Mourners left flowers, balloons and messages on the table outside Juanito’s Taco Shop on Kitsap Way. The taco shop, which was closed Jan. 30, is associated with some of the people who died in the apparent triple-homicide in Seabeck on Jan. 27. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Sheriff’s Department labels Seabeck deaths a ‘quadruple murder’

North Kitsap High School student among those killed

SEABECK – The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Offfice issued this update late Jan. 30 on the four deaths in Seabeck Jan. 27. The department referred to the deaths of three people in the home and another person in a burned vehicle as a “quadruple murder.”

Here is the department’s statement:

“The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office has worked tirelessly to positively identify the three victims found inside the burned home in Seabeck this weekend.

Those positively identified are:

  • 37-year-old Christale Lynn Careaga
  • 16-year-old Johnathon F. Higgins
  • 16-year-old Hunter E. Schaap

The human remains found in the burned vehicle found in Mason County will need additional forensic examination before a positive identification can be made.

All four persons died of homicidal violence. Detectives are actively continuing with the investigation, following up on all leads. In order to maintain the integrity of the investigation, specific details are not being released.

Detectives are urging citizens to call with any information related to this quadruple murder. Please call Detective Lissa Gundrum at 360-337-5669. Callers can remain anonymous.

Our thoughts are with the family, friends and community of this tragedy.”

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been established to defray the victims’ funeral expenses. As of early Jan. 31, some 75 people had contributed $6,415 of the $50,000 goal. A student or students painted a tribute to Schaap on the rock on the North Kitsap High School grounds. Flowers and other tributes were left outside of Juanito’s Taco Shop, which is owned by the Careaga family, on Kitsap Way.

And at 7:50 a.m. Jan. 31, staff and students at North Kitsap High School were expected to gather in the school library, where counseling services would be available.

Principal Megan Sawicki notified parents and staff on Jan. 29 that one of the deceased was identified as Hunter Schaap, an 11th-grader at NKHS.

“This weekend we received conflicting reports about Hunter’s whereabouts and safety,” she wrote in an email. “I am deeply saddened to share that Hunter’s family has confirmed and requested that we share with you that he was one of the victims of suspected homicide early Saturday morning.

“For those of you who knew Hunter, we ask that you remember his wit, intelligence, and big heart. This is a great loss for our entire NKHS community … I know you join me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to Hunter’s family members and friends.”

KING 5 reported that investigators went to the home late Jan. 27 after a 911 caller reported there had been violence in the home and people had been injured. Kitsap County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson told KING 5 that the caller “didn’t give many details and quickly hung up.”

Neighbors told KING 5 they had heard gunshots earlier in the evening but didn’t know if they were related to the incident.

When deputies arrived, the house was on fire. After firefighters extinguished the fire, three bodies — later identified as Careaga, Higgins and Schaap — were found inside the house. KOMO News reported that detectives with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office found a missing truck connected to the homicides. The truck had been burned and human remains were recovered from the truck, Wilson told KOMO. The Medical Examiner’s Office was working to determine the identity of those remains.

More information will be posted as it is made available.

It’s the second death of a North Kitsap High School student this school year. On Aug. 16, Emily Ramm died after she fell while climbing a ladder to the roof of Silverdale Elementary School. A friend told authorities they were climbing to the roof to get a better view of the meteor shower.

Online coverage of the Jan. 27 homicides:

Mourners left flowers, balloons and messages on the table outside Juanito’s Taco Shop on Kitsap Way. The taco shop, which was closed Jan. 30, is associated with some of the people who died in the apparent triple-homicide in Seabeck on Jan. 27. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

A students or students painted a tribute to Hunter Schaap on the rock at North Kitsap High School. Sophie Bonomi/Kitsap News Group

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