Local News

Durham widower's new wife talks to police about unsolved murder

Posted May 13, 2009

— Four years after the stabbing death of Janet Abaroa, a pregnant Durham woman, police have new information about her widower, whom they have not ruled out as a suspect in the case.

Janet Christiansen Abaroa was found dead inside an upstairs bedroom at her Ferrand Road home on April 26, 2005. Her 6-month-old son, Kaiden, was also in the home but was unharmed.

Raven and Janet Abaroa New info on husband in unsolved Durham murder

Police have said they do not consider the death random and that her husband, Raven Abaroa, is a person of interest in the case.

His new wife, Vanessa Pond, and her parents, recently traveled from Utah for an interview with Durham police investigators. Abaroa and Pond remain married but are estranged.

"He had me convinced that everyone was trying to frame him, everyone was out to get him, and (he) had me there on his side," Pond said in an exclusive interview with NC Wanted.

In an October 2007 interview with Fox 50's NC Wanted, Abaroa said he had nothing to do with his wife's death. He told police he was at a soccer game in Morrisville when she was killed. He found her when he returned home, he said.

Weeks after Janet Abaroa died, he moved to Salt Lake City to be with family and to raise Kaiden.

Abaroa and Pond met in Utah in December 2007, and on Mother's Day of 2008, they were engaged. The day of her bridal shower, Pond said, she saw another side to the man she was to marry.

"He threw me down, and he pushed me around that day," Pond said.

Pond said she searched the Internet for Abaroa's name and found the October 2007 NC Wanted interview.

"He told Vanessa he spent months preparing that interview," her mother, Jodean Pond, said. "And Vanessa was thinking, 'Why would you have to prepare?'"

Vanessa Pond said she also watched a Web video, made by Abaroa, which showed him opening a knife in front of his first wife, talking about it and saying how he likes to collect knives.

"The buck knife video – I was disturbed by it," she said. "He said he never had a knife collection and never had a fascination with them."

As their wedding day approached, Pond's parents said they decided to ask Abaroa directly if he killed his first wife.

"And Raven's response to that was, 'I loved my wife,' in a beating-around-the-bush kind of way," Jodean Pond said.

"Without answering the question directly," Vanessa Pond interjected.

Despite concerns, Pond said people seemed supportive, so she married Abaroa in Utah on Sept. 6, 2008.

"I found out later that nobody liked him," she said.

She described the first night of her honeymoon.

"He was very drunk, and he started talking about how mad he was after Janet died – and kept reiterating how mad he was," she said. "And then, he cuddled up close to me and said, 'I promise I'll never hurt you.' And I didn't know how to take that."

As the marriage progressed, Pond said, Abaroa had rapid mood swings.

"He would say the most horrible things," she said. "And then, moments later, act as if nothing happened. He could go back and forth within seconds."

"I was so scared for Vanessa," Jodean Pond said.

Pond said her greatest heartbreak involves Kaiden and what happened Christmas Eve 2008, the night, she said, Abaroa left her.

"He was in the process of cursing me, calling me names, saying how he hated me, telling me he didn't care if I died," she said. "Then, he said, you know what, I want to hit you so bad, and I can't get in trouble for it anymore. So, he was pushing me around in the bathroom and wouldn't let me out of the bathroom.

"And later, as Raven was leaving, he went downstairs and grabbed Kaiden and said, 'Come on, we have to go. Mommy doesn't want us anymore.' Who does that to a child?"

NC Wanted tried contacting Raven Abaroa for a response to claims his wife made in the interview, but he could not be reached.

Jodean Pond said she did not know of any violence between Abaroa and her daughter.

"I suspected. But I had no idea he was getting violent with her," she said. "To me, that's a dealbreaker."

Vanessa Pond said she felt like she had been played "in every way possible."

"I don't want anyone to be in this same position – ever," she said. "And he'll keep on going. He's starting to slip, and he's becoming more dangerous."


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  • terminatrixator May 20, 2009

    IMO. Kaiden is not fine. Kaiden has been raised by a sociopath. He uses Kaiden as bait to attract females, as a tool to keep people in line, as a pawn and an object, not as a child. There's a video of him coming out of court from his FELONY Embezzlement hearing. When a reporter asks how Kaiden is, Raven states "He looks Good." What kind of answer is that? It's the answer a sociopath would give, IMO.
    He treated Janet as an object and Vanessa as an object.

    I believe that if this cases had not been showcased and people did not discuss it online, perhaps there would not have been an interview and instead would have heard Vanessa committed suicide. You think it don't happen? Barton Corbin, Drew Peterson, enough said!

    Just because he hasn't been arrested yet, doesn't mean he didn't do it!

    I believe he did it, and would kill again if given a chance, he's a sociopath and he's good at the con.

  • terminatrixator May 20, 2009

    Professor, I believe he did do it and I believe some day it will be proven in a Court of Law by a jury of his peers. That's going to be a very good day for so many people.

  • shortcake53 May 15, 2009

    I do believe there is a poster here that needs to readjust his thinking, or keep it to himself. Nuff said.

  • Professor May 15, 2009

    but i sure worry about the little boy.

    The little boy is going to be fine if people like you would just leave that alone. He is doing fine right now, so why do you have to keep bothering with it?

  • Professor May 15, 2009

    destroy his son from the inside out.

    That is not the issue and you my friend was not there. His son will not be destroy by his father.

  • Professor May 15, 2009

    So he has his new wife speaking for him. How sick is that? She was not present when the first wife lost her life, so there is nothing, in my opinion that the second wife can say. She should be careful though, "if" he took the first wife's life, she could be next.

  • shortcake53 May 14, 2009

    Maybe she thought she could change him??? In any case, Im glad she came to her senses and got away, but i sure worry about the little boy.

  • JAT May 14, 2009

    But why did she marry the man knowing what he'd said and done just to her - forget about the other wife? She KNEW he was violent but married him anyways. Makes no sense.

  • shortcake53 May 14, 2009

    Professor, were YOU there? How can you be so sure he didnt do it? What do you know that the rest of us dont, including the authorities? Enlighten us all, please.

  • Professor May 14, 2009

    Begs the question - why?

    Because we are human beings is why. How many times have you been hit?