Crime show to feature Nielsen slaying again

Staff WriterAugust 24, 2007 

For the third time since newspaper carrier Jennifer "Jenna" Nielsen was found stabbed to death behind a convenience store, a national crime show will air a segment on her slaying.

The weekend episode of "America's Most Wanted" is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Saturday on Fox, the producer of the segment confirmed. Nielsen's brother, Jason Kubota of Holly Springs, said her family hopes the program will produce some leads that will help police find her killer.

"Hopefully, people will speak up, and we can get this person off the streets," Kubota said Thursday.

Nielsen, a 22-year-old married mother of two small boys, was killed in the predawn hours June 14 while stocking USA Today newspapers at the AmeriKing Food Mart and Exxon station on Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh. She was eight months pregnant with a son she planned to name Ethen.

Nielsen was killed by a single stab to the neck.

Investigators found a bloodied knife while combing the area where her partially clad body was found. Soon afterward, detectives released a sketch of a person of interest and set up a hot line through which they have received hundreds of tips.

"America's Most Wanted" broadcast details of Nielsen's slaying twice last month.

Much of the first episodes' focus was on the arrest in Ocean Springs, Miss., of a 20-year-old man whom police charged with sexually assaulting two women near the local Wal-Mart. "America's Most Wanted" producers said they received calls immediately after viewers saw a picture of the suspect, Jess Green, because he closely resembled the sketch by Raleigh police. Police also learned that Green had been in North Carolina when Nielsen was slain.

According to the "America's Most Wanted" Web site, Raleigh police traveled to Mississippi to interview Green, who denied any involvement in Nielsen's death. According to the crime show Web site, police eliminated Green as a suspect, but that's not so, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Thursday.

"Until we identify and arrest a suspect in the case, we haven't ruled anyone out," Sughrue said.

Meanwhile, Nielsen's family is trying to make sure her death is not forgotten through a Web site, www.justice4jenna.org, and by working with a private company and Raleigh Crime Stoppers to erect a billboard in a yet-to-be-determined location.

"We are doing anything we can to keep this in the public eye," Kubota said.

Staff writer Thomasi McDonald can be reached at 829-4533 or thomasi.mcdonald@newsobserver.com.

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