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Father confident arrest will be made in daughter's stabbing

Posted June 14, 2011

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— The father of a pregnant newspaper carrier found dead outside a Raleigh convenience store four years ago said he is confident her killer will be found. 

Eight months' pregnant, Jenna Nielsen, 22, was delivering USA Today newspapers to the AmeriKing Food Mart on Lake Wheeler Road on June 14, 2007, when someone stabbed her in the neck and left her body behind the store. 

"As a father, you're there to protect your children," Nielsen's father, Kevin Blaine, said Tuesday. "When this happened, the biggest feeling for me is, 'Hey, I let her down.'" 

DNA was collected from the crime scene, and police are looking for a man seen that night near the convenience store – 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. 

"Everybody should be a little worried. This man killed an eight-and-a-half-month pregnant woman, and if he'll do that, who knows what else he's done in the past four years," Blaine said. 

Blaine admits he was obsessed with getting his own revenge until his wife helped him realize what was important.

"As much as I'd like to pursue this person on my own and do something about it, I have a family to take care of and have responsibilities," Blaine said. 

Anyone with information about the case should call Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

Family members are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

Raleigh police said Tuesday the case remains under active investigation. Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a statement that the department is “confident that it can be solved and her killer can be brought to justice.”

Father confident of arrest in daughter's slaying Father confident of arrest in daughter's slaying

Blaine is also confident in an arrest, but even then, he said there won't be closure.

"There's always going to be that hole, but it's the feeling and the knowing that this murderer will be off the street," he said. 

Nielsen's slaying prompted lawmakers this year to enact a fetal homicide bill that would find anyone who commits murder, manslaughter or assault against a pregnant woman guilty of the same crimes against the fetus.

The legislation was nicknamed "Ethen's Law," the name Nielsen planned to give her unborn son.

Blaine said the family pushed for the legislation because he felt they had to do something. 

"Somebody can't get away with murder," he said. 


This story is closed for comments.

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  • RM24 Jun 15, 2011

    Wonder if Jason Young's lawyers have compared DNA here to the unidentified DNA found at the Young's home ?

    NOT sure if his lawyers have but I am willing to bet that LEO's have not checked to two together. That may ruin their case against Mr Young. Besides it appears they do not even call back people who call the tip line.

  • shortcake53 Jun 15, 2011

    I wish him all the luck in the world in finding his daughters killer. I clearly remember this happening and think about her every time I go to the Farmers Market across the street.

  • KittenClaws Jun 15, 2011

    Didn't they find a guy who matched the description before but let him go because he had an alibi? If I remember correctly, the guy had been in the area but supposedly had left before this happened. He also had quite a criminal record....

  • BadDayforButch Jun 15, 2011

    Wonder if Jason Young's lawyers have compared DNA here to the unidentified DNA found at the Young's home ?

  • RM24 Jun 15, 2011

    called the tip line when this happened because the artist sketch looked like someone I knew in the past. However, the number went to a cell phone, left a message, it was never returned.

    In WAKE CO a call with a TIP to help catch a murderer was never returned??? Imagine that. I thought only in Cary did they not follow up with that kind of info. They may be focused to heavily on the husband to follow up on other leads.

  • RM24 Jun 15, 2011

    I cant imagine that in WAKE CO they think this could be a random act of violence? According to the Brad Cooper trial and Jason Young this kind of random act just does not happen.

  • jtpkjp Jun 15, 2011

    If they have DNA as they say it may very well be solved one day. I am sure they are running the DNA through the system frequently for a match. As more is added to the database they may get a match one day.

  • burtonbrdr00 Jun 15, 2011


  • Holli0224 Jun 15, 2011

    Unfortunately, it's unlikely this case will be solved. All we can do is hope that someone will come forward. Although he has gotten away with this heinous crime now, he will one day have to answer to our Maker.

  • carla349 Jun 15, 2011

    "Husbands are usually the first suspect. ~ Arthur in the Garden"

    Oh heck, in Wake Co. I'm shocked they even considered anyone but the husband. Business as usual... he would have had his kids taken away immediately, been charged with her murder, his alibi disallowed at trial and off to jail he goes! See how safe our county is? Case closed.

    But in all seriousness, I'm not so sure this case will be solved, but I'm glad they are still keeping it in the public's mind.