Local News

Slain Mom's Family Announces $10K Reward

Posted June 29, 2007 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated June 30, 2007 8:49 a.m. EDT

— The family of a slain pregnant woman stabbed to death more than two weeks ago announced on Friday a for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Jenna Nielsen, 22, was out delivering USA Today newspapers when she was stabbed to death sometime in the early-morning hours of June 14, Raleigh police said.

She was eight-months pregnant with her third son, Ethen.

"We believe this $10,000 reward will help bring the needed tip to break the case," Nielsen's father, Kevin Blaine said.

Surrounded by more than a dozen family, friends and police officers, Blaine also announced his family's effort to push for the recognition of a fetal homicide law in North Carolina, which prevents prosecutors from seeking double murder charges.

Currently, Blaine said, the state, along with 14 others, "disregard the life of an eight-month-old child."

"When learning of this, I knew then that I needed to devote as much time in my life as needed to fight for the right of a murdered, unborn human being and to bring justice to Jenna and Ethen," he said.

'There's no reason why an unborn child should not be recognized in the case of a homicide.".

"It needs to be changed as soon as possible," Nielsen's husband, Tim said. "That is our biggest goal right now other than trying to catch the person or people responsible for what happened."

The case has drawn national attention with Tim Nielsen, appearing on Fox News' "On the Record" and USA Today publishing in its Monday edition. The paper also ran a quarter-page ad Wednesday and Friday and another full-page ad on Thursday.

"Anybody and everybody that can see it helps us a lot. There's no guarantee this person is still in this state," Blaine said. "So, if we have national coverage, we get that much more coverage outside of North Carolina."

Police have described the slaying as a random act and have released a composite sketch of a person of interest who was seen near the crime scene in the pre-dawn hours of June 14.

He is described as being in the 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.

Detectives also recovered a knife from an area less than a half-mile from the crime scene, but they have not said whether it was used in Nielsen's death.

"Anyone who knows anything, anybody who's seen anything -- it doesn't matter if it’s the littlest, teeniest, tiniest bit of information," Nielsen said. "That's been known to break cases, and that's what we need right now."

The Raleigh Police Department has set up a tip line at 919-227-6220 for information. All information is confidential.

"It has generated a lot of work for us, which is very helpful," Raleigh police Maj. Ken Mathias said. "Detectives are following up on each and every phone call we've received."

Nielsen was buried Saturday in Salt Lake City near where the young family lived before moving to Fuquay-Varina last August. She left behind Schyler, 3, and Kaiden, 11 months.

“He knows mommy's not coming home," Nielsen said of his oldest son. "He knows she is in heaven. He will see her soon and we will be a family one day, as well.”

Nielsen's brother has posted a note on his Myspace page asking the public to call police if they have any information. The family has also set up a Web site, justice4jenna.org, in an effort to keep the case alive until it is solved.

"We have to do something to get the word out," Blaine said. "Hopefully, someone will see this and help us find that person or persons."