Friday, June 8, 2012

The Death of Janet Christiansen Abaroa


On April 26,2005 police received a call from Raven Abaroa that his wife was injured. When they arrived at the home, they discovered Janet Abaroa dead on the bedroom floor with large amounts of blood on the floor, the wall and a side door of the home. She had been stabbed in the chest. Their 6-month-old son was uninjured. Her husband, Raven, told them he’d come home from a soccer game and found her. Police began investigating the murder, and retained a search warrant to seize numerous items from the home. Including knives, the clothing Raven was wearing, financial statements, a pawn shop ticket and a check book. The autopsy showed Janet was pregnant.

Within a week, Raven retained an attorney.

Police continued to investigate the murder but remained more quiet than open to the media about progress. A few months later Raven Abaroa was offered a plea deal on another matter, embezzlement from the company he and Janet worked. A charge had been lodged against him in Feb of 2005. In September of that same year, Raven accepted the plea deal and pled guilty. He was sentenced to two years probation plus had to pay back near 10 thousand dollars. The police also began searching through the Abaroas’ email accounts. In the meantime Raven was mum about his wife’s murder and a few weeks after Janet’s death Raven moved to Utah to raise his son. Over a year after Janet was killed, the police began looking into a new lead involving computers, one was missing from the home. Police believe Janet had known her killer since no evidence of a break in was discovered.

Two years later, Raven met a woman named Vanessa Pond. In 2008 he asked her to marry him. But on the day of her bridal shower Raven became violent with her. He threw her down and pushed her around. Vanessa did an internet search on him and discovered a video of him opening a knife in front of Janet while talking about how he liked to collect knives. Vanessa was disturbed by the video. Raven told her he didn’t collect knives or have a fascination with them. Vanessa continued with her plans to marry Raven. Her parents confronted Raven asking if he’d killed his wife but all he’d say was he loved his wife. He didn’t deny or directly admit it.

Vanessa said on their wedding night, Raven was drunk and talked about how mad he was after Janet died. She said he kept saying how mad he was. She said he then cuddled up close to her and said, 'I promise I'll never hurt you.' Vanessa stated she didn't know how to take that. During the marriage, Raven had mood swings, he’d curse and call her names telling her how he hated her and didn’t care if she died. One comment he allegedly said to her is very telling to me.

He said, ‘you know what, I want to hit you so bad, and I can't get in trouble for it any more.’ She said she was in the bathroom and he pushed her and wouldn’t let her out. Vanessa said when Raven left, he grabbed Kaiden (his and Janet’s son) and said, come on, we have to go. Mommy doesn’t want us anymore.

It would be 2010 before police in NC would arrest Raven Abaroa for the murder of his wife, Janet Christiansen Abaroa. Raven fought extradition from Idaho but that is a battle he couldn’t win. Raven was brought back to Durham and Judge Stephens set a 5 million-dollar bond on him.

The police decided they needed Janet’s body exhumed for further testing. Allegedly they wanted to take fingerprints, casts of her hands and to see marks made on her skeleton by the weapon and to check if she was wearing contact lenses.

Raven Abaroa refused to sign the consent but Janet’s family did give permission and a Chambersburg, Pa., Judge ordered her remains exhumed.

Raven Abaroa’s trial has been set for Oct 2012. He still maintains he was at a soccer game when his wife was attacked and murdered.