Search For Jenise Wright Leads To Child’s Body
SEATTLE (AP) — Washington authorities said a body found Thursday appears to be that of missing 6-year-old Jenise Wright, who disappeared from her home over the weekend.
An FBI team discovered the body in a forested area near the mobile home park where the girl lived about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Her family has been notified.
Authorities said there have been no arrests in the case, and no cause of death was given.
Jenise was last seen when she went to bed Saturday night. Her parents waited a day before calling for help because they say the girl had wandered around the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park on her own in the past.
Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson had said the family felt it was relatively safe because the mobile home park is fenced.
In a statement, the sheriff’s department said a coroner will make official confirmation of the identity, but “it appears that the body is that of Jenise.”
The girl was outgoing and unafraid to talk to anyone, family said.
Dozens of officers from more than 15 law enforcement agencies including the FBI went door to door at the mobile home park where she lived near Bremerton, on the west side of Puget Sound, across from Seattle.
They also pulled surveillance video from nearby businesses and checked in with sex offenders in the county.
After the search began for Jenise, state child welfare workers removed two other children, an 8-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, from the home.
Court records show Jenise Wright’s father, James Wright, was charged more than a decade ago with molesting two girls, ages 8 and 15.
He eventually pleaded guilty in Whatcom County Superior Court in December 2001 to a misdemeanor assault charge related to the older girl. It was not immediately clear why the molestation charges were dropped. Prosecutors there did not return calls.
A judge in Whatcom County Superior Court sentenced Wright to a year in jail but suspended the entire jail term on the condition that he follow certain conditions, including paying fees.
Wilson said at a news briefing Wednesday that authorities are aware of the past charge against the father, but that officers are focused on finding the girl. “That has nothing to do with this investigation right now,” he said.
Authorities searched all 103 homes and every outbuilding and vehicle in the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park.
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