Homicide victim identified; detectives say no connection to Careaga murders

SEABECK — The man found dead in the road late Feb. 18 on the 9300 block of Misery Point Road NW has been identified as Hector “Ricky” Apodaca, 30, of Bremerton.

Detectives call Apodaca’s death a case of “homicidal violence”; they do not believe it is related to the murder of four members of a Seabeck family in January, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department reported on its Facebook page.

A passerby saw the body and called 9-1-1 at 11:29 p.m. Feb. 18, Detective Lt. Earl Smith said. Patrol deputies and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue personnel went to the scene; CKF&R personnel tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Apodaca and pronounced him dead at the scene, Smith said.

“Detectives were called to the scene when it was determined that the subject had died of homicidal violence,” the department reported. “If anyone has any information about this homicide, please call 9-1-1. Additional details will be released as the investigation continues.”

Earlier in the day, Smith would not disclose how or where Apodaca died, only that his death was the result of “homicidal violence.”

That stretch of Misery Point Road is rural residential, with homes separated from the road by large lawns or swaths of forest. Nearby is Scenic Beach State Park.

Apodaca is the fifth homicide victim in Seabeck in less than a month. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department and two federal agencies are still investigating the Jan. 27 deaths of John D. Careaga; his wife, Christale L. Careaga, her 16-year-old son, Johnathon F. Higgins; and Careaga’s 16-year-old stepson from a previous marriage, Hunter E. Schaap.

Christale Careaga and the 16-year-olds were found murdered in the family home, 13417 Tenino Drive, which had been set on fire. John Careaga’s body was found two days later in his pickup truck at a Mason County tree farm; the truck had also been set on fire.

Investigators have repeatedly said they don’t believe the Jan. 27 killings were random, that John D. Careaga was the target, and that the public is not in danger.

Apodaca’s body was found near Scenic Beach State Park, 7.5 miles north of the Careaga home. But early Feb. 19, Smith said it was “too early in the investigation” to say whether Apodaca’s death and the Careaga family murders are connected. In a message posted on social media later in the day, the department reported: “At this time, detectives do NOT believe this investigation is related to the quadruple homicide in January.”

Detectives urge anyone with information about this latest homicide to contact the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department by calling 9-1-1.