Domestic Homicides Pose Challenges
* Janet Abaroa, 25, was pregnant when someone stabbed her to death in the bedroom of her Durham home on April 26, 2005.
* Michelle Young, 29, also pregnant, was found dead in her Wake County home on Nov. 3, 2006, beaten to death.
* The 10-year-old son of Rose Wynn, 53, a pastor's wife, found her beaten to death on the kitchen floor of her Raeford home on June 26.
* On July 14, Nancy Cooper, 34, a Cary mother reported missing two days earlier, was found dead at a construction site not far from her home.
Already this year, husbands or boyfriends are accused of killing 57 women in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
"The most dangerous time for a woman that's in a domestic violence situation – a woman or man that's in a domestic violence situation – is when they make that determination that they're going to leave," Hartzell said."
Janet Abaroa and her husband, Raven Abaroa, had reconciled after a separation before she was killed. Investigators say the couple was also having financial difficulties.
"In a domestic case, (investigators are) going to be looking at financial problems," defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Dan Boyce said. "They're going to be looking at infidelity or strife in the marriage. But that, in and of itself, doesn't prove the crime."
Boyce says domestic homicides can be especially difficult to clear because DNA evidence is often useless. Although DNA is used to solve many homicides, a spouse's DNA will naturally be found in the home and on the victim.
"There may be a very plausible reason for an individual's DNA to appear or a fingerprint to appear in the house, on the car, even on the body," Boyce said.
Boyce says that although investigators only need probable cause to make an arrest, prosecutors want a case that is ready to go to trial.
"They're looking at a much higher burden," he said. "'Can I prove this beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a jury?'"
"There's no do-overs, there is no 'We'll take a second chance on that,'" Morgan said.
Morgan says the time it takes to build such a case can be excruciating, but says he believes the cases of Wynn, Cooper, Young and Abaroa will ultimately be solved.
"Good investigators all around the world come in every day, whether it's a year, two years, 10 years down the road, and they say, 'I'm still going to solve this case," he said.'"
For the most part, the husbands of the victims have said little publicly about their wives' deaths. Recently, in a television interview, Raven Abaroa denied killing his wife.
RAVEN IT'S NOT OVER, BY A LONG SHOT...I KNOW YOU KILLED HER.
VANESSA, YOU ARE MARRYING INTO THE MESS OF A LIFETIME. YOUR #1 RESPONSIBILITY IS SUPPOSE TO BE YOUR DAUGHTER.......I CANNOT BELIEVE THE HELL THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE PUTTING YOUR FAMILY & CHILD THROUGH WHEN YOU FIND OUT THAT THE MAN YOU ARE MARRYING IS A STONE-COLD KILLER!