Transcript for Police Arrest Man for Wife's Murder
Are you serious? "20/20" Saturday continues. "Sleeping with the enemy." Once again. John Quinones. While the baby sleeping in the next room, while her husband because out. Could the one clue that finally breaks it all open, come from the brave? The people who love Janet agreed to her body's exhumation, and say they won't stop until they know why she was killed and who did it. ? Reporter: It started with two student athletes meeting in college. Raven swept her off her feet. He was prince charming, and she fell for him hard. Reporter: The romance blossoms quickly. Raven abaroa and Janet Christiansen are married before they even graduate. Soon they have a son, Kaiden. Then, on the evening of April 26th, 2005, the unthinkable. Durham 911, where is your emergency? My wife, she's dead. I'm at home. She's been shot or something. There's blood everywhere. Janet abaroa was found inside her Ferrand drive home last. With appeared to be a stab wound in her chest. Durham police have not named any suspects but will only say her murder was not random. Reporter: Just days after the murder, raven and his son move to Utah, and soon he takes a second wife, Vanessa. He just left town. And not only left town, but 2,000 miles away. And he had never told me how she had died, he just told me that she had died. And so I took it upon myself to look it up. And got a little more information than I bargained for. Reporter: While Vanessa was learning all about raven in Salt Lake, the entire community of Durham kept looking for answers. A vigil does little to heal the wounds. By our presence here, we are saying that the passage of time does not mean that this case will go unanswered. It does not mean that Janet will be forgotten. Reporter: Despite promises from city officials, weeks became months, and months became years. All the while police failed to name a single suspect. It was frustrating and upsetting. And it was also sad for us because we wanted justice for my sister. Reporter: Even worse, Janet's family are certain they know who's responsible, the very man they all welcomed into their family with open arms. Any doubt in your minds that raven killed your sister? All: No. Raven abaroa was a horrible husband to his wife, Janet, before her death. There is no doubt about that. Now, defense attorneys will tell you an adulterer does not a murderer make. But I will tell you that an adulterer more often will end up a murderer, and that is in fact the case with abaroa. I've asked this question so many times, I've quit asking it. What happened to divorce? Why not just get a divorce? Reporter: Meanwhile, in Salt Lake, the ink on Vanessa's marriage license hasn't even dried when she knows she's made a mistake. She lives in constant fear of raven, whose anger goes from 0 to 60 in a second. He started getting physical with pushing around, and I would watch, the light just disappears from his eyes, and he becomes another person. And that thought is terrifying. Reporter: Are you convinced you would have been his next victim? Yeah. Reporter: After bouncing around between four different lead investigators, the abaroa murder case finally lands in detective Charles sole's lap. The case originated in '05, and I think I got on the case in 2010. And I kind of ran with it. The common sense stuff in the case, it just didn't add up. Reporter: Sole becomes convinced Janet's family was right all along. One of more intriguing bits of evidence was there from the beginning -- the $500,000 life insurance policy that raven took out on Janet just months before her murder. Well, I mean, he was a fraud guy. When I got the case, I dug back on one of the first police incidents he was involved in. I believe it was smithfield, Virginia, a small town that, a vehicle that he's financing just spontaneously combusts. And an insurance claim is made from it. And then he lands this job where he eventually is charged with embezzlement. Again, it's important for this case. It's kind of one of the building blocks that you look at, because I think that that was a big part of the motive, is the financial situation with raven. Reporter: But there's one little detail that blows up raven's story. He told police Janet was getting ready to go to bed when he left her the night of her murder. But sole notices for the first time in crime scene photos that Janet's contact lens case is empty. She always took out her contacts before going to bed, and I mean always. We shared a bathroom all through high school. We went to college together. We shared hotel rooms. She always took out her contacts. Reporter: There is only one way for sole to find out if Janet's contacts were still in when she was killed. The exhumation was something that, you know, we didn't want to have to do unless we felt like it was going to be necessary. And the family was supportive of it. The body of Janet abaroa is being exhumed tonight. Reporter: Janet's body is taken to the medical examiner, who has a eureka moment. We were able to find that, in fact, that she did have her contacts still in. In fact, that it was a hard contact, that it would be totally unusual and painful for someone to leave them in. Reporter: And remember that throwing knife raven mailed to sole. The medical examiner used that new piece of evidence to make another discovery. The throwing knife was significant because of its design. They're typically not a sharp knife. They're usually double edged. We did some tool marking based on the bones that were -- that were cut to match them up with the knife that had been sent to us. Reporter: Investigators were unable to prove if this was the knife that killed Janet, but it was consistent with the type of knife used in the murder. The knife, the contacts, the insurance policy, the holes in raven's story, and his erratic behavior, yes, it's all circumstantial, but for sole it's enough. Sole heads west to arrest raven abaroa for murder four and a half years before Janet was stabbed to death. I'd never really had face-to-face with raven at the time. When I explained to him who I was and where I was from and then, you know, presented him with a warrant. I mean, he was, you know, visibly nervous and shooken. Reporter: Raven is cuffed and extradited to North Carolina where he is charged with first-degree murder. When we come back, raven abaroa's romantic life goes on trial. A trail of mistresses come forward to tell how they were terrified of raven. We pulled off and eventually we ended up, and I just kept going like this and saying okay, if something happens to me they'll be able to find my DNA
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