PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives said Wednesday they received an enormous amount of tips and have identified the person of interest believed to be connected to the quadruple murder of a family in Seabeck on Jan 27.
However, “his name will not be released at this time,” the sheriff’s office said.
Detectives said they would like the public’s help in identifying any associates of the man whose picture they released Tuesday, or any activities the subject and his associates may have been involved in between January 15 and January 29.
Just before 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, 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. The next day, Christale’s husband, Johnny Careaga, was found murdered in his truck in Mason County.
"This was not an act of passion. It was methodical. It was planned out and we do not believe that this person acted alone,” Detective Lissa Gundrum said Tuesday.
In releasing photos of the person of interest in the case, detectives say the man entered the Silverdale Target at Randall Way and Kitsap Mall Boulevard 12 days before the murders.
"If anyone recalls having a conversation with this individual around the time of the homicides and didn't think to contact us beforehand, maybe now would be the time to let us know what they had heard or what they learned around that time," Gundrum said.
The person of interest, who appears to have tattoos on his face and neck, left in a silver four-door car, but investigators don't know if anyone else was in the car with him.
"We know that this is a person of interest in this case. We're still investigating and are looking at all aspects so we're not really ready to talk about the significance of how this is connected but we do know that this is connected," said Gundrum.
Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson says detectives have worked tirelessly on these homicides.
"We do the best we can to keep our communities safe. We do our part, but we need everyone to do their part, too. If you know something about these homicides, if people recall seeing this person of interest or the vehicle, then I ask that they call us."
Hunter's mom, Carly, is also pleading for someone to come forward with information.
“I’ll never get a first dance with my son on his wedding day and I’ll never get to hold his children ... I’m lost. I’m not who I was," she said.
Detectives say Hunter called 911 for help the night of the murders.
"I’m pleading and I’m asking for the whole spectrum of family and friends, I’m begging for his 911 call to be completed by somebody that knows something," said Carly.
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $4,000 reward for information that helps solve the case. Call the hotline at 1-800-222-TIPS or use the P3 Tips App on your phone. It is guaranteed to be anonymous.
You can also contact Detective Lissa Gundrum at 360-337-5669, #11.