Local News

Vigil Memorializes Victims of Violence in Raleigh

Posted July 30, 2007 12:07 a.m. EDT

— Families, friends and strangers gathered at a vigil for murder victims in Raleigh Sunday afternoon.

The group Vigils Against Violence organized the event to remember six people who were murdered in Raleigh between June 3 and July 1.

Vigils Against Violence is run by the Triangle chapter of the Interfaith Alliance, a national group that holds such vigils across the country.

The vigil was held in a parking lot, across from the State Farmers' Market, that was site of the murder of Jenna Nielsen, who was eight-months pregnant.

Nielsen, 22, of Fuquay-Varina, was found stabbed to death outside a convenience store on Lake Wheeler Road. She was restocking newspaper boxes in the overnight hours when she was attacked and killed.

The vigil also honored Pascual Xolo, 33; Damarkos Eugene Alan Thorpe, 30; Tyrone Robert Covington, 28; Veronica Malone, 38; and Fidencio San Agustin San Juan, 37.

Xolo was found stabbed to dead  behind a wall at the edge of the parking lot at a Sam's Club at 2537 S. Saunders St. on June 3. Police are searching for Carlos "Sombrerito" Gutierrez, 40, who is also charged in a hold-up in the 1400 block of South Wilmington Street on September 2, 2006.

Thorpe was found shot in a car that hit a utility pole on Glascock Street in the early hours of Sunday, July 10.

Raleigh police arrested three men on charges of murder in connection with Thorpe's death: David Turpin, 33, of 4401 Green Road; Nefta Wilson, 27, of 2400 Lemuel Drive; and Arthur Gaines, 25.

Covington, of Durham, was shot behind the Black Tie Nightlife club at 3201 New Bern Avenue on Monday, July 25. Another man was injured in the shooting, said police.

Police have made no arrests in the shooting, but the incident prompted the Raleigh City Council to order a review of all the city's entertainment permits.

Malone was run over and killed by Victoria Graham Goode on Sunday, July 1. Malone and her 15-year-old nephew were helping Goode's former roommate move out at the 1229 Bentley Lane home.

A Wake County grand jury indicted Goode for attempted murder, among other charges.

Also on July 1, police responding to calls about an assault found San Juan stabbed to death off Capital Boulevard.

Pennsylvania state troopers pulled Miguel Angel Torres-Zendejas, 26, on Interstate 78 near Strausstown. Torres-Zendejas is in the process of being extradited to North Carolina to face charges of murder.

Anyone with information about the unsolved murders is asked to call Raleigh detectives at 919-890-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME (2746).