Brina Nie is the 21-year-old woman who shot her father in the head and killed him. She also shot her mother in the arm. I wrote about it briefly when it happened, and then gave a quick update later.
I was really amazed by how many people wrote in to tell me what wonderful people they are. I was given the opportunity to interview her neighbors, approximately four of them, as long as I kept their identity a secret. This is a small community. Everyone knows everyone who knows everyone. Many of the neighbors, as one would imagine, have their own theories about what is going on here. No matter whose opinions I express, someone will write with a complaint about what I didn't mention, or what I got wrong, according to something he/she saw somewhere, at some time. But, if you're here to hear something from the actual people around, this is it. Here are the top theories from the four people I have spoken to who knew some aspect of this family tragedy. We'll see when trial comes in January, I guess.
By all accounts, Jeff and Barbara Nie were the salt of the earth. They lived with his brother and several other family members on somewhere near 500 acres in the hills of Kentucky, as one witness estimates. They were more than well-off. Their home is a huge mansion. Brina has had some rebellious teenage behavior off and on but she seemed to lack for nothing. Nothing noteworthy as far as bad teen behavior. She wasn't especially smart but no developmental problems to speak of.
She has two children, by two different men. One, in particular, who would like visiting rights, at the very least, with his child. Something Brina is reportedly not happy about. Some witnesses have said Brina and her mother Barbra had somewhat of a tumultuous relationship. Again, this isn't anything out of the ordinary for a mom/teen daughter relationship.
This case is missing the hot boyfriend element. By no account had Brina been seen sporting a new stud around town. Nor any old studs for that matter. That's how these episodes of Dateline always end. A Romeo and Juliet type thing. But, naw. All indications point to No.
But there is that theory.
Others say her mother is in on it. Maybe for insurance. Maybe as a result of some abuse - physical, sexual, emotional - who knows at this point. She was only shot in the arm, and very superficially. While her husband, Jeff, was shot in the head while in bed. Not at all expecting it, nor in the midst of an argument.
According to those in town, the whole family has vanished since this happened. No one has been seen in town, socializing, grocery shopping, or at the big spread where all their houses are huddled in the hills. Not even the elderly and visually disabled grandparents.
One final theory is postpartum depression. Brina's youngest child is just a baby and her other isn't that much older. Local residents have claimed she's had some child custody issues that both she and her mom have been upset over. Brina is a young woman herself and postpartum could be a real defense for her.
No one local, and I mean NO ONE, has any idea why this happened. In most cases where a young woman in her twenties kills someone, the motive comes out relatively quickly. Not so here. As of today, she has only a court appointed attorney. Strange for a family so wealthy. One ex-neighbor who served in the military with Jeff told me repeatedly that the abuse factor just cannot be true. They were just to nice of people.
This family has a lot of money and they may be able to keep most of the story out of the news because of that. So, we may never know what really happened. I have reached out to Brina but it hasn't been long enough to get a response, if she even wants to respond. Lawyers generally tell their clients not to speak to writers of any kind. There are some locals on the Websleuth site with some of these same theories and more.
January is the next appearance in court for Brina. Maybe we will find out something new then.
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