After a two week search, the missing Arizona couple was found buried in the backyard of 38-year-old Jose Valenzuela, who confessed to the double slayings, and could face two first-degree murder charges.
According to NY Daily News, 44-year-old Michael Careccia and his wife Tina, 42, of Maricopa, Arizona vanished without a trace after leaving their home to go to work on June 22.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) July 2, 2015
Family and friends gathered a search team and began looking for the couple, and made a vow that they would never stop looking until they were found: dead or alive.
Monday night, the couple’s abandoned 2008 Honda Accord was spotted near their friend’s home that belong to Valenzuela. Police later released that Michael’s blood was found inside of the car.
Pinal County police conducted a search Wednesday night at the home where the missing couple’s abandoned car was found. During their search, which lasted until the following morning, they uncovered the bodies of the couple buried in Valenzuela’s yard.
According to CNN, it appeared that both victims had been shot dead with a.22 caliber revolver after the couple visited the suspect’s home.
“Sometime later that evening, they went over to Valenzuela’s home, and something happened, a fight ensued, and that’s when he brandished a weapon,” said Sherriff Paul Babeu.
UPDATE: Suspect tells cops he killed Arizona couple while high on meth – http://t.co/CQrDzWnRfFpic.twitter.com/864SxrrXDs
— KTAR News on 92.3 (@KTAR923) July 2, 2015
Valenzuela was immediately arrested, and while in police custody, he admitted to digging a six-foot grave in his yard and burying the slain couple, but police do not believe he committed the crimes on his own. They are now in search of another person of interest that resided with Valenzuela during the time the missing couple was murdered.
“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,” according to a statement released from the Sheriff’s office.
“I’m dealing with this the best I can and I’m being the strongest I can for my parents, little brothers, and other family members,” Tina’s daughter, Blayke Perry, wrote on her Facebook page after receiving the devastating news.
“I’m 22 years old and I should have my mom and her husband here to give me advice but they aren’t here right now so let’s cut the bulls–t and bring them home.”
Valenzuela is currently being detained at the Maricopa county jail for the slaying of the missing Arizona couple with a set bond of $2 million.
[Image courtey of Megan Tedrow / Flickr / Creative Commons ]