Local News

Slain woman's husband seeks fresh start

Posted September 10, 2008 4:52 p.m. EDT
Updated September 11, 2008 8:33 a.m. EDT

— Fifteen months after his wife was found slain behind a Raleigh convenience store, Tim Nielsen said he plans to take his two sons and move to Utah to escape the painful memories of the loss of her and their unborn child.

Jenna Nielsen, 22, was found stabbed to death outside the AmeriKing Food Mart on Lake Wheeler Road on June 14, 2007. She was stocking USA Today vending machines at the convenience store when she was attacked, police said.

Despite national and local media attention in the weeks and months following Nielsen's death and her family's relentless effort to keep the case in the public eye, police have no suspects.

"I won't be in the state where my wife and son were murdered," Tim Nielsen said Wednesday, referring to Ethen, his unborn son who died when Jenna Nielsen was killed. "I lost pretty much everything since I moved out here."

Tim Nielsen said he wants to be closer to his family in Utah and to attend law school. Jenna Nielsen also is buried in Utah.

"(I'm) trying to, in the long run, better my life and support my kids the best way that I'm able to," he said.

Kevin Blaine, Jenna Nielsen's father, said he doesn't want his grandsons to leave the Triangle, but he said he understands why his son-in-law wants a fresh start for the family.

"It will be another dark day for us when they go. ... Our lifeline to Jenna right now is really to see the boys all the time," Blaine said. "We can see Jenna's face in theirs."

Raleigh police said they continue to follow leads in the case. Investigators have a dedicated, 24-hour hotline (919-227-6220) for the case and continue to receive tips on it.

"It's definitely been a challenging case for us," Lt. Karen Riggsbee said. "Detectives are working on it day and night still. As I said, it's not a closed case."

In addition to pushing for continued media coverage of the case, Blaine and Tim Nielsen have lobbied state lawmakers for a fetal homicide law to allow authorities to charge someone with two counts of murder when a pregnant woman is killed.