Police not seeking suspects in Danville homicide; victim’s stepdaughter held in New Mexico

Jenna Oakley
Jenna Oakley

Investigators are not searching for any suspects in the killing of a Danville woman, although they say the investigation is open, Kentucky State Police said Wednesday.

Rhonda Oakley, 52, was killed inside her Boyle County home Sept. 1. State police began searching for her stepdaughter, Jenna Oakley, 15.

Jenna was found in Rhonda Oakley’s car Sunday in Tucumcari, N.M., according to court documents. She was with Kenneth Nigh, 20, of Arlington, Ind.

Jenna is being held in a juvenile detention center in Curry County, in eastern New Mexico, Tucumcari Chief Deputy Peter Rivera said. Nigh was arrested on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was held in the Quay County jail, just north of Curry County.

Kentucky State Police cannot release any information about potential Kentucky or New Mexico charges against Jenna because she is a juvenile, state police Trooper Robert Purdy said. Nigh doesn’t currently face Kentucky charges.

While in jail, Nigh intentionally hurt himself late Monday night or early Tuesday, Rivera said. Nigh’s injuries were so severe, he was taken from a local hospital to North Texas Hospital in Amarillo, Texas. He is to be taken back to jail when he is released from the hospital.

Purdy said state police investigators are evaluating information and awaiting test results.

Nigh and Jenna were found Sunday after Kentucky State Police contacted authorities in Quay County and told them Jenna Oakley’s cellphone indicated that she was at a truck stop near Tucumcari, according to court documents. Police there found Jenna and Nigh in the parking lot of a Motel 6.

They were in a white Honda Civic reported missing by Kentucky State Police after Oakley’s death. When Tucumcari police ran the license plates on the car, they saw that it had been reported stolen, according to court records.

The New Mexico court documents referred to Jenna as a “primary suspect of a homicide that occurred in Boyle County, Kentucky,” but Kentucky State Police said that isn’t information the agency has released.

When officers approached the car, Nigh locked the doors, according to court records. Jenna then started the car.

After officers told her repeatedly to turn off the car and roll down the windows, Jenna complied, and she and Nigh got out of the car, according to court documents. They were both arrested.

There is no word on when or whether Jenna and Nigh will be brought to Kentucky.