POULSBO — Stories about the Jan. 27 murders of four members of the Careaga family were among the most-read stories published in 2017 in the North Kitsap Herald and KitsapDailyNews.com.
Three family members were found dead in their Seabeck home; among those killed was Hunter Schaap, 16, a student at North Kitsap High School. Schaap’s stepfather, John D. Careaga, was found dead a couple of days later in his burned vehicle at a Mason County tree farm. Kitsap County sheriff’s investigators say all four were murdered; the case is still being investigated.
According to Google Analytics, the most-read stories about the Careagas were:
- “Sheriff’s Department labels Seabeck deaths a ‘quadruple murder’” (Feb. 2);
- “Detective: ‘We believe we will make an arrest’ for Careaga murders” (Sept. 12);
- “More than 250 tips received in Careaga murder case” (July 18);
- “Careaga murder investigator: ‘We want to make sure that when we make an arrest, that the person is found guilty’” (Feb. 14);
- “At least two unanswered questions in quadruple murder” (Jan. 31);
- “Detective: Hunter Schaap made call to 911 the night he and others were killed” (Feb. 10);
- “Sheriff’s Department seeking video of roads in area of killings” (Feb. 3);
- “ ‘There was a lot of love and joy in that home’ ” (Feb. 9);
- “Relatives of murdered family ask for privacy” (Feb. 3);
- “As some questions are answered, more questions remain” (Feb. 3).
The Careaga murder case — as well as the community’s reaction and the ongoing investigation — was the story of most concern to North Kitsap residents in 2017. These are the other stories on the top 10 list. (Note: About the reference to “lede.” In journalism, the lede, pronounced leed, refers to the introductory section of a news story.)
2. “She served until the very end” (May 11). The lede: “Brianna (Oas) Strand had a megawatt smile and loved Jesus, but she wasn’t one to shy away from a battle. In fact, she was born into battle, diagnosed at age 3 with cystic fibrosis. But she never complained, her father said. … On May 7, her family gathered in her room and prayed told God that they released her to His care. Her eyes opened. ‘She took two large gasps and passed away,’ her father said. She would have been 29 on May 11.”
3. Sad ending to search for missing teen (Oct. 25). The lede: “The search for a missing Bainbridge Island teen ended late Tuesday. ‘We have been asked to pass along a very sad message to you all,’ a coordinator of the ‘Bainbridge Islanders Searching for Audrey’ Facebook page reported on the site. ‘I am sorry to inform you all that Audrey has been found, but not under the circumstances we all hoped for. Her family wishes you all to know how grateful they are for the overwhelming support shown by this community. You all showed up. There isn’t really a greater gift than that.’ ”
4. Woman struck by car on Front Street dies at Harborview (Dec. 15). The lede: “A 69-year-old Poulsbo woman died at Harborview Medical Center from injuries she received earlier in the day when she was struck by a car while in a crosswalk on Front Street and Torval Canyon Road. Pamela A. Romberg died at 6:43 p.m. Dec. 15, Washington State Patrol reported. Next of kin were with her at Harborview when she died. Meanwhile, the state patrol’s investigation continues … [The] driver has not been charged with a crime.”
5. Deteriorating building’s condition goes unchecked (July 28). The lede: “Hana’s Smoke Shop and Food Mart has been closed for 15 months now. A collapsed portion of overhang above the sidewalk has not been repaired. More overhang is water-stained and bowed. The gas station, closed for business, is listed by the state Department of Ecology as a leaking underground storage tank site, according to Karen McKay Bevers, public information officer for the Kitsap Public Health District. Five of eight rentals in the shopping center, one of them an upstairs apartment, are unoccupied. A portion of the ceiling in the apartment’s living room has collapsed. And according to the Kitsap County Assessor’s Office online database, the unpaid tax bill on 19559 Viking Ave. NW continues to grow: Owner Jung Shin owes $43,366.94, reflecting three annual unpaid tax bills of $11,000.”
6. Kingston man admits setting fire at Blue Water Inn (Feb. 9). The lede: “A 60-year-old Kingston man told investigators he set the fire at the Blue Water Inn early Feb. 9, and was in Kitsap County Jail later that day on $100,000 bail. The man, who had been staying at the inn, was detained at 4:30 a.m. by Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies for questioning, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson reported. The fire forced the evacuation of the Blue Water Inn on Highway 104 in Kingston. There were no injuries reported.”
7. DUI charge in injury collision near Bond, Port Gamble roads (Dec. 28). The lede: “A Renton man was arrested on suspicion of DUI after the car he was driving crashed into two other vehicles Dec. 27 at Highway 307 and Port Gamble roads. A second driver, David J. Parcel, 51, of Kingston, was transported by aid to Harrison Medical Center, Paul Petrinovich of Washington State Patrol reported. A third driver, Elizabeth C. Kimple, 53, of Bremerton, was not injured.”
8. Abandoned Liberty Bay boat not the first left by owner (Dec. 15). The lede: “The state Department of Natural Resources will not be intervening to remove a derelict tugboat left anchored out in Liberty Bay, at least not for the time being. This isn’t the first time that the owner has abandoned a boat, either. In 2016, Daniel J. Webb left the former NOAA research vessel ‘John N. Cobb’ at the Port of Port Townsend’s Boat Haven Marina. Webb had acquired the vessel in 2015 from the Seattle Maritime Academy.”
9. Pedestrian struck by vehicle at Hostmark Street and Caldart Avenue (Dec. 19). The lede: “A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at Hostmark Street and Caldart Avenue around 9 a.m. today. The person struck by the vehicle, a 63-year-old woman, was taken to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton with what appeared to be critical injuries, Poulsbo Fire Department spokeswoman Jody Matson reported … It’s the second time in four days that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in Poulsbo.”
10. Judge says NKF&R negligent in fatal crash; share of fault to be determined by jury (March 7). The lede: “A King County Superior Court judge ruled March 2 that North Kitsap Fire & Rescue was negligent in the crash that caused the death of a motor scooter rider in 2014. Judge Ken Schubert also rejected the fire district’s argument that the lawsuit was frivolous. But Schubert ruled that a jury would determine whether the rider of the Yamaha YP400 Majesty scooter, Jason T. Foster of Suquamish, shared any fault for the crash.”