The Kitsap Scene


Bremerton police made an arrest this morning in connection with the death of a 67-year-old woman.

Police arrested Richard R. Heller, 57, at 10:30 a.m. at his west Bremerton home, according to a press release from the police department.

The arrest comes on the heels of a lengthy investigation into the death of Heller’s longtime girlfriend, 67-year-old Perleen Bode, earlier this year.

The police department’s release gives the following account of what happened:

Officers were called to Bode’s residence at 8:47 a.m. Jan. 5, after Heller reported Bode was “unconscious and had possibly passed away.” Officers confirmed Bode was dead, and conducted an on-scene investigation, as did the Kitsap County Coroner.

An autopsy found the cause of Bode’s death to be a broken neck with severe spinal cord injuries. The investigation indicated that Bode was strangled the night of Jan. 4, and that her larynx had been crushed. Heller’s verbal and written statements indicated he was the only person present at the time of Bode’s death. 

Bremerton officers were dispatched yesterday to a reported “gun violation” on a pedestrian overpass over Highway 3, according to a post on the police department’s Facebook page. Three juveniles were reportedly in possession of a “big black gun” that made loud noise when fired.

Officers made contact with the youths in the Bay Vista area, and one of them turned over a C02 air gun that “looked exactly like a blued .44 or .357 revolver,” according to the post. None of the gun was colored orange — a common safety feature meant to distinguish the fake gun from a real one.

The police department described the fake gun as “very menacing and intimidating.”

“Would likely be called an ‘assault revolver’ by certain media outlets,” the post noted.

After investigating, officers determined the youths were plinking bottles by the steps of the pedestrian bridge. The reporting party reportedly told police the youths shot at the staircase she was walking on.

Police seized the air pistol for evidence of “aiming or discharging firearms” and “reckless endangerment.”

A report was forward to the juvenile prosector, and the youths were released from the scene.

Further investigation revealed that they were plinking bottles by the steps to the pedestrian bridge. The reporting party stated that when she walked by, they shot at the staircase she was using. The air pistol was seized for evidence of aiming or discharging firearms and reckless endangerment and a report was forwarded to the juvenile prosecutor.

Featured Photo: Courtesy of Bremerton Police Department


The Kitsap Sun is reporting that John D. Careaga was seen around 9 p.m. Friday at the Camp Union Store, per the sheriff’s office.

Previous Update:

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help: anyone with video facing the roadway around the following roads between Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 p.m., are asked to call Detective Lissa Gundrum at 360-337-5669.

The roadways are:

  • Gold Creek Road
  • Bear Creek Dewatto Road
  • Dewatto Road
  • Dewatto-Holly Road
  • Elfendahl Pass Road
  • Tahuya Blacksmith Road
  • Tee Lake Road

Additionally, Q13 reports that Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $4,000 reward for information in the case. 

To submit information, use the P3 Tips phone app, call 1-800-22-TIPS, or go to You are guaranteed to be anonymous. 

Original Post:

Four people are dead in  Kitsap County’s largest mass homicide in years — what the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is calling a “quadruple homicide.”

The story is still developing, but here is everything we know about the incident to date.

What Happened?

John Careaga
John Careaga

Someone placed a call to 911 late last Friday, Jan. 27, reporting “an incident of violence” at a residence near Tahuya Lake, in the Seabeck area. The identity of the person who called 911 is not known.

Both firefighters and deputies from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call and found the house on fire. After getting the fire under control, firefighters found three bodies inside the home.

Deputies began searching for John D. Careaga, 43, to speak with him about the incident, and were searching for a truck — a brown Ford F150 — that was missing from the home.

The burned-up remains of the truck were found on Sunday in rural Mason County, burnt, with a body inside it. The sheriff’s office confirmed today that it was Careaga’s body. The Kitsap Sun reports that the truck was located on a tree farm on Northwest Dewatto-Holly Road, south of Forest Springs Road in Mason County.

The sheriff’s office is being tight-lipped about many of the details of the case, citing a need to maintain the integrity of their investigation, although they have stated that it does not appear the killings were a “random act.”

While the department has yet to say how it appears the victims were killed, they have said that it appears both the house and truck fire were intentionally set.

The Kitsap Sun reports that this was likely the largest homicide in Kitsap County, in terms of the number of victims, since the Erland

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and officials from the Trump administration seeking to block key provisions of Trump’s executive order on immigration that essentially banned Muslims from entering the country.

A press release that the attorney general’s office sent out yesterday has more information on the lawsuit:

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit today against student loan servicer Navient Corporation, an offshoot of Sallie Mae. 

Here’s more information from a press release Ferguson released today:

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a lawsuit against student loan servicer Navient Corporation, an offshoot of education-finance giant Sallie Mae.
In addition, Ferguson also announced his agency-request Student Loan Bill of Rights legislation, introduced this session, to provide more resources for students and establish standards for student loan servicers like Navient. 

Are the death penalty’s days numbered in Washington state?

Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Monday proposed bipartisan legislation to abolish he death penalty in Washington.

In a press release, Ferguson cited former Republican attorney general Rob McKenna’s support of abolishing capital punishment as evidence that the measure has “broad, bipartisan” support. At a press conference, Ferguson and McKenna were reportedly joined by Gov. Jay Inslee and legislators from both sides of the political aisle and from across the state.

Amy Scarton has been selected to head Washington State Ferries. More, from a press release the Washington State Department of Transportation released yesterday:
Today, Roger Millar, secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), announced the appointment of Amy Scarton as assistant secretary for the Washington State Ferries Division.
She officially begins her leadership role next month with responsibilities including, guiding the ferries management team and all ferries employees to meet safety, operational and budgetary goals; and collaborating effectively with community and labor partners as well as other WSDOT divisions.
“I am very pleased Amy will be leading our strong team at Washington State Ferries,” said Secretary of Transportation Millar. “Amy’s national experience managing programs and projects across all transportation modes, combined with the top-notch crews, will help ensure the ferry division remains on course.”
Scarton currently serves as the WSDOT assistant secretary for Community and Economic Development. She is replacing Lynne Griffith, who is retiring on Jan., 31. Amy has worked in the transportation industry both in Washington State and Washington DC. Highlights of her background include: senior roles in both the Obama and Bush administrations at U.S. Department of Transportation; legal counsel to former Chairman James Oberstar of the U.S. House of Representatives Highway and Transit Subcommittee; and managing the WSDOT offices that support the agencies’ rail, freight, aviation, local programs, planning, and public transportation activities.
“I’m excited to join the crew of Washington State Ferries,” said Scarton. “First, I want to acknowledge Lynne Griffith and all WSF crewmembers. They have done remarkable work, from reducing missed sailings to saving the lives of dozens of people every year. I know there will be challenges ahead, and we will keep our focus on maintaining our strong safety record and improving service reliability.”
“As a lifelong user of our iconic ferry system, I know how critical it is to keep the vessels running on time and the challenges of maintaining the fleet,” said Governor Inslee. “I thank Lynne for her capable leadership and helping lead important improvements at WSF, and I am pleased someone with Amy Scarton’s experience can take the helm at ferries and build on the team’s recent successes.”
Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries 24 million people a year through the most majestic scenery in the world.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Monday that two bills have been introduced to the state legislature that are “aimed at reducing deadly mass shootings.”

One bill would ban the sale of so-called “assault weapons” (a notoriously difficult term to define) and high-capacity magazines, and a second bill — and alternative to the first one in case it doesn’t pass — would enhance background checks and raise the minimum age needed to buy such weapons.

Kitsap County and the city of Bremerton are seeking input on a proposed shared-use trail connecting central and south Kitsap.

An open house is being held next Tuesday in Bremerton to give people a chance to learn about a feasibility study currently underway for a 3.1 mile shared-use trail that would connect Jarstad Park in south Kitsap, to Kitsap Lake Road in north Kitsap, according to a press release from the city of Bremerton.

City and county staff will provide an overview of the study, share work study materials and take public comments. Anyone interested is invited to attend.

the goal of the feasibility study is to “examine possible trail alignments, environmental concerns, design and constructability, operational constraints, and estimated costs associated with constructing a trail,” the press release states. If it’s built, the bicycle and pedestrian trail would serve as a non-motorized corridor connecting centeral and south Kitsap.

More information about the project is available at

Open House
7 p.m. Jan. 17
City of Bremerton Public Works Building
100 Oyster Bay Avenue N, Bremerton

Featured Image Courtesy of Kitsap County


Dylann Roof was sentenced to death for murdering nine people participating in a Bible study to which he had been welcomed. In a hail of bullets and horror he killed Cynthia Marie Graham, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman and Myra Thompson.

Roof is a radicalized white supremacist, espousing an ideology and acting violently upon his beliefs. Nothing in the time between the commission of the crime and the trial appears to have been done to de-radicalize him or help him acknowledge the harm he committed.

The initial harm of the killings has rippled out over time affecting everyone who has come in contact with the case. And now the jurors have found themselves seduced into the violence and have determined a death sentence. The sentence will be imposed later this week. Roof has already made his intention to appeal known and has requested counsel.

On the face of it, Roof is a poster-boy for the death penalty. In particular, his remorseless statement of no regret is repulsive and shocking. He appears to show himself to exist beyond the pale of civilized society and thus deserving of permanent exclusion.

However, we might bear these possibilities in mind: first, people in a corner, as they are in capital trials, are in survival mode and it is very hard to get them to think empathetically about those they see as their attackers. This takes huge amounts of imagination, work and commitment on the part of their defense teams