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Evidence suggests foul play in Arizona couple's disappearance

MARICOPA, AZ -- The Pinal County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that they've obtained evidence that suggests foul play in the disappearance of a couple reported missing more than a week ago, reports CBS affiliate KPHO.

Pinal County Sheriff Office Spokesperson Mark Clark announced that the investigation into the June 22 disappearance of Michael and Tina Careccia turned criminal in a statement posted to Facebook.

"Our priority is to locate this missing couple, yet we have evidence that suggests foul play. This is not just a search, but it is also criminal investigation into the couple's disappearance," Babeu said. "We shall continue our search and investigation simultaneously. We ask anyone who has any information to come forward and speak with my detectives."

Despite exhaustive search efforts by police and loved ones, there is still no sign of the couple, police said.

Investigators said there has been no activity associated with their phones, bank accounts, credit cards or social media accounts.

"We have no further details at this time, we are looking to provide the family and our community with answers, yet we are restricted due to the nature of this investigation," Clark said in the statement.

KPHO spoke with Geoff Dugan, the couple's brother-in-law, who said the family is holding out hope that the Careccia's will be found.

"We have our ups and downs just like you would expect. You know, from day one, we ride the roller coaster of emotions like you would expect. But, yeah, we're still optimistic. We're still looking," Dugan said.

Dugan described the past week as a blur. He has spent the majority of his time doing all he can to help find the couple.

"You know, it feels like Groundhog Day, sometimes. We get up and we search and we search and we find little bits of things here and there," Dugan said.

Hundreds of people from Maricopa, south of Phoenix, have helped look for the pair, passed out fliers and donated supplies.

The search operation has moved from a popular bar and grill in town to an old community building not far from the couple's home.

"We needed to give Raceway their restaurant back. We are so grateful for everything that they did for us," said Dugan.

Pinal County investigators said they are following up on every tip they get. It is clear they have some information they are not releasing to the public or the family, but they are determined to find out what happened to the couple and so is the family.

"Bottom line today is keep doing what we're doing," Dugan said.

Mike Perry, who is Tina Careccia's brother, has hired a private investigator. According to PCSO, any tips or information the PI might find, they are happy to look into.

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