, I knew then that I needed to devote as much time in my life as needed to fight for the right of a murdered, unborn human being and to bring justice to Jenna and Ethen," he said.

'There's no reason why an unborn child should not be recognized in the case of a homicide.".

"It needs to be changed as soon as possible," Nielsen's husband, Tim said. "That is our biggest goal right now other than trying to catch the person or people responsible for what happened."

The case has drawn national attention with Tim Nielsen, appearing on Fox News' "On the Record" and USA Today publishing a full-page advertisement in its Monday edition. The paper also ran a quarter-page ad Wednesday and Friday and another full-page ad on Thursday.

"Anybody and everybody that can see it helps us a lot. There's no guarantee this person is still in this state," Blaine said. "So, if we have national coverage, we get that much more coverage outside of North Carolina."

Police have described the slaying as a random act and have released a composite sketch of a person of interest who was seen near the crime scene in the pre-dawn hours of June 14.

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

Detectives also recovered a knife from an area less than a half-mile from the crime scene, but they have not said whether it was used in Nielsen's death.

"Anyone who knows anything, anybody who's seen anything -- it doesn't matter if it’s the littlest, teeniest, tiniest bit of information," Nielsen said. "That's been known to break cases, and that's what we need right now."

The Raleigh Police Department has set up a tip line at 919-227-6220 for information. All information is confidential.

"It has generated a lot of work for us, which is very helpful," Raleigh police Maj. Ken Mathias said. "Detectives are following up on each and every phone call we've received."

Nielsen was buried Saturday in Salt Lake City near where the young family lived before moving to Fuquay-Varina last August. She left behind Schyler, 3, and Kaiden, 11 months.

“He knows mommy's not coming home," Nielsen said of his oldest son. "He knows she is in heaven. He will see her soon and we will be a family one day, as well.”

Nielsen's brother has posted a note on his Myspace page asking the public to call police if they have any information. The family has also set up a Web site, justice4jenna.org, in an effort to keep the case alive until it is solved.

"We have to do something to get the word out," Blaine said. "Hopefully, someone will see this and help us find that person or persons."


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  • elcid89 Jun 30, 2007

    I am a little curious though. If the father can afford to just toss out $10K, you'd think he'd have been able to help them out such that a pregnant woman wasn't hustling newspapers around at some ungodly hour of the morning.

  • elcid89 Jun 30, 2007

    "Yes. the knife they found was the murder weapon. Jenna was stabbed to death"

    This attachment to people you read about in the news or see on television, such that you feel close enough to put them on a first name basis, is just sad.

    You do not know these people. They don't know you. You aren't connected. Don't call them by their first names.

  • atozca Jun 30, 2007

    211 signatures in less than 24 hours!

    If you want to see the laws change in North Carolina, please sign this petition.


  • migsander Jun 30, 2007

    I really hope that they find the person who did this. It is a sad because this pregnant mother was trying to make some extra money to support her family.

  • ladyblue Jun 29, 2007

    Sugarsweet- Yes the composite does favor a woman's character as well. Unless something has changed the police say he a lot but in the interview with Nancy Grace when she asked Raleigh detectives, they said yes it could possibly be a woman as well because of the small frame. I'm glad to hear the knife that was found has been identified as murder weapon. Last night they were saying they were not sure yet because tests hadn't come back. I hope that is a better lead. The detectives also said in NG interview that they were afraid the service station she was at being closed, did not have video for 24 hrs and may not have been on. But others close by did. They had not gone through all of them. I think they know they don't have video but they're holding as much evidence as they can.

  • sugarsweet Jun 29, 2007

    My prayers go out to this family. I truely can not believe all the madness today.

    I'm just curious does the composite sketch looks like a woman to anyone else??? I sincerly believe that the sketch and description of the "person of interest" could pass for a female. Maybe this is the reason for detectives having a tough time.

  • RoseBud Jun 29, 2007

    Yes. the knife they found was the murder weapon. Jenna was stabbed
    to death

  • RoseBud Jun 29, 2007

    there is a law for harming a fetus, but NOT one for murdering a fetus. Thats why the following petition is so important, PLEASE sign this and give these kids a voice.

  • strolling bones Jun 29, 2007

    Did they ever determine is the "found" knife was the murder weapon?

  • strolling bones Jun 29, 2007

    but her baby was delivered by Caesarean section 10 weeks early & survived.