Nita Cochran, Jessica Fletcher's niece, appears in "Murder in the Afternoon", as an actress on a long-standing soap opera. It is unclear whether she is Jessica's niece by blood or by marriage, but her parents (unnamed) are both deceased and she was raised by her grandmother, Agnes. She is portrayed by Alice Krige.
Jessica's niece Nita Cochran loves her role on a long-standing daytime soap opera, but worries about her job security when her character turns out to be the serial killer. Before long it's Nita herself who needs to worry when her boss ends up dead and Nita looks like the prime suspect.