Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives, in conjunction with FBI special agents, announced Thursday night that members and associates of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were directly involved in the 2017 quadruple homicide of the Careaga family.
Danie Jay Kelly Jr., 41, remains a person of interest in the investigation and is a known associate of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. Almost three years ago, four members of the Careaga family were murdered; 16-year-old Jonathon Higgins, 16-year-old Hunter Schaap, and Jonathon’s mother, Christale Careaga, 37, were shot in their home on Tenino Drive West, near Lake Tahuyeh, in the Seabeck area.
The house was set ablaze and two days later, Johhny Careaga, 43, was found shot and burned in a truck on a rural tree farm. Between the late evening of Friday, Jan. 27, and late in the evening of Saturday, Jan. 28, investigators say they know that another location was used to hide Johnny Careaga during his kidnapping and murder, before his body was discovered the following day at the tree farm. Investigators are trying to determine the location where the victim and his 2005 Ford F-150 truck were kept.
According to the release, witnesses have come forward and relayed details about seeing several vehicles outside a tree farm gate on NE Dewatto Holly Road, in the Dewatto area of North Mason County, where Johnny Careaga’s body and his burned out truck were later found.
Investigators are seeking information from anyone who may have seen the truck, or if they noticed suspicious activity on undeveloped property in that area.
“There are many people that have provided investigators with detailed information; however, there are other witnesses who have yet to be identified,” said Lt. Jon VanGesen of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Investigations Division. “To those persons, investigators advise that you are not alone. If you have information about what happened to this family, please contact the task force. Don’t pay for the actions of others. Investigators want to work with you. Have your attorney contact us.”
“The sheriff’s office continues to re-interview witnesses, interview new witnesses and re-analyze every piece of physical evidence on this case,” the release states. “This investigation has been priority one since it was reported, and detectives continue to work this case full-time. This is an important investigation to all sheriff’s personnel, and it’s important to the community. We will find the answers to so many questions, and most importantly, we will hold those responsible that were involved. Our commitment to this case has not waivered.”
Those with any information concerning the investigation are asked to submit a tip to fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5354), reference “Careaga Homicides.” Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a cash reward of $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charging of suspects responsible for the murders of the Careaga family. They can be contacted at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or online at p3tips.com.