Teen arrested for child rape, murder

Teen arrested for child rape, murder

A US teenager was arrested on Saturday in connection with the murder of a six-year-old girl who had gone missing a week before in the US state of Washington.

The 17-year-old neighbour, who was not named, was booked on investigation of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and child rape of Jenise Wright, said Detective Lieutenant Earl Smith of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, reported Seattle Times.

Lt Smith said the suspect was arrested shortly before 3pm after forensic evidence linked the teenager to Jenise.

The family was notified about an hour later.

"There's a lot of grief," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Scott Wilson.

He was not sure if the suspect and Jenise had known each other, but he noted that the community in and around the mobile-home park where the Wrights lived was small.

The suspect was being interviewed by authorities on Saturday, reported ABC News.

The FBI's Specialty Search Dogs Unit discovered Jenise's body last Thursday amid thick brush in a wooded area near the trailer park, USA Today reported.

Mr Justin Pearce, a resident of Steele Creek Mobile Home Park, said he heard the news of an arrest with "sadness, but relief", adding: "It doesn't bring her back, but it's still relief."

An autopsy concluded that Jenise had been murdered.


Authorities said Jenise was last seen around bedtime on Aug 2, a Saturday. She was not around on Sunday morning, but her parents were not immediately alarmed because she was allowed to wander around the mobile-home park.

They became concerned when she did not show up on Sunday night, the Sheriff's Office said.

This sparked a large manhunt that made the news across the state.

A Sheriff's Office spokesman said that the parents, Mr James Wright and Mrs Denise Wright, have been cooperative in the investigation.

The authorities continue to block access to the neatly tended neighbourhood except to residents.

At the entrance to the neighbourhood, community members have built a growing memorial that includes silver balloons, stuffed animals, lit candles, flowers and letters.

Cars continue to stop by, with parents and children tearfully placing flowers at the scene.

Jenise was well-known among her neighbours and was so friendly that she would have breakfast with one family and lunch with others, said authorities.

It doesn't bring her back, but it's still relief.

- Mr Justin Pearce, a resident of Steele Creek Mobile Home Park

This article was first published on August 11, 2014.
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