Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Investigators wrap up probe into killing of 6-year-old Jenise Wright; teen neighbor held

Investigators were wrapping up their on-scene probe Sunday into the killing of 6-year-old Jenise Wright, a day after arresting a 17-year-old neighbor on investigation of rape and murder.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives seized three vehicles from the teenaged suspect’s home and completed final interviews of residents at the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park, the community where Jenise disappeared eight days ago.

The statements and evidence collected Sunday will help authorities in “trying to put together a composite of the suspect for painting a picture for the court,” Kitsap County Sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson said.

“We’re just wrapping everything up,”  Wilson added Sunday. “There’s still a lot to do, but now the focus is just dotting all of our i’s and crossing all of our t’s and handing the case off to prosecutors.”

The teenager, who has not been named, was booked Saturday on investigation of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and child rape, said Det. Lt. Earl Smith of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.  Smith said the suspect was arrested shortly before 3 p.m. after forensic evidence linked the teenager to Jenise. The family was notified about an hour later.

“There’s a lot of grief,”  Wilson said. He wasn’t sure if the suspect and Jenise knew each other, but he noted the community in and around the mobile-home park was small.

Authorities interviewed the suspect Saturday. The teenager was scheduled to make an initial appearance in Kitsap County District Court on Monday afternoon.

Part of the investigation has focused on the swift collection and testing of forensic evidence, and authorities have said everyone in the 103-unit community complied voluntarily with the request for DNA samples.

Wilson confirmed Sunday the suspect was among those who provided  DNA. The Washington State Patrol supported 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,” Wilson said.

Authorities have said Jenise was last seen around bedtime on Aug. 2. She was gone the following 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 by that night, and they called 911, the Sheriff’s Office said. Jenise’s body was found in an area near the mobile home park on Thursday.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Kitsap County Sheriff's Office; Jenise Wright


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►