$4,000 reward offered to solve murder of Kitsap County family: ‘Somebody out there knows something’

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help to solve a quadruple murder.  “This is obviously a tragic event that affects not just the family but the entire community, someone willing to kill an entire family like this,” said Det. Lt. Earl Smith.

UPDATE: $60,000 cash, dozens of marijuana plants found at scene of Kitsap County murders

Just before 11:30 p.m. last Friday, deputies received a desperate 911 call for help from a house in Seabeck near Lake Tahuyeh.  When first responders arrived, they found a burning home and three bodies inside — 16-year-old Hunter Schaap, 16-year-old Johnathon Higgins and his mom, 37-year-old Christale Careaga. Investigators say all three were the victims of homicidal violence.

From left clockwise, Hunter Schaap, 16; John Careaga's wife, Christale Lynn Careaga, 37; and Johnathon Higgins, 16.

From left clockwise, Hunter Schaap, 16; John Careaga's wife, Christale Lynn Careaga, 37; and Johnathon Higgins, 16.

The following day, 43-year-old John Careaga was found murdered in his burned-out Ford F150 pickup truck on a tree farm on NE Dewatto-Holly Road, south of Forest Springs Road in Mason County.

John D. Careaga

John D. Careaga

“We`ve forensically processed that truck. We`re taking evidence to the crime lab. We processed the residence where the three individuals were found murdered,” said Smith.

Investigators are getting help from the FBI and ATF as they work to put together a time line of events.

“I think that they probably had more of an interest in Johnny, only because he was found at a different location and if you know any information about Johnny, good or bad, we would ask that you call the sheriff`s office and talk with us about what you know,” Smith said.

Careaga owned Juanito’s Taco Shop in Bremerton.  It’s closed right now but out front there are tables filled with flowers and balloons.

"It's very hard to know that they're not here anymore,” said Josephine Broshears, who knew the family and brought a rock painted with words of comfort.

"We gotta find out what 's going on and what happened here. It's just heartbreaking,” added local businessman Steve Malloy.

Detectives are hoping a $4,000 reward being offered by Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound will help give them the leads they need to solve the case.

“We want to hear all the information. Not just the good. If there`s some good, great. If there`s some bad, great. If it`s just the information about these individuals, that`s what we want to hear about,” Smith said.

Submit the information using the P3 Tips App on your phone or by calling 1-800-22-TIPS. It is guaranteed to be anonymous. You can also send the information to detectives through http://www.P3Tips.com.

Investigators are  also asking for any surveillance video facing the roadway in the areas of the following roads between Friday (01-27-2017) at 7 p.m. until Sunday (01-29-2017) at 2 p.m. If you have video during these time frames, you are asked to call Detective Lissa Gundrum at 360-337-5669.
Gold Creek Road
Bear Creek Dewatto Road
Dewatto Road
Dewatto-Holly Road
Elfendahl Pass Road
Tahuya Blacksmith Road
Tee Lake Road

If you would like to help the Careaga, you can donate here.