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Authorities release photo of person of interest in brutal murders of Kitsap County family
June 07, 2017

The "person of interest" seen walking into a Target store in Silverdale, WA. Jan. 15, 2017. LARGER IMAGES BELOW

LARGER images of above. The "person of interest" seen walking into a Target store in Silverdale, WA. Jan. 15, 2017. CLICK TO ENLARGE

All four members of the Careaga family that were murdered. Photos: Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Burned out truck belonging to John Careaga that was found on a tree farm in Mason County. Photo: Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Chronicle staff

(KITSAP COUNTY, WA.) -- The brutal murder of an entire family in Seabeck, Washington back in January sent waves of shock and disbelief throughout the northwest.

In early February the Kitsap County Sheriffs Office (KCSO) requested the public's help in providing information that would lead to the arrest of the person or persons who murdered the family of four on the weekend of Saturday January 28.

Since that time detectives have been pouring through hundreds of tips and Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson says the investigation into the murders remains the primary focus of Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives.

“Over the past four months Kitsap Sheriff’s investigators have worked tirelessly on this case,” said Simpson in a update on the case released Tuesday June 6th. “At this point detectives have information they need to get out to everyone.”

A person of interest

Simpson said they now have a "person of interest in this investigation," and they need the public’s help once again as detectives believe that this person did not act alone in the horrific crime.

“This was not a random killing,” added the sheriff. “There are others involved besides this person being highlighted today. We ask that people think about what they know and call us. We do the best that we can to keep our communities safe. We do our part,
but we need everyone to do their part, too. Every piece of information helps us get one step closer to completing this investigation and bringing justice to the family.”

Detectives have received and processed hundreds of tips concerning the murders of the family members who were identified as Christale Careaga, 37, John Careaga, 43, Jonathan Higgins, 16, and Hunter Schaap, 16., and they continue to work diligently to follow each lead.

Investigators have "studied multiple sources of video footage and have a person of interest in the deaths," said the sheriff's statement on Tuesday.

Photos & video of man and vehicle

Above are still images released by the sheriff's office of "the person of interest," in the case. Click the images to enlarge.

The person is an adult male. The images were obtained from the Target Store located at 3201 NW Randall Way, in Silverdale, at approximately 7:44 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. This was 12 days before the murders took place.

The photos depict the man entering the store.

There is also video footage available here of the man entering the store and another piece of video here showing a car of interest (a silver sedan) driving along the front of the store, heading eastbound in the parking lot and then turning southbound onto Kitsap Mall Blvd.

Detectives request that you take a good look at the images and videos as they are interested in talking with anyone who has information about either the man or the silver colored 4-door passenger car shown in the video.

Who to contact if you have information

If you have information, contact Detective Jennifer Rice at 360-337-5616 or Detective Lissa Gundrum at 360-337-5669.

Those with information may also contact Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound will pay $4,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and charging of persons responsible for the deaths of the Careaga family.

All calls made to Crime Stoppers Puget Sound are confidential and all callers remain anonymous.

Citizens may also send a web tip via: www.p3tips.com or send a mobile tip from a smartphone by downloading the app from p3tips.com.

Reference: Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office case report K17-000955.



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