BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The parents of a 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her Washington home and wasn’t reported missing for a day have agreed to take lie detector tests and allow a search of the home, a sheriff’s spokesman said Monday.
Both the home search and lie detector tests were in progress late Monday, Kitsap County Deputy Scott Wilson said. He said he doubted he would be able to discuss results.
State child welfare workers removed two other children, an 8-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, from the home earlier Monday.
About 80 searchers including dog teams looked Monday for little Jenise Wright, who was last seen Saturday night when she went to bed. Her family noticed her missing Sunday morning but didn’t become worried and call for help until that night because she had left the home on previous occasions and wandered around the neighborhood.
The family felt it was relatively safe because it’s a fenced property, Wilson said.
A decision on whether to continue the ground search Tuesday was pending, the spokesman said.
The little girl’s disappearance was being called a missing person case with “suspicious circumstances,” Wilson said. Most missing children would have surfaced by now, he said.
Investigators, who now include the FBI and detectives from nearby police agencies and the Washington State Patrol, are “looking at the entire spectrum of possibilities: has the child sustained an accident? Has the child been abducted? Has the child come to harm?” Wilson said.
The FBI has resources “that we can only dream about — investigative tools, personnel that specialize in child abduction,” Wilson said. “We’re not calling it an abduction, but why not get those resources early on, examine all the possibilities.”
Two parents live in the home in a blended family. The 8-year-old and 12-year-old were the only other children in the home last weekend. A 16-year-old boy was out of town. Two other offspring are adults.
The search began at about 1:30 a.m. Monday with deputies and volunteers in and around the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park. They cleared the park and searched later in the surrounding neighborhood and wooded area, Wilson said.
“She’s really independent, she’s tenacious,” the little girl’s father, James Wright, told KOMO-TV, describing the neighborhood as safe and saying his daughter roamed the park.
Other residents in the park described Jenise as outgoing and unafraid to talk to anyone.
Bremerton is on the west side of Puget Sound, across from Seattle.
Jenise is 3 feet tall, weighs 45 pounds and has black hair. She’ll be a first-grader this school year. She shared a bedroom with her sister.
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