A 17 year old boy has been arrested for one of the most gruesome murders involving a 6 year old girl in Bremerton, Washington. The FBI dog team found the body of Jenise Wright in a wooded area near Steele Creek mobile home park from where she was reported missing by her parents. According to Lt. Earl Smith from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s office, the teenager raped and murdered the 6 year old.
Put him in a Shark Tank
The accused, identified as Gabriel Gaeta, has been charged with second degree murder, first degree manslaughter, and child rape. It is not clear if the teenager is being represented by criminal defense lawyers as yet. Jenise, who was last seen by the family on Saturday, Aug. 2nd, around bedtime, was missing from her home the next morning.
Earlier on Friday, the police struggled for clues to find a suspect. According to Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County sheriff’s office, investigations began with the interrogation of family members before panning out to friends, neighbors, homeless people, and sex offenders. Police finally found the first grader’s body among thick, muddy undergrowth and blackberry bushes, which was caked with mud. They also took swabs of DNA evidence from everyone in the neighborhood who volunteered for testing.
Gaeta is not Big on Washing his Clothes
Gabriel Gaeta turned out to be a close family friend who frequently visited the Wright’s house. Despite being 17, he has been charged as an adult and is being held on $1 million bond. During their investigations, the FBI found mud and blood stained clothing in Gaeta’s bedroom in his family home at Steele Creek Mobile Park, which led to his arrest for murder and rape.
Police say the first grader died of blunt force trauma to the head. She was buried in a muddy swamp and covered with a wooden pallet in the woods near her Steele Creek mobile home park. Jenise’s bloodstained underwear and shorts were found the day after her parents filed a missing report about 20 feet from where her body was discovered two days later.
Gentry should be Put Down Already
Jenise’s parents were subject to intense scrutiny by the investigators and the media especially after reports of their delay in calling 911. Her father’s reputation also raised questions since he was arrested 14 years ago on charges of first degree child molestation, which were later dropped. However, in 2000, he was convicted of assault. During the investigations, child welfare professionals determined that ‘probable cause’ was a factor and that two other young children should be removed from the Wright’s home. The FBI dog search team found Jenise’s body in the same wooded areas where the body of Cassie Holden was found in 1988. The 12 year old was murdered by transient Jonathan Gentry, who is currently on death row.
Gaeta is reported to have surrendered without incident. Kitsap County sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said that parents on both sides are cooperating with the investigation and were attending sessions with grief counselors. The neighborhood remains in shock with parents wary of letting children out of their homes.
Gabriel Gaeta is old enough to be put on death row to many people.
In the end, it was a neighborhood teenaged boy who was linked by DNA to the muddy crime scene and Jenise’s body. The family told authorities that they knew of only two 17-year-old boys in the mobile home park, and one of them is a friend of the family.
A Terrible Crime
Jenise may have been killed by someone she knew and trusted and soon after the police had these thoughts, Gabriel Gaeta’s name popped up. When she didn’t return home Sunday night, her family then called 9-1-1 to report her missing. In the genesis of this case, the family was put under the microscope by the police and the news folks, because there was no one else to point the finger at. Why would the family allow a 17 year old though to be around their children? Apparently Gabriel Gaeta was not too big in doing his homework. Or perhaps he did not have any.
Wilson’s comments come a day after an FBI dog team found Wright’s 3-foot-tall, 45-pound body.