Local News

Three years later, Nielsen case remains unsolved

Posted June 14, 2010

— Police on Monday renewed their call for information in the unsolved stabbing death of a pregnant Fuquay-Varina woman found behind a Raleigh convenience store three years ago.

Jenna Nielsen, 22, was found dead in the early hours of June 14, 2007, behind the AmeriKing Food Mart on Lake Wheeler Road. Eight months pregnant with her third child, Nielsen had been on her early-morning route to restock USA Today newspaper boxes when she was killed.

Even though investigators haven't been able to identify a suspect, they have described the case as "very solvable" because of DNA evidence found at the crime scene.

Investigators have interviewed hundreds of people and received thousands of tips but ask anyone with any information, regardless of how small it might be, to call Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

Police are also trying to identify a man seen near the convenience store in the hours prior to Nielsen's death – 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 have urged the public to avoid speculation based upon the physical description.

Nielsen's death received widespread attention in the days and weeks following her death. CNN, Fox News and America’s Most Wanted featured the case on their programs, and USA Today published several full-page advertisements about the case.

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

"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," Nielsen's father, Kevin Blaine, has said.


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  • WHEEL Jun 15, 2010

    Shame she wasn't on the State Board Of Education and a friend of Bevs. The alledged perp would have been in jail awaiting trial already.

  • JAT Jun 15, 2010

    Since we don't know if her killer had even been arrested before, the talk about DNA from arrests is probably useless. Most likely, the killer wasn't old and was probably a drifter. Obviously, he'd never been convicted of anything serious before or had never killed anyone before or else his DNA/fingerprints would be in the system (either from him directly or via evidence left on an earlier victim). It also seems he hasn't done anything since since no match has been found with this woman's evidence.

  • wildcat Jun 15, 2010

    With todays technology, its a shame that the officers of this town have not found the woman's killer. Right now the killer is still walking around freely. I pray he will be caught very soon.

  • allie19 Jun 15, 2010

    Soon, we will not be able to get DNA samples or fingerprints, or names or birthdays. We can also talk the terrorists into "being nice." Soon we will no longer be able to arrest people for violent crimes or assaulting someone on the street. All of that would be infringing on someones rights. That is scary and a shame that the USA is letting small groups dictate this stuff. Taking the power away from law enforcement and giving it to the criminals? It is a sad day in America. Maybe when it is your family member, your view might change. If your spouse gets murdered we do nothing because we don't want to infringe on a criminals rights. Hey, they MAY be innocent. If you really believe in that garbage then you must also believe in revenge,because nobody could hold you responsible right? I guess there might be a little bit of justice in everything.

  • allie19 Jun 15, 2010

    A homeless shelter isn't that far from the area.

  • Hans Jun 15, 2010

    "Of course, then we have the PC crowd who do not want people arrested to provide any DNA samples, so here we go in circles."

    I'm about as un-PC as you can get, and I don't want this to happen.

    And please don't compare DNA to fingerprints.

  • JAT Jun 15, 2010

    I don't think it was someone who knew her route. I think it was some homeless person sleeping in or using the restroom. She got out to put the papers in the bin and had to go to the bathroom herself (she was very pregnant) and surprised the guy and he killed her.

    It's a very sad case; and sad that the cops didn't find the knife sooner, though it doesn't sound like that would have helped. Most likely, the videotapes from the store weren't saved very long so they couldn't go back and look and see who frequented the stor but hadn't been back, though it's very possible it was just a vagrant passing through and she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • FE Jun 15, 2010

    "Please, so if I don't want the government to take DNA samples by force from people who are "presumed innocent" that's wrong?
    What are you smoking?" - froggytroat

    I'm not smoking anything...it is really bad for the health.

    So do you also likely object to taking finger prints when a person is arrested??

    And perhaps have a problem with LEOs running driver license/DUI checkpoints??

    BTW: For the "smokers" mentioned - a person under arrest IS always presumed innocent unless/until a court later finds otherwise. Basic Civics Lesson 101 concept.


  • didisaythat Jun 15, 2010

    Froggytroat, your argument is that if a person is arrested for a crime they should not provide DNA (by force??) because of a presumtion of innocence. So then you advocate not give fingerprints, name, date of birth etc. in the booking process? A swab of DNA should be given when getting the prints. It is an identification procedure that is very similar and as intrusive as getting printed and you can solve some very violent crimes....because most murders, rapes and similar crimes have DNA evidence. The intrusion into a "criminals" life is far less than the benefit from getting the DNA.

  • Just the facts mam Jun 15, 2010

    Thank you WRAL for not forgetting about this - hopefully the person responsible will soon be caught!!!