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Crime Five things to know about the Careaga murders

17:00  27 january  2020
17:00  27 january  2020 Source:   kitsapsun.com

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The Jan. 27, 2017, murders of four members of a blended family near Seabeck remains one of the highest-interest unsolved murder cases in Kitsap County.

As investigators have released details in the case, here is what the Kitsap Sun has learned.

1. Four people were killed

Investigators have said that three members of the blended Careaga family were shot at a house near Tahuya Lake in Seabeck before the house was set on fire on Jan. 27, 2017. Those who were found dead in the home were Christale Careaga, 37, and two 16-year-olds, Hunter Schaap and Johnathon Higgins.

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The incident began when a person called 911 at 11:28 p.m. on Jan. 27 and said violence was being committed in the house on Tenino Drive and then hung up.

Later, investigators released the last words of 16-year-old Schaap: "Help! I'm dying...My family is dead! Come now!" Those words are now on billboards seeking information in the case.

Johnny Careaga, 43, was the target of the attack, according to detectives. Two days later, on Jan. 29, Careaga was found shot and burned in his 2005 Ford F-150 truck on a rural tree farm in Mason County.

Witnesses have come forward, saying they saw several vehicles outside of a tree farm gate on NE Dewatto Holly Road in Mason County, where Johnny’s body and his burned-out truck were later found.

The sheriff's office said on Jan. 23, 2020, that investigators believe another location was used to hide Johnny Careaga during his kidnapping and murder before his body was discovered the following day.

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  Bandidos Motorcycle Club involved in 2017 quadruple murder of Seabeck family The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office announced that members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were directly involved in the quadruple murders of the Careaga family in 2017. Danie Jay Kelly Jr., age 41, remains a person of interest in the case. He is a known member of the Bandidos. In 2017, he was arrested for assaulting and propositioning his estranged mother. Three years ago next week, four members of the Careaga family were found shot and killed near Seabeck. In January 2017, a woman and two teens were found shot and killed in their burned down home. The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office identified them as 37-year-old Christale Lynn Careaga and two 16-year-old boys, Hunter E.

MORE: Careaga murders topped the headlines in 2017. If given the opportunity to speak directly to a person who has one or some of those pieces, Schaap said she would want them to think about the right of a mother to know what happened to her son and know they could bring peace to loved ones.

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2. A person of interest

a man looking at the camera: The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office says that Danie Jay Kelly Jr., 41, is a person of interest in the Careaga murders.© Kitsap County Sheriff's Office The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office says that Danie Jay Kelly Jr., 41, is a person of interest in the Careaga murders.

The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office says that Danie Jay Kelly Jr., 41, is "a person of interest in the murders."

Kelly has never been arrested or charged in connection with the murders and the sheriff's office has not said what evidence it has potentially connecting him to the case.

The office identified Kelly after asking the public for assistance identifying a person seen in surveillance footage from the Silverdale Target on Jan. 15, 2017, 12 days before the deaths.

From 2018: Person of interest named in Careaga murders

3. Bandidos' connection

Investigators said Kelly was seen in the surveillance video wearing clothing associated with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

On Jan. 23, 2020, the sheriff's office said it believes "members and associates" of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were involved in the murders of the Careagas, Higgins and Schaap. It did not say what evidence it had that led the office to that conclusion.

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Here are five things to know about the case. Adrianne and Graham both went to high school in Mansfield, Texas, where they were both noted for their academics. “You know how growing up, your mom tells you about the perfect guy, the perfect gentleman, and there’s nobody out there like that

Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Despite almost a year passing since four members of a family were murdered , a Sheriff's Office detective remains on the case Please read the rules before joining the discussion. Careaga murders topped the headlines in 2017.

Kitsap officials: Bandidos directly involved in murder of Careaga family

4. Large amount of cash found at the murder scene

Detectives searching the Careaga's home on Tenino Drive found a large amount of cash, they said in February 2017. More than $50,000 in cash was found in a safe and $7,000 was found in a bank bag inside the master bedroom of the house.

The Careagas owned Christale’s Java Hut and Juanito’s Taco Shop on Kitsap Way in Bremerton.

A marijuana grow discovered at the residence was authorized under state medical marijuana laws, the sheriff's office said.

a group of people posing for the camera: A billboard in the Bremerton area seeks information relating to the murders of members of the Careaga family.© Contributed / Kitsap County Sheriff's Office A billboard in the Bremerton area seeks information relating to the murders of members of the Careaga family.

5. Reward offered for information

As investigators search for clues that could help lead to an arrest in the murders, they've tried to bring people forward through rewards.

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound offered a $4,000 reward in the wake of the deaths in January 2017. That later was raised to $20,000 after an anonymous donor stepped in.

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Those with any information are asked to submit a tip at www.fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5354), referencing “Careaga Homicides.” Tips can also be called into Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or online at www.p3tips.com or the P3tips.com app.

From 2019: Sign seeking tips in Careaga murders hard for mom, but she supports it

Kimberly Rubenstein is the local news editor of the Kitsap Sun. She can be reached at kimberly.rubenstein@kitsapsun.com or 360-792-5263. Support coverage of local news by signing up today for a digital subscription.

This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Five things to know about the Careaga murders

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