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We know that members and associates of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were involved in the murders 20k reward being offered

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by David Rose

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives and FBI agents working on a task force to solve the murders of 43-year-old Johnny Careaga, 37-year-old Christale Careaga and their sons, Hunter Schaap and Johnathon Higgins, both 16 years old, have been re-interviewing witnesses, interviewing new witnesses and re-examining the physical evidence.

The family of four was killed on January 27, 2017.

Deputies responded to their home in the 13400 block of Tenino Drive West in Seabeck after a 911 call for help that Hunter made at about 11:30 p.m. They discovered the home on fire and the bodies of Hunter, Johnathon and Christale inside.

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Johnny was found two days later inside his burned out 2005 Ford F-150 pickup on tree farm off Dewatto Holly Road in North Mason county more than 15 miles from the Careaga’s home near Lake Tahuyeh.

Investigators are continuing to work to fill in the holes in a timeline of events both before and after the killings. For example, detectives are asking for the public to help identify where Johnny and his truck were hidden after he was kidnapped Friday night and before he was found on Sunday. The gate to the tree farm had been rammed open.

“We don’t know where Johnny’s body and where the truck were held from the time Hunter, Johnathon and Christale were killed at the house to the time that Johnny and the truck were found here at the tree farm,” said Kitsap County Sheriff’s Lt. Jon Van Gesen.

Detectives say the truck was not there on Saturday when the caretaker made his rounds. However, investigators have spoken with witnesses who saw vehicles parked at the entrance to the tree farm just prior to Johnny’s truck being located.

Investigators have not revealed a motive for the murders but are now publicly naming the group that they say is responsible.

“We know that members and associates of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were involved in the murders,” said Lt. Van Gesen.

The suspect in the September 2019 shooting death was ordered held without bail Noe who prosecutors said is a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club fled in a vehicle with several other people

From early on, the task force focused on a man seen on surveillance video wearing a Bandidos shirt at a Target store 12 days after the murders.

“Danie Kelly Jr. remains a person of interest in the case and he is an associate of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club,” said Lt. Van Gesen.

Detectives say Kelly has refused to cooperate and no arrest has been made. In an effort to bring closure to the case, they partnered with the FBI on three new billboards asking for help to get justice for the Careaga family. The first one went up this week along Hwy. 16 between Port Orchard and Gorst.

“We realize relationships change over time. Maybe people didn’t know what they were getting asked to do or participate in. Don’t pay for somebody else’s actions. We want to work with you. If you have information or were involved, please have your attorneys contact us,” said Lt. Van Gesen.

Task Force investigators stress that if you have information, you are not alone. Other witnesses have spoken with them and provided leads.

“People out there know something and three years later, we deserve justice. Those boys deserve justice,” said Ashlynn Withem, Christale’s daughter.

She is thankful for the billboards and renewed attention to the case.

“Think about what they all felt. Think about what my mom felt, those boys felt, what Johnny felt. Think about how scared they were, what their last visions were,” said Withem.

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Monday will mark 3 years since the murders.

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“Everything that we went through and the weeks to follow, it’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare, I don’t want it to be 3 years,” said Carly Schaap, Hunter’s mom.

She hopes someone will finally answer Hunter’s 911 call for help.

“There are people responsible for brutally killing these four family members, my son included and it’s outrageous that they’re walking among us,” said Carly Schaap.

Since day one, the Careaga murders have been priority one for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives hope this new push for information from the public will give them the leads they need to finally bring charges in the case.

“We’re as busy in this investigation as we were a week into the investigation. It’s an important case to us. It’s an important case to community and most importantly, we need to hold those responsible that were involved,” said Lt. Van Gesen.

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case. You can remain anonymous. Submit tips at http://www.P3Tips.com or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can also use the P3 Tips App that you download to your cell phone for free. You can also call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324) or submit a tip at http://www.fbi.gov.

4 comments

  1. It is really sad that this is what Club Life has turned into. Club life is no longer about brotherhood but more about murder, extortion, drug running and sex trafficking.

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  2. So some guy wearing a support shirt magically becomes a club member.If I am wearing a Raiders jersey and commit a crime am I on the team all of a sudden?Get a life and try and read between the lines.The story is complete bullshit.

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  3. Actually, the picture is of him wearing an “SYLB” hat. One of the thousands sold every year, around the world…but it could have been any support clothing: Anyone an buy it, and Club Members rarely wear their own support gear anyway… why would they when they get to wear Member clothing!

    The first comment on this post should have been: “It is really sad that this is what Law Enforcement and Media has turned into. Law Enforcement and the Media are no longer about Truth and Justice, but more about conviction rates, viewership ratings, keeping the contracted for prisons full, and ‘getting the win’, know matter how many out and out LIES boldly proclaimed by LEO’s and Reporters, are told.” It is really a shame that they tell these lies over and over and over again –and its always some equally outrageous, inflammatory statement they can not prove, just like the one in this story– to splash big headlines, and then they hide the retraction on the back page.When what they said turns out to be what we know they will be all along: LIES… virtually every time the lies are found out to be lies down the road, after the story has faded… the big loud screaming story headline is shouted out for all to hear, and the admittance of the LEO and Media that they were “misinformed and Mistaken” are always quite as a church-mouse when they are proved wrong And why not? The LEO and Media KNOW they face no consequences for the lies they knowingly tell, or the lives they turn upside down, and that most people will believe whatever those out and out lies are. If they actually “KNEW” something about this 3 year old murder, they be arresting people. Lets hope they do catch them…and lets hope that once again, all the loud noise , screaming, finger pointing and hubris, proves that the direct accusation was, once again, wrong, and someone from any club is not involved. But even if it was some club member, that doesn’t make it something the club did…anymore than if a fellow employee of yours commits some horrible crime, you and everyone else they work with, be painted with the same broad brush.Imagine, if you were any employee at Boeing, and “Inside Edition” has a “Special Report” ! ” We Know that an Employee or associate of Boeing is responsible for the murder”

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