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Monday, May 27 2019 @ 11:57 AM UTC

More on the Death of Kelly Abner

Crime & Punishment

By DON WINNER for - Yesterday I met with representatives from the Auxiliary Prosecutor's office in Panama City, Republic of Panama, regarding my ongoing investigation into the shooting death of American expatriate Kelly Abner. In Panama many cases are assigned initially to the office of the Auxiliary Prosecutor which is a kind of "catch-all" for cases that occur on weekends and at night. Their offices are adjacent to the building housing the National Police Department of Judicial Investigation (DIJ). At this point investigators from the Auxiliary Prosecutor are working together with DIJ homicide investigators to figure out exactly what happened to Kelly. (more)

Raleigh Abner Has Not Made A Statement: One of the most interesting things that came out of the meeting yesterday was that so far Kelly Abner's husband Raleigh Abner has not made a statement to investigators. They have communicated to Raleigh Abner's lawyers that they want to talk to him, but he hopped on his private jet and left the country. Raleigh Abner attended Kelly Abner's funeral in Houston Texas on Tuesday, 9 September 2008, and then flew to Florida. But as of today, as far as anyone here in Panama knows, he has not returned. Obviously, for investigators their #1 priority is to obtain an official sworn statement from Raleigh Abner, the man who was with Kelly when she was killed by a single gunshot to the head. All other witnesses such as the maid, bodyguard, and other employees were on the periphery - Raleigh was in the room.

Heart Problems: When I asked why Raleigh Abner had not made an official sworn statement to investigators, they told me he "supposedly" had some kind of undefined heart problems or chest pains when Kelly was killed. At the time investigators were treating the case as a suicide and they had no reason to doubt Raleigh's story. In fact, the investigators in the cases did not know that Raleigh had left Panama, and also didn't know that he had attended Kelly's funeral in Houston. In short, they were basically still operating under the assumption that he was still somehow sick, unavailable, hospitalized, or otherwise indisposed. Raleigh Abner has a whole lot of money and all of the toys that go along with wealth - to include a private jet and a helicopter. Investigators told me they have contacted Raleigh Abner's lawyers here in Panama and that they have communicated their intent to interview him. So far he has not complied, but rather had decided to leave the country and avoid the homicide investigators in Panama who are looking into the case.

About Chest Pains: As a middle aged man who has had both a heart attack and a quadruple bypass, with my medical history if at any time I put my hand to my chest and claim to be having chest pains then my ass will be in the ICU faster than you can say "I.V." We members of the zipper club gather plenty of knowledge along the way about angina - the chest pain often caused by emotional stress and turmoil. Did Raleigh suffer a heart attack on the day Kelly Abner was killed? Apparently not, because he only spent a few days in the hospital. When you have chest pains like that, the doctors will check you out, run lab tests to look for enzymes in the blood indicating possible damage to the heart muscle, run EKG's, take X-rays, and do everything else necessary to make sure you're not going to die. Then, once you've calmed down, you go home. Apparently this is what Raleigh Abner did. He played the "it's the big one..." card.

Kelly Was Shot With Raleigh's Gun: The second most interesting piece of information that came out of my interview yesterday was the fact that Kelly Abner was shot with Raleigh Abner's gun. Why is that important? If you remember, according to Raleigh Abner in statement's he made to Kelly's mother Irene Morris, and her sister's Debbie Clark and Robin Mott, Raleigh went on and on about how supposedly Kelly had gone out earlier that day and that she had taken "her gun" with her. He explained how "they both went out and bought guns about a year ago" for personal protection. He also said that he tried to talk Kelly out of taking her gun with her because she had Jorge the bodyguard to protect her, so why did she need her gun. Then when she came back home, supposedly Raleigh asked Kelly on several occasions if she had unloaded her gun. The point is, it was supposed to be "her gun" not "his gun." When I pointed this out to the investigators, they said that "this is one of the questions we will be asking Mr. Abner when we question him."

Kelly Was Right Handed: I discussed the fact that Kelly Abner was right handed with investigators. I told them that I have seen the photos taken at the funeral home, and that the entry wound was on the left side of Kelly Abner's head, above and behind her left ear. In addition, the trajectory was basically flat - indicating that the gun was pointed level and straight at her head. Being right handed, it would be extremely difficult for her to have shot herself in that location and at that angle with her left hand. When discussing this with investigators, they indicated that they have nothing in their file indicating if Kelly was right or left handed, and they said "this is another critical piece of information held by Kelly Abner's family members that we would like to have in the case file."

Confirmed Lack of GSR: Another important point - investigators confirmed that tests for gunshot residue on Kelly Abner's hands came back negative. For some reason I though Kelly Abner had been shot in the bathroom while taking a shower, and that there was a possibility that maybe the water of the shower might have washed away the GSR or at least caused the negative test result. I learned yesterday that in fact Kelly Abner was shot in the walk-in closet of the master bedroom, not in the bathroom, and that she was not in fact taking a shower at the time. So, again, no GSR on her hands. As a result of this test investigators are now treating the case as a homicide rather than an accidental shooting or a suicide. When I asked them this question directly - "How are they treating the case?" They responded very professionally in describing their standard procedures and protocol and how they would go about continuing to investigate the case. Then, at this point they started talking about other cases in which US Federal law enforcement authorities have cooperated with them in extraditing wanted criminals back to Panama for investigation and/or prosecution. So, while they left it unsaid, the message was clear enough. The specifically did not say that they were treating the case as either a suicide or a homicide, but rather that it's an open case which they are investigating, and that they will let the information they uncover guide their efforts. In short, they dodged the question. Fair enough. In reality who cares as long as they're doing their job.

Now Awaiting Ballistics Information: At this point investigators are awaiting a report from their ballistics laboratory which will tell them things about the gun, the bullet, and the trajectory of the round that killed Kelly Abner. From there, they will proceed to pursue other leads and information.

Make A Formal Complaint: The Representative from the Auxiliary Prosecutor's Office emphasized the importance of the information being relayed to me by Kelly Abner's family members, and that they have the legal right to return to Panama to file an official and formal complaint. What's more, that's the only way the information they hold will ever get into the case file. If they don't come back to make statements, then there's a good chance that the information they have will be lost to the prosecutors.

Fair and Balanced Reporting: This is an open invitation to Raleigh Abner and his friends and family members to contact me with regards to this case. I have been accused of being biased, and only reporting one side of the story. Every time I post another article people who have signed up to my website using new email addresses and user names such as "noprejudge" and "nobias" have been posting comments attacking me, the reporter. If I don't have access to the other side of the story I can't report it. All attempts to contact Raleigh Abner have failed. So, if my reporting basically pisses you off, if you don't like what you're reading, and if you think I'm biased - you're right. At this point I'm telling two sides of the story - that being told to me by the family members of Kelly Abner and what I'm learning from prosecutors and law enforcement. If you would like to see me print the other side, I would be more than happy to. Give me a call in Panama at (507) 399-4750 or send me an email at And for the record, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and convicted in a court of law. I would literally love to hear a logical explaination for some of the inconsistencies I'm hearing about the supposed accidental shooting death of Kelly Abner. So, please call.

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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