::Police Hunt Pregnant Woman's Murderer
By Elliott West, Raleigh Chronicle News Editor
Saturday June 16, 2007
RALEIGH - Raleigh Police homicide investigators are seeking clues in the murder of a pregant newspaper delivery woman early Thursday morning that has shocked the community.
Jennifer Kathleen Nielsen, age 22, of Wake County town Fuquay-Varina, was named by police as the victim in the murder. They have not released the cause of death of the victim at this time. According to various reports, she was eight months pregnant and was only weeks away from delivery of her baby.
Tragically, her family had just moved to North Carolina from Utah recently and her car even still had Utah license tags on it.
Police have now released a composite sketch (at right) of a man they say was at the gas station at the time the murder took place.
The Raleigh Police Department did not say if they believe that the man is a suspect or not, but only that they are "attempting to identify and locate him in the belief that he may have information that would assist the investigation."
Police officials have described the man as being in his late teens or early twenties and about 5 feet 3 inches tall and about 120 pounds.
According to the description given, the man's black hair was pulled back into a long ponytail and he was wearing a dark colored sleeveless shirt and baggy blue jeans shorts.
The investigators are asking that anyone who believes they may know the subject to contact the police.
Due to the focus by the department on this crime, a special telephone line has been dedicated to receive tips and has requested "the widest possible public distribution of the dedicated number" from the media.
The special police hotline is 919-227-6220 and it should be stressed that callers do not have to reveal their identities. In addition, a reward will be available for information that assists the investigation
Details Of The Crime
According to Raleigh Police, at around approximately 5am on Thursday, a newspaper delivery man who was making his rounds to fill up the racks for the Raleigh News & Observer noticed the victim's grey Honda Civic at the Exxon gas station located at 1709 Lake Wheeler Road.
When calling in to the 911 dispatcher from a pay phone, the man said that the car's door was open, the light was on inside the vehicle, and that newspapers were scattered on the ground.
According to the phone call tape, the delivery man said that he had seen the unattended car when he entered the Farmer's Market facility across the street to deliver papers and that it was still there when he returned.
The delivery man did not mention that he saw the body when he saw the car, but mentioned that he thought it was unusual that the car was unattended for so long.
The Raleigh Police Department dispatched officers to the scene and began to examine the area.
Those officers found Jennifer Kathleen Nielsen deceased at the scene and although they did not release details on her death, Raleigh Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said "subsequent investigation determined that Nielsen had been the victim of a homicide."
"While the circumstances of the crime remain under investigation, information received to date indicates it is a random act," added Sughrue in media statements.
A clerk at the gas station said that the body was found just around the right-hand corner of the gas station against the wall. The corner is just past the USA Today newspaper rack and a chalk outline was still partially visible on the sidewalk.
The store has several businesses behind the gas station area including a Subway shop restaurant. Next door, a concrete monument company is blocked off with a chain link fence.
Jamal Tubeishat, owner of the station, said he was surprised that the murder took place at his station.
"We've had no problems before," he said.
He said the station had closed as normal the night before the murder and they had not seen anything on Wednesday night.
He added that the store was not open when the discovery of the body took place early Thursday morning, but he said a store clerk came in around 5:30am and that the store normally opens at 6am.
He added that the store had to close all day and all night on Thursday as investigators combed the area for any clues.
Her husband Tim Nielsen has commented to the media that the person who killed his wife "killed two people" since he has also lost their unborn baby. The victim also had a three year old son. Plans for Nielsen's funeral will be made in Utah.
Another 911 Phone Call
According to a report on WRAL-TV, on Friday, the Raleigh Police department received another 911 call about the case.
The report said that at about 1:30am on Friday morning, a man who was speaking Spanish called dispatchers from a pay phone close to the intersection of South Saunders Street and West South. That intersection is not far from Lake Wheeler Road and is just down Interstate 40.
According to the report, the man said he had "information related to Nielsen's death."
In the report, WRAL said that the caller "quickly hung up", but that the Raleigh Police department sent out crime scene investigators to the phone booth and dusted it for fingerprints. ::