Four found dead after Lake Tahuya house fire were murdered

Johnathon F. Higgins, 16
Christale Lynn Careaga, 37
Hunter E. Schaap, 16

CENTRAL KITSAP — The three people found Friday dead inside a burning house near Tahuya Lake were identified Monday night as two 16-year-old boys and a 37-year-old woman.

All died from homicide, as did another person found later in Mason County inside a burned truck, who has not yet been identified.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office called the homicides a “quadruple murder.”

The office identified the three people as Christale Lynn Careaga, 37, Hunter E. Schaap, 16, and Johnathon F. Higgins, 16.

Detective Lt. Earl Smith declined to give details of the investigation, including how the four people died and where in Mason County the truck was found, but said the body in the truck needed additional forensic examination before a positive identification could be made.

The owner of the house, John Derek Careaga, 43, was initially sought after by investigators, who were also searching for the Ford truck.

“We’re going to continue to process evidence, we’re going to continue to interview witnesses, we’re still out there, reaching out to folks, asking people to call,” Smith said. “There are just a lot of things left to do, and this is our number one priority, obviously, and we are working on it full time.”

Those with information on the homicides can call Detective Lissa Gundrum at 360-337-5669. Callers can remain anonymous.

One thought on “Four found dead after Lake Tahuya house fire were murdered

  1. Wow this is so sad sorry for the losses of this family, but my boyfriend is in Kitsap County with a young man who is devastated by this and says that is his family and he is in there and had to see it on the news. He said that it was his ,Omaha and brother I can’t even imagine what he is going threw.

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