A man has been charged with murdering an Arizona couple who disappeared almost two weeks ago, and whose bodies were found Thursday. Investigators revealed they are investigating whether the killings are related to a drug deal gone bad.
Jose Valenzuela, 38, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Michael and Tina Careccia, who were reported missing June 22, NBC reports.
Valenzuela confessed to authorities, who had taken an interest in him “very early on,” according to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
Babeu said methamphetamine may have been involved in the killings. Valenzuela allegedly told investigators that he had known the couple for two years and that they used meth together.
Valenzuela and the Careccias spent time together on June 21, first at their house and then at his, Babeu said. Sometime that night, a fight ensured, and Valenzuela allegedly killed the Careccias with a .22-caliber revolver, he added.
Valenzuela buried the couple on his property and moved their car away from his home, Babeu said. The car was found shortly afterward.
Valenzuela is being held on $2 million cash bond.
“We want to ensure, for the victims, for Mike and Tina, for the surviving family – they are also victims – that justice is served here,” Babeu said.