17-YEAR-OLD GABRIEL GAETA HELD ON $1 MILLION BAIL FOR ALLEGEDLY KILLING 6-YEAR-OLD JENISE WRIGHT
Huffingtonpost.com/Rachel La Corte
Gabriel Gaeta, 17, was arrested on first degree murder with aggravatingcircumstances, felony murder and first degree rape of a child and is being held on $1 millionbail. He is expected to be tried as an adult. Jenise Wright, a 6-year-old Washingtonstate girl vanished last weekend. Jenise's body was discovered Thursday almost entirelysubmerged in a nearby muddy bog. A small wood pallet was found over the body, and a nylonduffel bag on top of the pallet. Searchers earlier discovered Jenise's underwear and shortsabout 15 to 20 feet from where her body was found. Washington state crime lab linked theclothing to the teen's DNA.
Authorities searched Gaeta's house and found evidence, including a blood and mud coveredshirt and bloody towel in his bedroom.
Law enforcement officers say they are aware of a past molestation charges against her fatherbut were focused on finding Jenise. James Wright was charged more than a decade ago withmolesting two girls, ages 8 and 15. He pleaded guilty in December 2001 to a misdemeanorassault charge related to the older girl. Jenise was last seen when she went to bed Saturdaynight at her home near Bremerton. Her family didn't become worried and call for help untilSunday night because the child had left the home on previous occasions and wandered around theneighborhood. They felt it was relatively safe because the mobile home park is fenced. According to court records, the girl's father was charged with first-degree child molestation inFebruary 2000, accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl following a New Year's Evecelebration. The girl told a detective and case worker that he inappropriately touchedher. More than a year later, in June 2001, the charges were amended to include third-degreechild molestation after a 15-year-old girl who was babysitting the girl during New Year's Eve 2000said that Wright touched her breasts and put his hands down her pants. Wright was sentencedto a year in jail but a judge suspended the entire jail time provided he follow certain conditions,including paying a fee.