BREMERTON, Wash. - Authorities say a 17-year-old has been arrested in the death and sexual assault of a 6-year-old girl whose body was found near the mobile home park she vanished from last weekend.
Kitsap County sheriff's Detective Earl Smith said at a news conference Saturday afternoon that deputies and FBI agents arrested the boy at his home without incident.
The teen lived in the same Bremerton-area mobile home park as 6-year-old Jenise Wright. Smith says the boy is being interviewed and will be booked on suspicion of second-degree murder, manslaughter and rape.
The state crime lab made positive confirmation of the suspect through forensic evidence.
The sheriff's office said Friday that it was collecting DNA cheek swabs from dozens of residents who volunteered them in the mobile home park.
Community mourns Jenise Wright
On Friday night, several hundred people turned out for a vigil to honor Wright after she was found murdered several days after she disappeared from her Bremerton-area home.
Authorities said an autopsy confirmed that a body found in the woods near the mobile home park where Jenise Wright lived was that of the little girl who vanished last weekend. Her death had been ruled a homicide.
Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer repeated a promise made earlier in the day when the little girl was formally identified. He said while Jenise is gone, "We can and we will find justice for her."
The Wright family's pastor, Chris Byron, attended the vigil. The Kitsap Sun reports that he says the little girl's mother, Denise Wright, wanted to thank the search and law enforcement personnel who have worked on the case. The girl's father, James Wright, issued a statement through Byron, saying that he hopes "something positive can come from this tragedy."