Death of 6-year-old Jenise Wright ruled a homicide; DNA being collected

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BREMERTON, Wash — The death of 6-year-old Jenise Wright was formally ruled a homicide Friday by the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office, the sheriff’s office said. But officials refused to publicly reveal the cause of death.

“This is now a homicide investigation,” Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy Scott Wilson said.

He added that DNA swabs were being taken from neighbors who voluntarily offered them.

Jenise’s body found in a wooded area near her mobile home park Thursday.

Authorities asked for the public’s help in finding whoever may be responsible.

Wilson asked people in the mobile home park or people living nearby to think back over the last few days and see if anyone remembered seeing a person with muddy shoes and clothing.

Wilson said they believed whoever may be responsible for the child’s death would have muddy shoes, muddy pants and a muddy shirt.  He stopped short of saying the person would have been ‘mud covered.’

“This is going to be a criminal investigation, there’s no doubt about that,” Wilson said at a Thursday afternoon news briefing, before the coroner had issued a report on the autopsy results. “We suspect that she just did not go off by herself and fall into some bushes and die.

The sheriff's office said in a news release, “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. Thursday 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.

“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.

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 Wilson said hundreds of tips poured in since Sunday on the missing girl.

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    • DuhNigreus

      What if the killer/rapist turns out to be an illegal alien? Will Obama/Holder/La Raza tell us that it doesn’t matter? Are we racist haters for even asking the question?

  • Sally

    Try looking in the parent laundry room… This story was “fishy” from the get-go. Too many things don’t add up. Such a tragedy.

    • Julia

      Either the sheriff dept is being very coy or they totally botched this. How could they wait five days to send dogs out and look outside the “fenced” mobile home park. How can you not worry about a little girl for over 24 hours. It is crazy. It makes me ill. And the sheriffs comment she didnt just go into the bushes and die is the most disgusting statement i have ever heard from someone in law enforcement. How much more incensitive could you possibly be. I feel bad for the kitsap co sheriff dept. i think they will get grilled for this. At least i hope someone recognizes the problems here.

      • Stef24

        When I read the comment about her not just going into the bushes and dying, my first thought was the comment the (perverted) father made about her being a ‘free spirit’ and how she wanders off on her own all the time. I thought the sheriff’s comment about her ‘not wandering off’ might have had something to do with dad’s comment about her always taking off on her own.

        I hope that makes sense. And I probably watch far too much Law and Order and am jumping to conclusions with the whole ‘wandering’ comment! lol

        R.I.P. Jenise. You’re in a MUCH better and safer place now! (For those who don’t believe in God and heaven, PLEASE do not turn my heaven comment into a religious debate. I respect your right to not believe in God…please accept my right believe God and heaven do exist)

          • stef24

            That was my first thought when they said she didn’t wander into the bushes. Perverted dad said she wandered a lot…and then the sheriff said she DIDN”T just wander. Could very well be a coincidence of course. I just tend to believe the police know much more than they are letting on.

            How I hope that the monster who did this to her did it in a quick and painless way!!!!

            Question…did we ever find out why the other 2 kids were removed from the home the other day?

          • Julia

            I have confidence they are playing him. They will convict him. I just don’t understand how these monsters walk the earth. We all need to unite to dispose of them.

        • EddieO

          Listen. I grew up in Steele Creek. I did the paper route in there. My best friends mom still to this day lives there, just a few doors down from these people. Steele Creek is not fenced in. Never has been. Some spots have fences from lot owners. The road side has a rock wall….but the entire back side is NOT fenced. It goes down to the creek. There is a nature trail we all played on. Two adults could comb that entire area in a day. A large group of cops with dogs could of done it in a few hours at most….its simply NOT that big. This whole story smells like poop, and now we have a little girl gone and a black mark on a neighborhood that will never go away.

    • JennyJustice

      Who on Earth would let their six-year-old go off alone and not worry about her until she didn’t come home in the evening? All day? I’m already suspicious of the parents.

  • Wendy N Barnes

    Unfortunately, it is probably someone who lives in the park or a frequent visitor. Somebody no one is thinking of at present. God gave people brains and hopefully they will be used to get this guy (I assume it is a guy.)

  • Patty

    So she “just happens” to have father who is a pedophile, and “just happens” to have parents who don’t report her missing all day, and she “just happnes” to have her other siblings removed from the home. I suggest they check the laundry room very closely.

  • dk

    Sounding more like another Jonbenet Ramsey……Where are the results from the lie dector test? Why nothing from the mother……

  • tricia

    Knowing that they searched that same area twice before and never found her is confusing to me. They mentioned that because they had searched there before and did not find her they were not sure if she had just been placed there that day or if she was covered up with debris…..wth… does that make sense? I live 30 minutes from bremerton and although a neighborhood may seem safe it doesn’t necessarily mean it is. My opinion is that this is another case where the parent or parents killed their child and tried to set it up to look like something else. I don’t know why the other children were taken out of the home but that is obvious evidence for me that something wasn’t right. Not to mention the fact that they did not immediately report her missing. I believe the police know more then what they tell the pu pic but that is how it works in alot of cases. When they feel like they have thier ducks in a row they will tell us what we want to know. They have to withhold information in case it was someone other than her parents. Knowing information that only the police know and jot the public can be in thier favor at times. You never know when someone will slip with that same I formation and then the police can say….how did you know that when it wasn’t released to tje public. Thats how they catch their man…..or woman. Its called strategy. I am sad that the little girl is deceased but glad to know ahe is in a better place.

  • Julia

    If you look at the news video by kevin mccarty you can pause it on the page of the molestation case and see some disturbing information.

  • Julia

    If you view the KIRO video by Kevin McCarty it shows the molestation charging documents with some absolutely disgusting details.

  • Ilauria

    Okay, so they have arrested a 17 y.o. male that lived in the park thru DNA. I get that he is responsible, but who puts their 6 y.o. to bed sat night and doesn’t see her all day sunday and then calls late sunday night. Does that sound like responsible adults to you.

  • Lori Soderling

    They have arrested a 17 year boy who lives in the park where Jenise lived. He is being charged with 2nd Degree Murder, Manslaughter and rape. They are not releasing his name at this moment.

    • Kate

      Really – that is your response? Who cares if it’s God’s speed or Godspeed – we all know what was meant. The important thing here is the little girl.

  • Curtins Van Pratt

    “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.” Stupid white trash parents should not have let their kid out of their sight. Period.