BREMERTON — There was a memorial Saturday for the 6-year-old Bremerton girl who was found dead earlier this month.
“Jenise was a bright star in our lives,” said Melanie Davis, her sister. “Words can not describe the profound loss we feel.”
At the memorial, the family was joined by friends, and even strangers, including a contingent of local bikers. They all wanted to pay their respects.
“We’re all fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers,” said Mike Shoemaker, who showed up with several friends from various motorcycle clubs.
“To have a tragedy like this happen in our community, a senseless tragedy, is incomprehensible.”
Detectives say it was Jenise’s own neighbor, 17-year old Gabriel Gaeta, who killed her.
Authorities arrested Olympic High School student Gabriel Gaeta, 17, in connection with the rape and murder of Jenise.
Gaeta and Jenise lived in the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park and attended schools in the same district. Jenise was a student at Cottonwood Elementary, according to a district official.
Gaeta, a high school wrestler and athlete, is expected to be charged as an adult with first-degree murder and first-degree child rape in Kitsap County Superior Court.
Investigators said DNA evidence linked Gaeta to the murder. Wright’s body was found submerged in a muddy bog adjacent to the mobile home park in East Bremerton where she lived. A small wood pallet was lying over the body, further concealing it in mud, deputies said.
In court documents released Monday, a Kitsap County sheriff’s investigator said that when Gaeta was asked in a police interview if he was the only one involved in Jenise’s death, he “clearly nodded yes.”
Said Mirissa Cicelski, who traveled from Seabeck to be at the memorial: “I feel scared and shaken that evil exists and it’s out there.”