According to a news release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, 44-year-old Michael Careccia and his 42-year-old wife, Tina Careccia, left their home in Maricopa around 5 a.m. for work, but they never made it. Police received the 911 call at 7:16 p.m. that evening, from Michael's 17-year-old son. KOLD YouTube
Update: We have gotten to a point in the investigation where we are confident that foul play is involved in their disappearance. Our priority is to locate this missing couple, yet we have evidence that suggests foul play. This is not just a search, but it is also criminal investigation into the couple's disappearance. PCSO
I spent four days on the search and live less than one mile from the couple's home. The PCSO doesn't seem to like talking about missing persons. Over the past two years, multiple persons have come up missing. One was supposedly found hung and another is still outstanding. The status on the others are unknown. Keep in mind, these are just the people that are missed and are reported missing. For all practical purposes, western Pinal County could be considered a "body dump corridor." Do some research, for yourself. More
Sheriff Paul Babeu: Update on the missing persons case of Mike and Tina Careccia
July 1, 2015. 3:55 pm: "PCSO detectives are on scene at a residence in the 50,000 block of West Papago, in Maricopa, conducting a search warrant related to the missing persons case of Mike and Tina Careccia. Due to the nature of the investigation and the critical juncture we find ourselves at, we are not able to share more details at time. We will brief the media on developments in the case as soon as we are able to."
July 2, 2015. 2:30 am: “Our search of the property on West Papago Road has led to the recovery of two bodies, a man and women that we believe to be Mike and Tina Careccia. As well, we have one male suspected in custody who lives at the property being searched. Family members of the Careccia's have just been notified of the recovery and arrest. Our investigators and staff continue to carefully gather evidence that we believe will prove critical to our investigation and result in a stronger criminal case.”
July 2, 2015, 12:00 pm: During Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu's press conference in Florence, it was indicated that Jose Valenzuela was in possession of a .22 cal revolver, at the time of his arrest. This weapon is alleged to be the murder weapon. Meanwhile, Jose Valenzuela is being held in the Pinal County jail on two counts of first degree murder. His bond has been set at $2 million, cash.
Sheriff Babeu also indicated that the suspect and the victims were engaged in recreational drug use and that an argument allegedly ensued. Their drug of choice was said to be methamphetamine. Of course, toxicology results are pending. It was also reported that Valenzuela was at the Careccia home on Father's Day. "He had said that he had a two year friendship, a relationship, with Mike and Tina,"said Babeu. "He had said they had been involved in drug use with each other. And that drug was methamphetamine." Both victims are in the hands of the medical examiner, pending full autopsies.
Paul Babeu said the PCSO had focused their investigation on Jose Valenzuela, within 24 hours of the reported disappearance, but that he played a “cat-and-mouse game,” with detectives, looking to talk to him. Then, he refused to come in. Once he “confessed,” it set in motion the search warrant at the residence at 50665 W. Papago Road.
Mike and Tina Careccia update: Bodies of man, woman found at Maricopa home; man arrested, says PCSO
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement early Thursday that the bodies of a man and a woman recovered at a property on West Papago Road are believed to be Mike and Tina Careccia. Babeu says a man who lives at the property is in custody. Spokesman Mark Clark identified him as Jose Valenzuela. ABC15
Valenzuela is well known to the court system in Pinal County and across the state. In 2008, he was charged with assault and disorderly conduct, pleading guilty to the lesser of those two charges. He was charged again with assault and disorderly conduct in 2009 and found guilty on both those counts. He also had charges of threatening and intimidation along with an aggravated DUI from 2010. Copa
Officials said Jose Valenzuela "essentially confessed" to killing the couple. According to Babeu, the victims were shot with a .22-caliber revolver and were buried with a backhoe that Valenzuela reportedly borrowed. "What he built was not a makeshift grave, but an actual six-foot grave," said Babeu. "He put these victims in that grave and buried them." ABC15
Valenzuela said he gave the couple meth on Father's Day and later that night, the Carrecias went to Valenzuela's house where "something happened, a fight ensued" and Valenzuela produced a gun. Babeu said that investigators believe the couple was killed inside the home and later buried next to the residence. KPNX-12
“A leopard doesn't change his spots just because you bring him in from the jungle and try to housebreak him and turn him into a pet. He may learn to sheathe his claws in order to beg a few scraps off the dinner table, and you may teach him to be a beast of burden, but it doesn't pay to forget that he'll always be what he was born: a wild animal.” -George Lincoln Rockwell, Interview with Alex Haley, published in Playboy (April 1966)
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