Local News

Volunteers Hit Streets to Help Find Slain Mom's Killer

Posted July 1, 2007

— Family and friends of slain mother Jenna Nielsen say they refuse to sit back and wait. They want to know who killed the pregnant woman, and they’re asking for the public’s help.

On Saturday, 30 volunteers handed out fliers in downtown Raleigh and near the convenience store where Nielsen was found dead. They’re hoping the personal push will lead to a break in the case.

Nielsen’s father, Kevin Blaine, walked through the State Farmers Market asking vendors if he could hang posters about his daughter’s murder.

“All it’s going to take is one phone call,” Blaine said.

Just across the street from the Farmers Market is the convenience store where Nielsen was killed while delivering newspapers on June 14. The mother of two was eight months pregnant.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to go out there and find him myself and take care of it myself, but I have to let the police do their job,” Blaine said.

Vendors were glad to be doing their part by putting up posters announcing a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the killer’s arrest.

“I just hate it for them. It’s so sad, and I just wish there was something I could do to find whoever done it,” said vendor Laurie Jones.

That’s why Nielsen’s family, friends and even strangers whipped out maps, divvied into groups and hit the surrounding area to pass out 2,500 fliers.

Nielsen’s family is hoping the increased exposure will bring them closer to justice. Closure is another matter, however.

“I won’t tell you there’ll be any closure to this at all, ever,” Blaine said. “This will be a void we’ll have to live with for the rest of our lives.”

What they say they can’t live with is knowing Nielsen’s killer is still on the loose.

Raleigh police have described the slaying as random and have not yet named any suspects.

They are, however, looking for a person of interest who was seen near the crime scene in the pre-dawn hours of June 14.

The individual is described as a male in his 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.

The Raleigh Police Department has set up a tip line at 919-227-6220 for information. All information will be kept confidential, police said.


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  • atozca Jul 3, 2007

    907 signatures! If you would like to see the NC laws change, please sign this petition!


  • SpunkyGrits The One and Only Jul 2, 2007

    Let me finish that thought...the pot stirrers should be eliminated. Thanks.

  • SpunkyGrits The One and Only Jul 2, 2007

    I knew that someone would report my comment. I am sorry, but this site asks you to ignor comment intended to antagonize. Why can't the posters who antagonize be eliminated instead? Isn't that more to the point? I am so sick and tired of those who must constantly bring race into a discussion whether it is warranted or not. I feel that the "pot stirrers" as I call them.

    I sincerely hope that someone is able to find the killer of these TWO innocent people. Someone must have seen this....

  • lboy Jul 2, 2007

    Can you fix the spelling of the name on the petition? Ethen is spelled Ethen, not ETHAN. Just picking that up from the family messages and on the home page where the family lists the names.

  • ladyblue Jul 1, 2007

    jBunny--Because we don't think ILLEGALS in our country has any rights for us to fight for. We are trying to stick to the subject at hand and would appreciate the respect this family needs. There will be other forums to discuss ILLEGALS.


  • Former EnchantedOakster Jul 1, 2007

    Random, senseless attack within 400 yards of Dorothea Dix hospital? If I were the cops, that's where I would look first. Security at Dix is every once in a while lax. Just over a year ago, I was on the Dix campus and witnessed a bunch of guards having to wrestle an inmate down to the ground. So luckily, the citizenry in the area was spared a high-risk walkabout. About 4 years ago, one inmate just up and walked out of there at 8 in the evening and made it on foot all the way to Lake Wheeler (over 5 miles from the hospital) before they tracked him down the next morning. Fortunately, has was one of the harmless ones.

  • RoseBud Jul 1, 2007

    please make sure you read & sign the petition, we are gathering names fast, but we need all the signatures we can get.


  • JBunny Jul 1, 2007

    I didn't agree AT ALL with what plzluvme2 said at ALL - but how come no one jumps on the person that AUTOMATICALLY climbs aboard the "Illegal Alien" bus - which happens to be pretty often here on the WRAL boards....

    Nice to see how different people see things...

  • ladyblue Jul 1, 2007

    The poster question on the photo--You raised a very good point. I think the police would take all that into consideration. I just hope that knife has some DNA to help out. If they do find some and that DNA gets in files, this thug will mess up again and then they'll have more chance of proving this murder on him/her. It is strange that no one has ever seen anyone like this person around. That is very odd, unless it was a transient passing through. Thanks for letting me know about the signatures. I can get a few more now.

  • pappy1 Jul 1, 2007

    This probably sounds odd ... but if you place the victim's photo side-by-side with the "person of interest" their features are very similar. I just hope the police got the description used in the sketch from a reliable source. Given the time of day this crime occurred - other than the victim, who was out doing her job - what sort of people are out and about? It might not be unreasonable to wonder if the 'witness' saw Ms. Nielsen and later mistakenly described her to the authorities...

    As i said...it sounds odd, i know - but stranger things have happened.