Relatives of murdered family ask for privacy

Family names Gracepoint pastor as their spokesperson

BREMERTON— A memorial service for the four victims of the murder in Seabeck Jan. 27 is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 7 at GracePoint Church, 8278 Highway 303, Bremerton, a family member has reported.

The service is for all four victims — John D. Careaga, Christale Lynn Careaga, Johnathon F. Higgins, and Hunter E. Schaap — and is open to the public. The family asks that gifts honoring the four be donated to GracePoint Church.

Pastor Keven Scruggs, GracePoint’s community life pastor, will officiate at the service.

“The family wants people to know that they are very grateful for the outpouring of support from the community,” Scruggs said.“They have also asked that people respect their privacy during their grieving.”

The family has named Scruggs as their spokesperson and ask that all questions be directed to him.

Late Jan. 27, detectives responding to a 911 report of violence in the Careaga home in Seabeck arrived to find the house on fire, and found the bodies of Mrs. Careaga and the teen boys inside after firefighters extinguished the blaze. John Careaga’s body was found Jan. 29 in his burned pickup truck near a tree farm in Mason County.

The Careagas owned Juanito’s Taco Shop on Kitsap Way. Higgins was a student at Klahowya Secondary School. Schaap was a student at North Kitsap High School.

Sheriff’s investigators have determined that the four were murdered and that it was not a random act. The Sheriff’s Department has requested the assistance of the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

The Sheriff’s Department issued this request on its Facebook page Feb. 2: “Detectives have confirmed that homicide victim John D. Careaga was at the Camp Union Store Friday night around 9 p.m. If anyone had any contact with or saw John Careaga around this time, you are urged to call.”

Earlier, investigators asked to hear from “anyone with video facing the roadway in the areas of the following roads between Friday (Jan. 27) at 7 p.m. until Sunday (Jan. 29) at 2 p.m.”: Gold Creek Road, Bear Creek Dewatto Road, Dewatto-Holly Road, Elfendahl Pass Road, Tahuya Blacksmith Road, Tee Lake Road.

The Sheriff’s Department has requested that anyone who has video during these time frames, or saw Careaga at the Camp Union Store, call Detective Lissa Gundrum at 360-337-5669. Callers can remain anonymous.

Detectives report receiving numerous leads and continue to follow up on all tips.

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