Family members of the Maricopa, Arizona, couple whose bodies were found on Thursday are speaking out against allegations claims that they were murdered because they were methamphetamine users.
Jose Valenzuela, 38, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder on Thursday for the deaths of Michael and Tina Careccia, who were missing for nearly two weeks.
Valenzuela, who’s being held on a $2 million cash bond, told investigators that he had used meth with the couple, and killed them after a drug deal gone wrong.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told NBC News that toxicology tests will help determine the truth of the suspect’s claims, but in the meantime, the Careccia’s family is speaking out against Valenzuela’s assertations.
“I am skeptical about that,” Mike Perry, the brother of Tina, told NBC in an interview. “Especially Tina, she was very dedicated to [her] children and she seemed very focused on that.”
Pinal County deputies found the bodies buried outside of Valenzuela’s home, who said he knew the couple for two years.
The parents of five were first reported missing on June 22 after leaving for work that morning. Their car was found a few hours later, leading investigators to suspect foul play.