Bodies found at Papago Road property, arrest made


Two bodies believed to be Michael and Tina Careccia were recovered overnight at a Papago Road property south of Maricopa.

A man who was taken into custody yesterday as a “person of interest” is now being called a suspect by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Jose Valenzuela, 38, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder.

Babeu said the man lived at the property, 50669 W. Papapgo Road, which is owned by Jose Ignacio Valenzuela and Francisca Valenzuela.  Mike Careccia’s brother-in-law Geoff Dugan said in a news conference Wednesday that he was a friend of Mike.

PCSO announced the recovery of the two bodies at 2:30 a.m. after notifying family members of the discovery.

“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,” Babeu said in the early-morning statement.

Dugan and his wife Lisa, Mike Careccia’s sister, own the property were the Careccia family live two streets away. Mike and Tina Careccia where last seen there sometime the evening of June 21 and were expected to leave home at 5 a.m. June 22 to go to Mesa.

PCSO was scheduled a news conference for noon today.