Her family remains hopeful someone will be caught. Police are making another push for help on the anniversary of her death.
"Everyday you see those reminders, you hear something, you think about her all the time," Nielsen's father Kevin Blaine.
It has been a year since crime scene tape encircled this convenience store on Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh. A year since Nielsen, a mother of a two and a 8-and-a-half-month old sone. At the time of her murder, she was pregnant with a third son.
"It was just that moment when I opened the door and saw the police standing in the driveway, I knew there was just something wrong," Nielsen's husband Tim said. "That was, you know that was the worst feeling I've ever had in my life."
After numerous interviews and tips police say they have no suspects.
A sketch of a person of interest was released after the murder, but police are now asking people to not use that sketch as a guide. They are seeking fresh leads.
"We need the public's help, anything, it may be something so small they may think, well, the police don't need that information," Major Rick Grayson of the Raleigh Police Department said. "We need to know everything."
Investigators are still calling this a very solvable crime, and they believe they will crack the case. Of course, it can't come soon enough for Nielsen's family.
"I have confidence they will find the guy, I really do," Blaine said. "I just wish it had been done already."
Saturday her family will hold a simple, private ceremony. And in honor of Nielsen and her unborn child, her two other little boys will release a couple of dozen Monarch butterflies up into the air.
"I hate to use the word anniversary, because anniversary is something you celebrate," Blaine said. "And this is not a celebration for us as a family, it's a day of mourning."
They hope for a happier day when word comes of an arrest.
Police say Nielsen's family has been ruled out as suspects.
Meanwhile, the family is pushing to get a fetal homicide law passed.
Under current law, Nielsen's killer would only face one, not two counts of murder even though Nielsen was 8 months pregnant.
A bill that has been filed would make the killing of a fetus a murder. It is unlikely to pass this session.