Justice For Jenna

Jenna Nielson. Photo: Justice4Jenna.org

Killer of Pregnant Mother Of Two Still At Large

SPECIAL REPORT—It was a heinous crime that received national attention almost four years ago. A young, 22-year-old mother of two son and eight-months pregnant with her third child, was brutally stabbed to death behind the AmeriKing convenient store across from the State Farmer’s Market at 1709 Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh in the early morning hours of June 14, 2007.


Jenna and her husband had moved to Raleigh from Utah with their two sons in the summer of 2006. She had taken a job as a newspaper carrier for USA Today, which required her to restock coin-operated racks in the Garner and South Raleigh area. According to reports, Jenna had likely finished placing the papers in the rack and was returning to her vehicle, when someone attacked her from behind.


Detectives with the Raleigh Police Department released few details in the case, other than to say that Jenna was stabbed in the neck with a knife and, by all appearances, the murder was a random act of violence. Police found two of the doors of Jenna’s vehicle to be open and her belongings still inside. Family members speculated that a sexual assault may have been the motive. 


Police were unable to pinpoint a person of interest in the case and the murder investigation is both active and ongoing, as investigators look for any break in the case. Investigators recovered numerous clues from the scene at the time of the murder, including cigarette butts, at least one strand of hair, a broken earring, broken taillight lense, and other items. Days after her murder, a homeless man discovered a knife nearby and turned it over to police.


The individual sought by authorities was described as a small-framed male, 5’3” tall and approximately 120 pounds. At the time of the incident, police believed the individual to be about 17-20 years of age.  Physical characteristics included: long, shiny black hair worn in a ponytail that came down between the shoulder blades. The male individual was believed to be very skinny with pronounced abdominal muscles, slender face, no apparent facial hair and light skin. He was also described as being possibly being Hispanic.  He was believed to have been wearing a dark-colored sleeveless shirt and baggy denim shorts.


Jenna’s family maintains a website with the hopes that one day her killer will be brought to justice. At www.justice4jenna.org, details about Jenna’s life as a mother, wife and daughter give site visitors an idea of the loss that family and friends suffered due to such a senseless act.  Media stories about the murder and subsequent investigation can also be found on the website, along with a flyer of the individual that police sought but were unable to locate.


A $15,000 reward is offered to anyone who aids in the identification, arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible of the murder of Jenna Nielson and the death of her unborn son, Ethen. Jenna and her husband, Tom, had anticipated the birth of Ethen on July 8. All information offered in the case is strictly confidential, according to the web site.  The Raleigh Police Department has a dedicated tip line at 919-227-6220 for those with any information. For additional information, visit www.justice4jenna.org.

Male person of interest in the case.