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Dad makes national plea to find daughter's killer

Posted September 28, 2009

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— The father of a pregnant Fuquay-Varina woman stabbed to death outside a Raleigh convenience store more than two years ago made an emotional plea Monday on national television for help in solving the case.

"I try to get out in the public or in the news as much as I possibly can to keep my daughter's case in the public eye," Kevin Blaine said on the syndicated talk show "The Steve Wilkos Show." "I need the help of the public right now in order to catch this killer."

There have been no arrests in the slaying of Jenna Nielsen, 22, who was found dead in the early hours of June 14, 2007, behind the AmeriKing Food Mart on Lake Wheeler Road.

Police have called the case "very solvable," saying they have DNA evidence and that they continue to follow up on leads.

"They have a lot of evidence," Blaine said. "We have a sketch of a person of interest, we have some eyewitnesses that saw this person of interest, and right now, we need the public to help us find this person."

Also appearing on the show were Nielsen's husband, Tim Nielsen, and the couple's young sons, Schyler and Kaiden. Jenna Nielsen was two weeks away from giving birth to the couple's third son, who was to be named Ethen.

Tim Nielsen did not speak on the show.

The case received widespread attention in the days and weeks following Nielsen's slaying. CNN, Fox News and America’s Most Wanted featured the case on their programs.

Nielsen's employer, USA Today, published several full-page advertisements about the case, and a local advertising company posted a billboard near downtown Raleigh in an effort to generate leads.

Her family has also set up a Web site, justice4jenna.org, to keep the case alive and is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Investigators have interviewed hundreds of people and received thousands of tips, but continue to appeal to the public for any information they might have, regardless of how small it might be.

"We need your help to help us catch this guy," Blaine said. "The police have done everything they can. They need your help."

Early in the investigation, police released a composite photo of a person of interest, but have since backed away from the image, concerned it has narrowed the scope of information they've received and might have been misleading.

They now say the person is 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, and detectives are urging people to avoid speculation based upon the physical description.

The police department has dedicated a 24-hour hotline (919-227-6220) to the case. Anyone with information can also call Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

"It's only going to take one phone call to solve this case, and it's going to be from somebody out in the public that knows something that is willing to come forward," Blaine said.

"I mean, we have a reward. I would like nothing better than to pay somebody for them to come up and give us the clue and information that we need."

31 Comments

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  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 28, 2009

    itom6, you slammed the Raleigh Police. So I assume GOLO will allow me to slam someone also.

    Your comments are baseless and VERY uninformed. I'm sure your comments are due to your past dealings with the Raleigh Police. Probably where they did a very good job charging you with speeding, or some other traffic offense. OK, my comments are also baseless. But I would bet I have a better chance of my comments being true than your comments about the Police.

  • Professor Sep 28, 2009

    I rmember this story. It is disheartening not knowing what happened to his love one and the mother of his children. Lord continue to bless this family. Someone out there knows something and should now come forward. Its been too long.

  • rjacks20 Sep 28, 2009

    itom6, you should check the clearence rates for homicides in raleigh. i think you would be surprised that there are very few unsolved cases. the problem is that people like you learn police work from CSI. the police are doing everything they can, so you should focus your comments more on support for the family.

  • shortcake53 Sep 28, 2009

    Every time we visit the Farmers Market I think of this poor girl. I hope and pray along with her family, that the killer is found very soon. I never met her in person, but carry her memory. Prayers to the family, I cant imagine the pain they live with daily.

  • carolinarox Sep 28, 2009

    Husband!
    Arthur in the Garden

    I believe the police have cleared the husband.

  • whocares Sep 28, 2009

    I am sure it is hard on those 2 little boys to have to grow up without their mother. I just hope that someone somewhere knows something and will come forward.

  • davida6 Sep 28, 2009

    It is a shame that North Carolina does not recognize Ethen as a murder victim. The leaders of the NC House and Senate continue to block a vote on the NC Unborn Victims of Violence Act (sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans) that would have legally recognized what common sense tells us. No one can deny that this viable baby boy was murdered. Who knows whether the police would have more success with a double homicide investigation?

  • csplantlover Sep 28, 2009

    This is a tragic story and one that will probably NOT be solved anytime soon.

  • Frank Downtown Sep 28, 2009

    Husband!

  • itsmyownopinion Sep 28, 2009

    According to the article, they do have DNA: Police have called the case "very solvable," saying they have DNA evidence and that they continue to follow up on leads.

    "They have a lot of evidence," Blaine said. "We have a sketch of a person of interest, we have some eyewitnesses that saw this person of interest, and right now, we need the public to help us find this person."

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