A neighbor on meth killed and buried a missing Maricopa couple, according to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Jose Valenzuela has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Tina and Michael Careccia of Thunderbird Farms.

At a news conference Thursday, Babeu said the two were shot with a .22 Magnum revolver at Valenzuela’s home, 50669 W. Papago Road. The sheriff also said Valenzuela confessed to the murders.

Valenzuela was at the Careccia home on Mayer Boulevard, two streets south of Valenzuela’s home on Father’s Day, June 21. That was the last time their relatives reported seeing them.

Babeu said PCSO is unsure whether the Careccias were involved in meth, and detectives are waiting on toxicology reports. He said Valenzuela claimed the couple came to his home that Sunday to acquire more meth.

Valenzuela was a suspect from the beginning, Babeu said, because he had been at the Careccia home that evening and was a known meth addict.

Felix Rios Nunez, 38, said to be a friend of Valenzuela and living at his house, allegedly said he saw the killing during an argument at Valenzuela’s house. In his statement to PCSO, he said Valenzuela shot Mike first and Felix tried to stop him from shooting Tina, but he killed her anyway.

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