CRIME

Police try to identify man linked to killing of 4 relatives

Authorities in Washington state released surveillance video as they try to identify a person of interest in the January slayings of four members of the same family.

The video released late Tuesday shows the man at a Target store in Silverdale, about 15 miles west of Seattle, on Jan. 15, 12 days before the killings took place. Authorities also released video of a vehicle believed to be associated with the man.

The Kitsap County sheriff's office didn't say why investigators believe the man is linked to the deaths of John Careaga, 43; Christale Careaga, 37; and Jonathan Higgins and Hunter Schaap, both 16, but they said they don't believe the man acted alone.

A motive has not been released in the killings of the blended family. Authorities have received hundreds of tips and have been working tirelessly on the case, Sheriff Gary Simpson said in a news release.

"This was not a random killing," Simpson said. "There are others involved besides this person being highlighted today. We ask that people think about what they know and call us."

Schaap called 911 around midnight on Jan. 28, slowly repeating the address of the family's home in Seabeck and saying, "Come now," before the call disconnected.

Authorities arrived to find the home on fire and Christale Careaga and the teens dead inside. John Careaga's body was discovered the next day in his burned-out pickup truck at a tree farm about 15 miles away.

Investigators who searched the family's property found about $60,000 in cash and 33 mature marijuana plants, court records say. Detectives also discovered shell casings, mostly 9 mm, on a back deck and in the driveway.

The court documents didn't say whether investigators believe the money or marijuana provided a motive for the killings. The Careagas owned a combined coffee stand and taco shop, and it is not uncommon for small-business owners to keep cash on hand.