Local News

Durham police ask to exhume slain mom's body

Posted June 3, 2010 3:50 p.m. EDT
Updated April 21, 2013 11:12 a.m. EDT

— 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 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.