ABC’s ’20/20’ brings to the forefront an age-old case that found its due justice way later. But was the justice given, completely fair? That is a question up for much speculation. Janet Abaroa’s death, not only left her family grappling with grief but also left her son, motherless. While the road to justice can be an uphill battle, this one was ridden with a particular clue all along the way until the truth came to light.
Janet Abaroa’s Murder
Janet Abaroa came from a big Mormon family of 10 children. Janet met her future husband, Raven Abaroa in 1998, at South Virginia University. The two, who were soccer players, eventually fell in love. Two years into their relationship, they got married in 2000. From what those on the outside could make of it, the two had a pretty good marriage. But that opinion did not hold out for too long. The couple moved to North Carolina and found jobs in a sports merchandise company. It was around this time the couple began to visibly experience troubles in their marriage.
To Janet’s shock, Raven came out to her, seeking a divorce claiming that he had been cheating on her with several other women. Soon after that, there was another important news along the way-Janet was pregnant. She told her sisters that she did not want to be a single mother. In any case, the couple decided to remain together, and later, Janet told her family that he had agreed to make it work. As they welcomed, Kaiden, their son, things seemed to be getting better. However, Raven was soon caught stealing sports supplies from the company they worked at. This was in 2004, and Janet decided to quit her job out of embarrassment. Raven, pleaded guilty on all charges that were filed against him but did not have to go to prison.
On April 26, 2005, Raven Abaroa told Janet that he was going to play soccer with his friends around 8 PM. And according to a 911 call he placed later that night, when he returned, he had found his wife shot to death. As the police arrived, they found out that Janet had not been shot but stabbed, to death. Their son was left unharmed in the adjacent room.
Who Killed Janet Abaroa?
The case did not see any new leads for several years. However, all of that changed when a new detective, Charles Sole, was assigned to the case. After taking up the case, he started from scratch and reviewed all the evidence. One thing he found odd was that Janet’s contact lens case seemed to be kept partially open in a way that suggested that it was empty. Upon speaking to her family, he found out that Janet was very meticulous about removing her lens before going to sleep, which is what she was apparently getting ready to do as Raven stepped out that night. This was then in stark contradiction to what Raven had stated earlier. In 2010, he was thus arrested. Janet’s body was then exhumed to find out that she was wearing lens at the time she was buried. Dr. Charles Zwerling, even performed an experiment with pigs to confirm that they changed with time just how Janet’s lenses had. This was crucial in determining that Raven Abaroa was lying.
This is what Raven Abaroa looked like when he appeared in court today. pic.twitter.com/ZPd5Ju9xkN
— Diana Bosch Catanese (@thedameupstairs) June 6, 2013
After Janet’s death, he had moved to Utah and married Vanessa Pond. But they had gotten divorced. In 2013, his case was taken to court but ended in a mistrial. His second trial happened in 2014, but before the trial, Raven entered a plea for voluntary manslaughter, but not really admitting his guilt. In any case, he was then convicted to spend a duration of 95-123 months in jail, and the years he spent in custody before the trial, was taken into consideration. In 2017, he was released from prison. (Featured Image Credit: Janet Abaroa/ ABCNews)
Read More: Where is Raven Abaroa Now?