Local News

One Year After Homicide, Durham Woman's Family Looks For Answers

Posted April 30, 2006
Updated March 24, 2013

— It's been one year since 25-year-old Janet Abaroa was stabbed and killed in her Durham home, but her killer is still on the loose. After a tough year without her, her family is honoring her memory.

Durham police say the case was not random, but they still haven't identified a suspect. Abaroa was killed with her 6-month-old child in the house. There was no sign of forced entry.

One year later, Abaroa's family is desperate for answers.

"We don't feel like we are any closer to an end than a year ago," said Abaroa's sister, Dana Kendall.

Abaroa never made it to her first Mother's Day, or her son's first birthday. Her family didn't know it when she died, but an autopsy revealed she was pregnant again.

"They knew this would be hard on me, so they didn't tell me for quite a while," said Janet Christiansen, Abaroa's mother.

Along with sadness, many family members feel frustration too, but not at police.

"We know they are doing all they can," says Abaroa's sister-in-law Connie Christiansen.

They feel helpless in knowing their loved one didn't have to die.

"It was a deliberate act of someone taking her life, and it didn't have to be," says Kendall.

The investigation has revealed Abaroa and her husband were having money problems. Raven Abaroa pleaded guilty to embezzling from his workplace. He now lives in Utah with the couple's child.

Abaroa's sisters say they don't speak to him often. Her mother wishes she could just speak to her daughter again.

"I can't call her on the phone," said Janet Christiansen. "I had her message and someone inadvertently deleted it. I was mad and furious for a week. I wanted to hear her voice."

Now, her family and friends are her voice. On Saturday night, they'll light candles to remember her.

The candlelight vigil will be held in Janet Abaroa's honor Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center Plaza on Foster Street in Durham. Candles will also be lit in several states at the same time.


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