Filed under: Blakpijeon

Raven Abaroa Arrested for the Murder of Wife Janet

The man who once bragged to an acquaintance about being Internet famous due to his status as the prime suspect in his wife’s murder has been arrested at his home in Idaho. Raven Abaroa is now awaiting extradition back to North Carolina to face the charge that he murdered his wife, Janet Christiansen Abaroa, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Until April 26, 2005, Raven Abaroa was an everyday, workplace sociopath, embezzling from employers and charming everyone around him into believing he was way too nice a guy to ever do anything as horrible as murder. Then on that April day his wife Janet was brutally murdered in the home the couple shared on Ferrand Drive in Durham, NC. To me and most of the folks discussing the case online, it seemed blatantly obvious from the beginning that the one and only logical suspect was Raven Abaroa. He was already accused of criminal behavior and Janet was pregnant with their second child at the time of the murder. It didn’t help Raven that he’d once posted strange videos online where he demonstrated a knife he’d received for a holiday gift and stated in a low voice that he “liked… knives.”

Janet’s family suspected Raven as well and participated at times in discussions of the case on the Web. While amateur sleuths bemoaned the fact that Raven seemed to move on with his life, moving to Utah and eventually even re-marrying (it didn’t work out, go figure), the Christiansens seemed to maintain their faith. The following is part of a statement they released upon news of Raven’s arrest: 
Throughout the years the Christiansen family has remained confident and held to the faith that one day there would be justice for Janet’s murder. The Christiansen’s are especially grateful to tireless efforts of detectives and agents with the Durham Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the FBI. As far as commenting on Raven’s guilt or innocence, the family will leave that to the judicial system…
 It’s nice to see the family’s faith was not misplaced.

According to North Carolina TV station WRAL, Raven Abaroa’s arrest was the result of cooperation between numerous law enforcement entities, including “the Durham Police Department, the FBI Task Force, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Montpelier Police Department in Idaho, the East Idaho STAR (Special Tactics and Response) Team and the Bear Lake County Sheriff’s Department in Idaho.”

Prior to his wife’s murder, Raven Abaroa had an extensive online presence, which he set about erasing as soon as he realized he was a suspect. Eventually the lure was too great, however – he returned to the Web as “blakpijeon” and “blakpijeonmusic.” The photo at the top of this post was published in Abaroa’s music MySpace account, which was linked from his Twitter account, which had the same screen name. “Blakpijeon” also had a blogspot account, which talked little about himself but seemed to be about his journey as an apprentice at a refinery.In that account he referred to himself as Sam – Raven Abaroa’s middle name.

Still, Abaroa’s current web presence is nothing like the extensive website he ran prior to Janet’s murder: RavensTree.com. Abaroa maintained that site between 2001 and 2005 and it was fascinating because it portrayed nothing less than the gradual subtraction of Janet from his life. In 2001 Raven’s Tree was all about the young married couple, as seen in a photo (right) posted on the site at the time. The mildly romanticized account of their first meeting was clearly written by Raven Abaroa:

Janet and I met on August 17, 1998. It was in the Main Hall of Southern Virginia College where I (Raven) made the move that would change my life forever.

What I saw was a beautiful girl who was obviously not happy to be at this school. As she walked stubbornly in front of her family, I introduced myself to her little brother, welcoming him to the school. After a few laughs her parents said that “she” (pointing to Janet) is the new student. We talked for a little bit, the rest of my friends introduced her to the team, and only two days later we were watching the sun go down together, for the first time…

 By 2004, Raven’s Tree was all about Raven.

On his 2004 “My Life” page, this was how Abaroa described meeting his wife: “Janet and I met in unique circumstances. Our journey can be fast forwarded to North Carolina.”

I suspect but have no way to prove that Raven Abaroa once contacted me under the guise of someone who was dating him but suspicious of him, perhaps mistakenly assuming I knew more about the investigation into his wife’s murder than I did. Suspicious from the beginning, I was careful to word e-mails between “Ash” and myself in a way that hopefully wouldn’t spook the sender. I didn’t say I thought he did it, but I told “Ash” to be wary as anyone should be when becoming involved with a man whose first wife had died under mysterious, violent circumstances.

Unearthing a lot of stuff on the Web about Abaroa (a little background – almost all my original crime blog posts about this case are offline, but I began the discussion on Websleuths.com, which eventually expanded into multiple threads filled with more information than Abaroa probably even remembered putting on the Web) wasn’t that hard. The Internet was an irresistible lure to him, a place where he could proudly display his fantasy self. That he returned to a life online as “Blakpijeon” knowing that he was likely still under investigation for stabbing his pregnant wife to death was further testimony to how Raven Abaroa’s ego couldn’t stand to hide his light under a bushel.

Now he’s where he belongs, in an Idaho jail without bond, awaiting a return to North Carolina.

Like I said, couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.