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Man charged in wife's death returns to Durham

Raven Abaroa, who is charged with killing his wife almost five years ago, was extradited Friday from Idaho to Durham to face a murder charge.

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DURHAM, N.C. — Authorities on Friday brought a former Durham resident charged with killing his wife almost five years ago back to town to face a murder charge in the case.

Raven Abaroa, 30, was arrested Feb. 1 at his home in Montpelier, Idaho. He is charged with first-degree murder in the April 2005 slaying of 25-year-old Janet Christiansen Abaroa.

He arrived at the Durham Police Department shortly after 1 p.m. and declined to comment as investigators led him inside.

"I want to look into his soul and ask him, 'Why?'" said Tim Dowd, a spokesman for Janet Abaroa's family.

Janet Abaroa was stabbed to death in an upstairs bedroom at her 2606 Ferrand Drive home. She was pregnant at the time, and the Abaroas’ then-6-month-old son, Kaiden, was in the home. He was unharmed.

"Don't lose sight of Janet. That is what this is about," Dowd said. "It's about justice. It's not about a win or a loss. It's not about a headline. It's about getting justice for Janet and her unborn child."

Raven Abaroa has maintained his innocence in the case. In an October 2007 interview with NC Wanted, he said he was at a soccer game in Morrisville when she was killed. He found her when he returned home, he said.

Dowd said Janet Abaroa's family wants Raven Abaroa held without bond. They fear he will flee the area if he's released before his trial.

"He's gone by several different names. We know that he has at least three driver's licenses from three different states," Dowd said.

Kaiden was placed in the custody of his paternal grandmother in Utah after his father's arrest, authorities said.

Janet Abaroa's family has hired an attorney in Utah to pursue custody of Kaiden, Dowd said.

"It kind of burns in your soul," he said of Janet Abaroa's murder. "Young, pregnant women at home with their kid next to them aren't supposed to be murdered brutally like this."

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Erin Hartness, Reporter
Pete James, Photographer
Matthew Burns, Web Editor

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