Local News

Durham police ask to exhume slain mom's body

Posted June 3, 2010
Updated April 21, 2013

— The family of a Durham woman killed inside her home five years ago have given authorities consent to exhume her body.

In a statement Thursday, Janet Christiansen Abaroa's family said the Durham Police Department and the district attorney's office recently made the request to remove her remains from her Pennsylvania grave.

"While this is heartbreaking and emotionally difficult for the family, it is yet one more example of this family's commitment to pursuing justice for Janet," the statement read.

Janet Abaroa Durham police want to exhume slain mom's body

Janet Abaroa was 25 and pregnant with her second child when, police say, her husband, Raven Abaroa, stabbed her to death in an upstairs bedroom at their Durham home on April 26, 2005.

Police arrested him Feb. 1 in southern Idaho on a first-degree murder charge.

Christiansen family spokesman Tim Dowd said the family does not know why investigators want to exhume the body or when it will happen.

"The exhumation is part of the investigative process in this case, and the police department has no further comment," spokeswoman  Kammie Michael said.

Raven Abaroa's attorney, Amos Tyndall, said he had just learned that investigators wished to exhume the bod and was unable to issue a comment until next week.

Calls to the Durham County District Attorney's Office and were not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

Raven Abaroa, 30, has said he had nothing to do with his first wife's death. He told police he was at a soccer game when she was killed, and he found her when he returned home later that night.

He moved to Utah and Idaho with the couple's son, Kaiden, after the stabbing and later remarried. He is in the Durham County jail under a $5 million bond.


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  • xchief661 Jun 4, 2010

    I can't imagine what they must be going through.

  • OpenM1nd Jun 3, 2010

    Rarely do I ever know any of the people covered in a news story, but I met this family at a local tech school one night within weeks before the murder. Raven seemed like a friendly guy and they seemed to be very happy and excited about their future -- him with a new career and them with a new baby with another on the way. I was devastated when I learned about this, thinking, "No wait -- I just met them the other day!" And they were really nice; this was just so difficult to believe.

    I hope for justice for both parties, and for peace for the souls of Janet and her unborn child and for their family.

  • wildcat Jun 3, 2010

    May the truth come out after the exhumation.

  • wildcat Jun 3, 2010

    She had almost the same marks on the top of her head that Kathleen Peterson had.)

    Absolutely! I knew that. Just making a comment. But I just bet the husband is really nervous as to what they may find after all this time; including poison.

  • DuchessJules22 Jun 3, 2010

    wildcat - There's no telling what may be found. Look at the first woman that Michael Peterson killed. She was exhumed after almost twenty years (?) and the Medical Examiner was able to find evidence of a pattern. (She had almost the same marks on the top of her head that Kathleen Peterson had.)

  • SweetB Jun 3, 2010

    PLEASE keep us up to date. thanks.

  • wildcat Jun 3, 2010

    What do they expect to find now?