Local News

Search Warrant Released in Jenna Nielsen Murder Probe

Posted August 28, 2007
Updated August 29, 2007

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— Authorities searched several vehicles and collected at least a dozen blood samples, 10 cigarette butts and seized a car outside a Raleigh convenience store where pregnant newspaper carrier Jenna Nielsen was killed, according to recently released search warrants.

A strand of hair, a broken earring, a flip-flop, a couple of shirts and a broken red vehicle light lens were also among the 39 items seized from the crime scene outside the AmeriKing Food Mart on Lake Wheeler Road where someone stabbed and killed Nielsen, 22, in the early-morning hours of June 14.

Investigators spent about 12 hours there searching for clues at the store and the adjoining Subway restaurant and in five vehicles, including a burgundy Chevrolet Silverado, green Ford Explorer and Nielsen’s car – a beige Honda Civic.

Nielsen, who was eight-months pregnant, was found lying face-down behind the building.

Raleigh police have said very little about the investigation, but the search warrant reveals more about what investigators were looking for, including hairs, fibers, DNA, possible weapons and other evidence that could have led authorities to a suspect.

Investigators have said they have no suspects in the case, but they did release a composite sketch of a person of interest in the case – a man believed to be 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. Police believe he might be Hispanic.

Anyone with information about the case should call the Raleigh Police Department's tip line at 919-227-6220. They can also report a tip via the NC WANTED tip line at 1-866-43-WANTED or submit it over the Web.

Nielsen's family has set up a Web site, justice4jenna.org, in an effort to keep the case alive and is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.