<em>From left, John D. Careaga, Johnathan Higgins, Christale Careaga and Hunter Schapp were murdered in late January. The case is still under investigation.</em>	 Careaga family/Courtesy

From left, John D. Careaga, Johnathan Higgins, Christale Careaga and Hunter Schapp were murdered in late January. The case is still under investigation. Careaga family/Courtesy

10 Most-Read Stories of 2017 | Central Kitsap Reporter

Readers closely followed the Careaga murder case and investigation

Stories about the Jan. 27 murders of four members of the Careaga family were among the most-read stories published in 2017 in the Central Kitsap Reporter and on KitsapDailyNews.com.

Three family members were found dead in their Seabeck home; a fourth family member, 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 Central Kitsap residents in 2017. These are the other stories on the top 10 list. (Note: About the reference to “lede.” In case you don’t know, in journalism, the lede, pronounced leed, refers to the introductory section of a news story.)

2. “Another homicide in Seabeck; 30-year-old man found dead in road near Scenic Beach State Park (Feb. 19).” The lede: “SEABECK — A person found in the road on the 9300 block of Misery Point Road NW, near Scenic Beach State Park, late Feb. 18 died violently, and the death is being called a homicide, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department reported.” (Related story, see No. 8.)

3. “WSDOT to fix bottleneck on southbound SR-3” (March 14). The lede: “BREMERTON — The bottleneck on State Route 3, between Bremerton and Gorst, is about to get fixed, according to Washington State Department of Transportation. “What we’re going to do is, we’ll use the existing highway’s footprint, and we’re going to extend the second lane of SR 3 … for about a mile,” said WSDOT spokesperson Doug Adamson. “This will provide congestion relief for drivers in the area.”

4. “Bremerton couple, friend, risk their lives to save wounded in Las Vegas shooting” (Oct. 3). The lede: “BREMERTON — A Bremerton couple and their friends were caught in the crossfire of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, and amid all the chaos banded together to provide aid to the injured.”

5. “Bremerton doctor charged with sex with minor” (Nov. 1). The lede: “BREMERTON — A Bremerton orthopedic surgeon who allegedly maintained a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old foreign exchange student during her visit here this year is charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, a felony.”

6. “Local teacher struck by vehicle, killed while jogging” (March 20). The lede: “SILVERDALE — A Silverdale woman was struck by a vehicle and killed at 5:40 a.m. March 17 as she was jogging in the area of NW Greaves Way and Old Frontier Road NW, Silverdale. The jogger was identified by the coroner’s office as Amy Marie Higgins, 50, of Silverdale. She was a teacher at Emerald Heights Elementary School with 26 years of experience, and had graduated from Olympic High School and Western Washington University.”

7. “Friends of Bremerton shooter say he had marital problems” (Dec. 18). The lede: “BREMERTON — The man shot by Bremerton police early Dec. 17 had marital problems and was kicked out of his home prior to the shooting, neighbors and friends told Kitsap Daily News. Yolunda Brown described Willie Mccord as a family man who had fallen on hard times.”

8. “Homicide victim identified; detectives say no connection to Careaga murders” (Feb. 21). The lede: “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.”

9. “20 arrested in internet sex sting” (Oct. 18). The lede: “BREMERTON — Twenty people were arrested this week in a law enforcement sting targeting suspects who use the internet to connect with minors for sexual purposes. Among those arrested: the vice president of the Bremerton High School PTA.”

10. “Police: Deceased man was a USS Nimitz sailor; wife fatally stabbed” (Dec. 15). The lede: “BREMERTON — A 23-year-old airman stationed aboard the USS Nimitz is believed to have fatally stabbed his wife and then hanged himself in their Marion Avenue home, Bremerton police reported today.”

Runners-up:

11. “Ashley’s Pub: Boardom’s End transports you to another world” (May 4). The lede: “BREMERTON — It started with Tuesday night dinners, with more than a dozen people squeezed around a six-person table sharing food and beer, and then playing board or card games. But with lack of parking, only one type of beer provided and no one wanting to do the dishes, Ashley Martinez and her friends brainstormed a solution. Thus came the idea for Ashley’s Pub: Boardom’s End.”

12. Community activist Colleen Smidt dies at 48 (Dec. 12). The lede: “BREMERTON — A week never went by when, either a community meeting or on Facebook or in person, Colleen Smidt wasn’t addressing a local issue. Smidt, a county advisory committee member and former columnist for the Bremerton Patriot and Central Kitsap Reporter, died Dec. 7 at work at Action Training Systems in Poulsbo. An autopsy was being conducted early this week, but an aneurysm is suspected. She was 48.”

<em>From left, Bremertonians Ali Pendergrass, Nick Pendergrass, Alicia Hounsley and Tyler Hickman pose for a photo outside the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, moments before a gunman opened fire on the crowd of concertgoers, killing 58 and injuring more than 520. They assisted the injured.			 </em>Ali Pendergrass/Courtesy

From left, Bremertonians Ali Pendergrass, Nick Pendergrass, Alicia Hounsley and Tyler Hickman pose for a photo outside the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, moments before a gunman opened fire on the crowd of concertgoers, killing 58 and injuring more than 520. They assisted the injured. Ali Pendergrass/Courtesy

<em>Ashley Martinez, owner of Ashley’s Pub: Boardom’s End, said one of the reasons she named the board gaming bar Ashley’s Pub is to make it more welcoming and inclusive to female gamers, as “nerd culture” is still largely male dominated.</em>
                                Michelle Beahm/Kitsap News Group

Ashley Martinez, owner of Ashley’s Pub: Boardom’s End, said one of the reasons she named the board gaming bar Ashley’s Pub is to make it more welcoming and inclusive to female gamers, as “nerd culture” is still largely male dominated. Michelle Beahm/Kitsap News Group

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