Intensive search for missing girl: ‘Jenise Wright is one of ours … we want her back’

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6-year-old Jenise Wright

BREMERTON — The FBI issued fliers and dozens of law enforcement officers went door-to-door and searched the neighborhood Tuesday in the search for missing 6-year-old Jenise Wright, who was last seen by her parents in her home Saturday night.

“Jenise Wright is one of ours,” Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy Scott Wilson said at a news briefing. “She’s a daughter of East Bremerton. We want her back. The investigation at this point has been focused on nothing but her recovery.”

As the search continued, new details raised concerns about Jenise’s father, James Wright.

In 1999, Wright faced a child molestation charge in Whatcom County involving a then-8-year-old female family member, but the charge was dropped and he pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree assault charge.

Deputies referred questions about the father’s past to the prosecutor’s office in Whatcom County.

At the news briefing Tuesday afternoon, Wilson said that FBI and sheriff’s investigators conducted a “deep canvass search” of the mobile home park where Jenise lives, with officers going door to door. “We’re about halfway through that search of the park.”

He said they were also searching adjacent properties, trash Dumpsters and also talking to transients and registered sex offenders in the area.

Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer said, "This is heart-wrenching … We’re going to do everything that we can to find her. I remain a true optimist. And we are going to hope for the very, very best."

The girl was last seen Saturday night but her parents didn’t report her missing until late Sunday night.

Jenise’s parents said they’re used to allowing her to walk through the neighborhood on her own without supervision.

When she didn’t come home for dinner on Sunday, that’s when police were notified.

“My head’s just swimming, I don’t know what to think,” said Jenise’s father, Jim Wright. "She went to bed (Saturday night), she was asleep. Wake up, (and think) she's probably out running and playing."

The little girl was allowed to roam the Steele Creek neighborhood all by herself.

Child Protective Services pulled the two remaining children, ages 8 and 12, from the Wright home on Monday.

“Sheriff detectives developed enough probable cause that they felt that it would warrant the safety of the children to be removed from the house at this time but I can’t go into details for why,” said Wilson.

Search and rescue teams from across Western Washington are now part of the search, as well as FBI and specialists from their child abduction response team.

Currently, police are saying this disappearance is not an abduction. Wilson said it's being handled as a missing person case with suspicious circumstances, mainly because she's been gone so long without a sighting.

The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office said both the girl's father and mother took lie detector tests, but the results weren't announced.

Jenise is described as being about 3 feet tall and 45 pounds with dark hair. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact police or 1-800-Call-FBI.

FBI bulletin on Jenise Wright.

FBI bulletin on Jenise Wright.






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  • Raine

    I know the family is really suffering and yes, I don’t know them and how their family dynamic works. But really seriously, who lets a 6 year old just leave the home without telling anyone? That is what all of us out here who don’t know this family is trying to understand. No matter how street smart this little one is and how much loved by the neighborhood and how much she knew her neighborhood, there is always that “extra element” lurking out there that can cause chaos in an otherwise calm or cautious situation. I think that is what happened here. She went out like she normally did but this time trouble found her. And being just six years old, she did not have the ability to deal with it. So very very sad. All of us with children are hugging our children a little tighter and telling them that home is a safe place and you never ever leave without telling an adult where you are going.

  • Anita

    Someone watched her. Someone knew their habits. They waited for that perfect moment and lured her out of sight. She knew no fear and would talk to anyone. She was allowed to roam freely. Loved and “cared for” or not she was neglected. Someone knew that and now this innocent and trusting child is gone. There is no defending what the adults in her life allowed her to do and this is the result. I feel for the adult daughters trying to defend their mother but the fact remains no one watched her, no one checked on her for hours. Who was feeding her when she was out all day? In an interview with one of the neighborhood teenagers she said that she always came door to door every morning but Sunday it was quiet. That child was gone early on and its sickening to think what has happened.


    This poor little girl was found dead. what kind of parents let a 6 year old roam around the neighborhood by herself. Shameful. I hope they are brought up on charges of neglect. STUPID PARENTS !!!