PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — It’s been almost a year since a Kitsap County family of four, including two teenage boys, was brutally murdered.
Just before 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2017, deputies received a desperate 911 call from a house in Seabeck near Lake Tahuyeh.
“Help! My whole family’s shot — me too,” said 16-year-old Hunter Schaap.
You can hear the pain, fear and frustration in his voice.
“I’m dying. I’m shot right now. My family’s dead. When are you coming to me?” he asks.
“That's nothing that any 16-year-old should ever have to communicate,” said Kitsap County Sheriff’s Lt. Jon VanGesen.
When first responders arrived, they found a burning home and three bodies inside, including Hunter, 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.
EXTENDED 911 CALL RELEASED
Detectives are releasing the extended 911 call to the public in an effort to generate more leads in the case.
Pressed for details on who shot him by the 911 dispatcher, Hunter couldn’t say.
“Someone here with a gun but you need to come now,” he said.
"He's fearful, he's a fighter. He's trying to get help to his family,” said VanGesen.
Hunter’s mom recently listened to the call.
“I knew that if I wanted to look forward to a trial and look forward to some knowledge of what’s going on, I needed to start being strong and dealing with this really hard situation that has been paralyzing for the last year. It makes me so mad. It makes me so furious because as a parent, you just want to protect your child and to know those last moments were pleading for help,” said Carly Schaap.
Hunter and Johnathan grew up brothers in a blended family.
“They’re just truly angels. Always smiling. They were always happy,” said Johnathan’s sister, Ashlynn Higgins.
She and other family members wear T-shirts that read ‘We Need Justice’ and picture the Careaga family smiling in the snow in Seabeck.
"These were two 16-year-old boys that didn’t get to live. I’ll never get to see their kids. I’ll never be an auntie to their children. I’ll never see them smile again,” said Ashlynn.
Detectives say they’ve have been working to solve this case 24/7 for the past year.
“Their deaths have been devastating to the family and devastating to our community,” said VanGesen.
A team of trained investigators is following up on every lead that comes in as they try to fill in the timeline of events that led up to the murders.
Now, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is naming a person of interest in the case who they say was identified after they released surveillance video last year. It was taken in a Target store 12 days before the murders.
PERSON OF INTEREST NAMED IN THE CASE
"We identified the person in the video as Danie Kelly Jr., age 39 of Bremerton. He remains a person of interest in this case. We also identified that Mr. Kelly is wearing Bandidos motorcycle club attire in the video and we also want to speak to his close associates because we believe they have information about his activities and the activities of those close to him,” said VanGesen.
Investigators will only say Kelly’s actions at the store were specifically relevant to the case. They are not searching for him. He was contacted by detectives along with hundreds of other people last year but detectives say he has not been cooperative. That is why they are asking for tips from anyone who has any information.
“We continue to investigate all of his activities from January 15th up to January 29th. He has an association with the Careaga family and he has relevant information to the homicides of Hunter and Jonathan,” he said.
Investigators says tips from the public and the courage to come forward have been critical to the case. They are also focusing on surveillance video showing Johnny Careaga meeting with someone in a sedan in the parking lot of the Camp Union Grocery store just after 9 p.m., shortly before his family was killed.
NEW VIDEO RELEASED
“We know that Johnny's truck pulled up next to it and they parked next to each other for several minutes and then this unidentified vehicle pulled out after Johnny had left and pulled into the neighboring church parking lot on the east of the Camp Union grocery. What would be helpful to us is being able to identify the passenger car. We don’t know what the make or model is of it or who was in the car,” said VanGesen.
Investigators hope that by naming a person of interest and the new surveillance video, there will be new leads to fill in the gaps in the timeline of events leading up to the murders.
"We are getting closer. We're getting more information. We're able to validate that information and I'm very confident that we are going to be able to solve this in the very near future,” said Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson.
FAMILY PLEADS FOR JUSTICE
As January 27th approaches, grieving family members are pleading with the public for help, asking everyone to listen to the fear in Hunter’s voice.
"It just sucks that these people out there just did this like these boys were nothing, like these families were nothing to anybody. I just hope that whoever did this can show their face. Come out. Show yourselves. I mean. You took two 16-year-olds,” Ashlynn said as she wiped away tears.
Carly Schaap, Hunter's mom, issued this statement:
“We’re approaching the anniversary for the most tragic day. Not only for my family but for multiple families. As this year has painfully passed, I’ve held onto hope for answers. We can’t solely depend on one entity to make change. It takes the community. It’s never too late to do the right thing and come forward with information. If it’s fear that silences you, please take into consideration, please take into consideration the fear these monsters placed on human life, January 27th last year. Let’s put an end to the fear and stand strong together. Four people were murdered. Two being 16 year old children. Hunter and Jonathan. Children with their futures stolen. Their lives were taken in a horrific manner by people who shouldn’t have the ability to walk amongst us. Please stand up for them. Our family has lived with the life sentence. We need your help. We really desperately need justice in this case.”
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $4,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and charges in the case. You can remain completely anonymous. Use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone or call 1-800-222-TIPS. You can also submit a tip anonymously at www.P3Tips.com