Body of missing 6-year-old Jenise Wright found: ‘This is going to be a criminal’ probe

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BREMERTON — The body of Jenise Wright, the 6-year-old East Bremerton girl who has been missing since Sunday, was found in a wooded area near her mobile home park Thursday and her death is not believed to have been accidental, authorities said.

“This is going to be a criminal investigation, there’s no doubt about that,” Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy Scott Wilson said at a late afternoon news briefing. “We suspect that she just did not go off by herself and fall into some bushes and die.”

“It’s tragic circumstances that bring us here,” Frank Montoya Jr., FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle office, said at the same news briefing at Jenise’s Steele Creek Mobile Home Park.

He praised the operators of the FBI’s K-9 teams. “The K-9s were so instrumental in actually locating the body of Jenise today,” Montoya said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said in an earlier news release, “We are awaiting confirmation of the child’s identity by the Kitsap County Coroner; however it appears that the body is that of Jenise. The family has been notified.

“An autopsy will be conducted by the county’s forensic pathologist. The coroner will make a determination as to cause and manner of death.”

The sheriff’s office said the autopsy will be conducted Friday.

Thursday night, the sheriff’s office said, “Initial results of the autopsy will assist detectives in narrowing the investigation toward a
possible suspect.

“The FBI’s Evidence Response Team has finished their processing of the scene where the body was found. The Washington State Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division is forensically mapping that location.”

Investigators went door to door in the mobile home park asking neighbors for DNA samples.

The sheriff's office said search teams located the remains of a body around 11:30 a.m. in "a forested area" in the vicinity of the mobile home park.

Wilson said it was an FBI team with specially trained dogs that found the remains.

No arrests have yet been made in the case.

"Sheriff’s detectives are asking the public to assist them by providing any bit of information they have about activity in or around Steele Creek Mobile Home Park during the weekend of Friday, Aug. 1 thru Sunday, Aug. 3," the sheriff's office said, noting that the FBI tip line remains open. It is 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Authorities at Steele Creek Mobile Home Park

Authorities at Steele Creek Mobile Home Park

As late as 10 a.m. Thursday, officials said they were still holding out hope the girl would be found alive.

Jenise was last seen Saturday night at her home.

Jenise’s parents have said they would allow Jenise to walk through the neighborhood on her own and thought she was out playing Sunday morning. When she didn’t return home Sunday night, the parents called police.

The girl's disappearance struck the tight-knit community, and Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Wilson said hundreds of tips poured in since Sunday on the missing girl.

This story is breaking and will be updated as more information comes in. For more on the search for Jenise, click here.

FBI bulletin on Jenise Wright.

FBI bulletin on Jenise Wright.


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    • concerned mother of three

      I think the parents should be looked at and the other children in the home should be removed immediately!

  • BLW

    A 6 yr old gone all day and no one went out to check up on her whereabouts throughout the day. Even if they had nothing to do with their daughter,s disappearance…..they should go down anyways.

  • Miss M

    how these parents could let their 6 year old “wander the neightborhood” is just crazy and then to not go checking up on her whereabouts for the whole day???? something is not right here.

  • TLC

    WHY did it take THIS long to find her with all the searchers and DOGS!?!?!? I am so devastated. God bless your soul sweet Jenise.

  • Real@#%&

    My heart breaks for her and the ones who truly love her! And for the COWARD that has done this to that trusting, defenseless child… bout you pick on someone your size!!

  • Tim Chadd Sr.

    it’s sad that these parents just let their 6 year old “wander the neighborhood”. I understand you don’t want your kids to live in constant fear, but you can’t leave your kids unattended and if she isn’t there when you wake up, you better find out where he/she is immediately. Whole story is fishy to me. I hope the parent(s) were not involved in any way, but i have to think so, until proven otherwise.

    • Christopher Mangold

      I feel you. There is a lot to be considered here for sure. However, ‘guilty until proven innocent’ is not how justice is supposed get served here in the U.S. Leave that to the 3rd world justice systems.

  • Jenifer Smith

    Any child that is used to waking up in the morning and spending the whole day unaccounted for has been getting the attention of an adult somewhere and probably not what we all consider positive attention. My guess is that someone in the trailer park has “befriended” her..possible “groomed” her for awhile. Children are lured into “friendship” relationships with adults because they are lonely and need validation. The adults do it for just about the same reason and it is highly possible the same thing happened to him/her as a child.

    • Mario

      A chill went down my spine after reading your post. Then anger….Then tears….. If god would only allow a trade off now and then.

        • Tigre

          Let me get this straight. You commit murder and then blame God because he allowed you to? You are getting into the realm of free will, something that has been debated for all time by philosophers smarter than we are.

  • John

    This is very sad :( It does sound awfully fishy. She definitely should not have been unattended, certainly not that long but unfortunately there are a lot of parents out there that allow it, especially when they think they are living in a “close knit” neighborhood. Not that it would make things any better but I’d rather hear that she had an unknown life threatening bee or wasp allergy instead of foul play.


    THIS IS SO SAD!!! :( …………..People that hurt children should be put in jail for life and charged with murder. They pretty much already killed their spirits.

    • Tigre

      “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

      People today don’t realize that they will suffer all the evil they have done to others in this life, especially those who do it to children.

  • Onyx Black

    The parents should be charged with gross negligence resulting in death AT LEAST. When your six year old, who hasn’t even started school yet, is not in the house when you get up in the morning…you do not even see them in the morning and have no idea when they went out….. and you don’t worry until 6 pm that night….you are negligent parents. Period.

    • vanessa

      Yes kinda weird not to worry nor to even think to at least look for her to feed her breakfast or lunch…..hmm since that’s what so called parents do!

  • Hans

    So sad! :( Reminds me, of being a Reserve Deputy Sherriff after my millitary service. Holding a little girl’s remains for pictures after mushroom pickers had discovered them dumped at the end of a logging road in Mason County. Then staying there to protect the crime scene,overnight.

  • Sandy Ledesma

    We keep tabs on our dogs better than this. These parents should be ashamed. God bless this lovely child and her sweet soul.

  • Deedee

    This sickens me how the hell do you. Do this. To a child I don’t understand our world is so messed up who ever did that too. That sweet precious little girl needs to have the same thing done too them

  • Maggie Ybarra

    OK let me get this straight!!! Jenise was last seen Saturday night at her home.
    Jenise’s parents have said they would allow Jenise to walk through the neighborhood on her own and thought she was out playing Sunday morning. When she didn’t return home Sunday night, the parents called police. My God she was 6 years old!! What the hell is a little girl doing out all day?? These Crazy ass parent didn’t feed her breakfast, lunch or dinner and didn’t even bother to check on her! .. and the mother what kind of mother let her husband molest her daughter and stays with him after that..

  • Caylee R.

    Hi there. I am an acquaintance of the young girl’s older brother. I would just like to clarify that the girl did not “go off on her own” in the neighborhood. Jenise was ALWAYS with someone when she went out, be it some of her friends or her siblings. On top of that, her parents made a rule so that their daughter would check in with them every few hours or so.
    PLEASE stop saying that the parents were being “negligent” when it is not the case. I’m very sure that the young girl had everything she needed.

    • concerned

      Then why was there no concern when she was gone for 12+ hours without a sibling? If I couldn’t find my child for more than 30 minutes, I’d bring in the police.

      • Caylee R.

        The parents must have assumed she was simply out playing in the neighborhood with her friends, or in other words, people they trusted. In the neighborhood. Which, by the way, isn’t that hard to find your way around and isn’t that big for a mobile home park. It would be one thing if she were to have been known to wander outside of the neighborhood, but that wasn’t the case. If she was just in the neighborhood, then it wouldn’t be like they didn’t know where she was. Perhaps not an exact location, but at least they had a good idea of where they thought she was: an area they deemed safe for her to be in. Do you really think that the parents would be so stupid to let their child run around the neighborhood if they thought the area wasn’t safe? I don’t think so.

        • momof2

          Whether they thought the neighborhood was safe or not, it’s insane to think a parent wouldn’t have a care about where their 6 year old child was for an entire day. She was gone when they woke up. They didn’t give a second thought to whether she ate breakfast? Or, was their usual thing to shrug and hope someone else made sure she had something to eat. Then, lunchtime rolls around. They STILL apparently didn’t give a fig where their child was. I guess when it was getting close to bedtime for them they finally decided to look for a 6 year old who has been out of their sight for a full 24 hours now. I don’t care if they lived in an area as secure as Fort Knox. A caring, devoted parent does NOT act like that. The people I know keep better track of their dogs than these people did for that precious child. And, what kind of father refers to his missing child as a spoiled, rotten brat when being interviewed by the media? The whole thing reeks to me and I have to believe the police and FBI know a whole lot more than we think.

          • Caylee R.

            Who is to say that the parents really weren’t concerned for their child during those hours? How does anybody (save for the parents themselves) know that the parents didn’t think something might’ve been a bit fishy from the start, even if it was a thought that might’ve crossed their minds only for a moment? Even if that though didn’t cross their minds, that does not mean that they didn’t give a single care in the world for their daughter. That may how it APPEARS to be, but seeing isn’t always believing. I doubt that they didn’t care at all for their daughter.
            And “that kind of father” is an honest one. So what if he called her a “spoiled, rotten brat”? Maybe she was. But does that mean he didn’t love and care for her? Absolutely not. I know my own mother talked about how bad my sister was when she was growing up. Did she love my sister? Did she give her the attention she needed? Yes and yes. All parents say bad things about their children. Perhaps not when they are interviewed by the media, but many parents have complained on social media. It makes no difference.
            Although there is one thing that I agree with; the case itself is strange. And it wouldn’t be surprising if the FBI and the police know more than they’re letting on. They probably have a ton of private information already, but then again, not everything goes as fast as it does in cops shows, despite the immense ammount of cooperation from the family AND the neighbors.

        • Heather

          @ Caylee R. This is in response to your reply about the father calling his daughter a spoiled brat. I agree, he’s probably not the first parent to call his child a spoiled brat. The difference is, the circumstances under which he refers to his child in this manner. If my child were missing, the first thing to leave my memory would be any of the rotten things they had ever done. The only thoughts that would be in my head, and words that would come out of my mouth, would be how much I loved them and wanted them back. Followed by the desperation felt from not knowing where they were. His comments about his missing child were odd, at best.

          Secondly, to assume, when their child was missing in the morning, that she was out playing is just negligent and lazy. They didn’t even put forth the effort to go out and locate her to make sure that was the case. My kids are 5 and 7, and are never outside playing without my supervision. I consider my community safe, and I trust my neighbors. However, it would only take a matter of minutes for someone to drive down my court, throw my kid in their car, and be gone. If my kids go to one of their friends’ houses to play, even if it’s on our court, I walk them there, or watch from the yard until I see them get in the door. When it’s time to come home, either I go get them, or the parent of the house where they’re playing walks/watches them come home. And, I’m talking about houses that are 2-3 houses away from my own. I’m not claiming to be a perfect parent, but these things are common sense, and are necessary steps to keep your kids safe.

          • Donna

            Heather, you are so very right ! I can not imagine not knowing where your child is. The parents are negligible at the very least. So much to blame. I feel so sorry for Jenise, she wasn’t shown enough attention at home if she wanted to roam around all day. Poor precious baby.

        • Lindsey

          They clearly had NO clue where there 6 year old baby was…….. Because she was being raped and tortured and murdered well they nonchalantly sat on their butts in their house…….. These parents definitely definitely need serious punishment for this and clearly the neighborhood was not safe no neighborhood is the first thing babies are being taken out of their own bedroom windows she would still be alive right now if those parents would have gotten off their booties and went outside with their six-year-old baby or at the very very very least checked on her with in a 24 hour damn. These parents discussed me

        • Lindsey

          If you are a friend of this little angels brother than you are what???? 16 years old and paper apparently have no concept on what being a parent is…
          I am a parent of four children 9 months 4 , 8, and 12 not one of them is EVER out of my sight it is exhausting sometimes walking each of them to friends houses in the neighborhood and trying to give each of them my undivided attention that they need and deserve but that is what parents do I am also sure to feed my children every meal and snacks everyday I do not sleep in while my kids are up and out and about roaming the streets if they get up at 5 am my butt is up and wide awake with them loving caring and responsible parents do not allow there little baby to roam around alone all day long with no supervision no food in there belly and absolutely no clue where they are…. And why?????? Because this is what happens when you are a negligent parent

  • sandy

    this is sad a lil girl lost her life most likely by her white american father and had nothing to do with illegle alians at the border states take your racist comments else where i bet u are gonna blame obama for this sweet babys death. may god have mercy on your soul.

  • Juanita Pottinger

    This is another case of neglect !! I do hope these parents are charged at least with neglect,possibly a lot more.

  • Jayce

    It breaks your heart to see things like this happen to children. Especially when stories like this always have the same ending – the child is lost forever. And what’s worse is that this was caused by the stupidity of parents that should be loving and protective. As soon as I heard about this story and just some of the details I couldn’t believe it. That parents allow their 6 year-old daughter to roam their neighborhood unattended. And that they waited so long, having not seen her since 10 PM the previous night before reporting it. It doesn’t alarm you when you awake and your child isn’t found in their bed or anywhere around the house? And what parent in their right mind let’s any child wander a neighborhood alone in this day and age? It is not safe. No matter where you live. Anything could happen. If not something involving a person then an injury, a fall, anything. I watched the news when the two sisters spoke about their parents. How their mother wasn’t a bad mom. Well if she isn’t a bad mother she’s an idiot. No mother, that loves their child, would ever allow a child so young to be unaccompanied by someone while wandering a neighborhood, not worry when they don’t see their child in the morning, nor allow that much time to pass before notifying the police. Notifying the police should have been the first thing they did. Better safe then sorry. As a parent I could never imagine letting any of this happen to my son. There is no excuse for it. And what’s worse is that it’s something that could have easily been prevented. I honestly don’t even have words for the situation. “She tends to wander the neighbor?” “We were out looking for her?” You only go looking for a child so long before notifying the police. You don’t let a child wander alone. I hope they remove the other two children from their home. Obviously these two are not fit to be parents. And to see a life lost when it could have been prevented because parents don’t know how to be parents is heart breaking.

  • D

    To those that keep defending the parents saying she was with friends, how can you still justify it? What is a child going to do to protect another child? It is NOT another child’s responsibility to look after a 6 yr old!!! Check in every few hours or so? Come on!!! My kids were not allowed out of our yard or at least the immediate neighbor’s yard. And I was the one constantly checking on them because that is MY RESPONSIBILITY AS A PARENT!!! I am so tired of hearing people defend that issue. Would you let your child wander the neighborhood all hours of the day? Especially not feeding them? Please. I don’t care if you say you know them, nobody really knows anyone. The father has a past that is highly questionable. Think about it, we have all seen it on the news at some point, serial killer or whatever and a neighbor/friend/aquintance saying, “They seemed normal, I had no idea”. Enough. They are the ones that should be held liable. No good parent would let their kid wander and then call them “a spoiled brat” on tv when they’re missing. Good grief.

    • momof2

      I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. Even if these lame excuses for parents didn’t directly have a hand in what happened to that poor little girl, they should be charged with some form of homicide. They ignored that child to death. CPS had probable cause to remove the other two children from the home. I hope they are receiving the help they’ll need to cope with what happened to their sister and that they have responsible relatives willing to provide a safe environment for them.

        • momof2

          No, they don’t. However, I think they did the right thing by removing the other children. It’s glaringly obvious (to me anyway) the neither of these two adults is in any way capable of providing a safe environment for their children. I can only hope there is a grandparent, aunt or uncle willing to give the remaining two kids a safe place to live. And, I’m not saying the parents should’t be able to see their children. Especially now that the entire family will have to work through the process of grieving for Jenise. But, the remaining children shouldn’t be allowed to go back to live with them. They aren’t fit to be responsible for a pet, let alone innocent children.

  • Tigre

    If she was found in a wooded area “near her home” why did it take 350 people 4 days to find her. I would think that any wooded area would be the first place to look. Of course she is just as dead as if they had found her within 1 day, i guess.

  • shelley

    All miner kids should be supervised at all times. All parents should be evaluated for competency and men should have extensive backround checks.
    My son is 16 yrs. Old and has never been allowed to run free in the neighborhood or elswhere unsupervised. There are too many stupid parents out there and too many children dying for the ignorance of their parents. Something should be done about this growing problem.

  • andrea

    They really need to start looking at the parents , and investigate them . the parents should be looked as the prime suspects . They need to be held responsible for this

  • Robin Borden

    It is so sad that you don’t check for your kids in the morning. If not in room find them. This world is not the world like it was for me 40 years ago. Praying for the family. Hope they find out who killed her.

  • Sara Stone

    Joe, do you have to be so mean and blame mexican people? They are hard working people and nothing wrong with them…this is about a murdered little girl think about what you wrote, geez??