A 17-year-old male was arrested and will be charged with murder in the death of 6-year-old Jenise Wright, the child who disappeared from a Washington state mobile home park on Sunday and was found dead in a wooded area four days later. Police said the suspect will also be charged with rape.
The teen’s name was not released but authorities said he was a resident of the Steele Creek mobile home park and likely knew Jenise from the neighborhood. The girl’s parents said she frequently roamed the park unsupervised.
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“Yesterday, we made a promise to 6-year-old Jenise Paulette Wright that we would find justice for her. Today we have fulfilled that promise,” Kitsap County sheriff’s Lt. Earl Smith told reporters Saturday.
Smith said sheriff’s officers and FBI agents arrested the suspect at his home at 2:50 p.m. Saturday. He will be charged with murder in the second degree, and manslaughter and rape of a child, both in the first degree, Smith said.
The search for Jenise drew law enforcement agencies from around Washington and the FBI. Kitsap County sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said the break in the case came from evidence processed by the state crime lab, which called in help and worked around the clock.
— Phil Helsel