Authorities have arrested a 17-year-old boy in the death of 6-year-old Bremerton girl Jenise Wright.
The teenager, who was not named, will be booked on investigation of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and child rape, said detective Lt. Earl Smith of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office during an afternoon press conference Saturday. Smith said the suspect was arrested earlier in the day after the Washington State Patrol crime lab produced forensic evidence linking the teenager to Wright.
Part of the investigation has focused on the collection of DNA samples, and authorities have said every person in the 103-unit community has complied voluntarily with the request for DNA samples. The Washington State Patrol was supporting the investigation by staffing its crime lab 24 hours a day until the samples could be processed.
“That team is what enabled us to reach this plateau in this investigation,” said sheriff’s office spokesman Scott Wilson. He wasn’t sure if the suspect and Jenise knew each other.
An autopsy concluded Jenise was a homicide victim, and her body was found Thursday in an area near the mobile-home community where she lived with her family.
Authorities have said that Jenise was last seen around bedtime last Saturday. She was gone Sunday morning, but her parents were not immediately alarmed because she was allowed to wander around the mobile-home park where they lived. They became concerned when she did not show up Sunday night and called 911, the sheriff’s office said.
Wilson has said the parents, James and Denise Wright, have been cooperative in the investigation.