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Tearful plea from adult sister for missing Bremerton girl's safe return

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Jenise Paulette Wright, 6, was reported missing Sunday evening, nearly 24 hours after her parents last saw her in their home in the east Bremerton neighborhood around the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park. (Photo courtesy FBI) | Zoom
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Two adult sisters of a missing 6-year-old Bremerton girl are speaking out as more than 100 officers from 10 law enforcement agencies search for the child.

Officers in Washington worked through the night, asking residents of an east Bremerton mobile home park about missing Jenise Paulette Wright, 6.

Kitsap County sheriff's Deputy Scott Wilson said Wednesday the initial search "surge" is over and now the case is turning into a methodical investigation.

Investigators aren't sure if Wright wandered off or was the victim of an accident, abduction or homicide.

Her adult sisters said Tuesday they are taking care of their younger siblings.

Melanie Davis, 20, lives with her grandparents in Deming, after moving out of the Steele Creek (Bremerton) home last summer.

"They don't know what we're going through," Davis told KIRO Radio's Ron & Don Show of her family's critics who say her parents did not quickly enough report Wright's disappearance. "They don't know the pain and the suffering that we're going through. It's not right of people to bash on our family and say cruel things. We're going through a hard time right now. To the other people who don't say cruel things, I just say, keep sharing her photo and getting it out there, so that way she can be seen by somebody and be found sooner rather than later."

Another sister, Coralise Almajero, 23, talked to KING about comments surrounding her sister's freedom to play in the neighborhood where she lived.

She said Jenise always "stays in the neighborhood. She knows you don't leave. She knows you don't go in people's houses. You go and play with your friends, you come and check in."

Jenise was last seen Saturday night at her home in the Steele Creek mobile home park. Her family reported her missing Sunday night.

Davis said when she was living in Steele Creek with the family, there were strict rules about checking in and not entering other people's homes.

According to Davis, "When I was living there, they did background checks and whoever was a sex offender or a pedophile and they were registered, they could not live in that neighborhood."

Still, investigators said they are trying to contact all of the registered sex offenders and transients living in the surrounding area, according to Wilson.

"We want to find out where they were (around) the time that she was disappearing, or think that she disappeared, and what they may have been up to," Wilson said.

It was discovered that Janise's father was charged more than a decade ago with molesting two girls, ages 8 and 15, according to court records.

He pleaded guilty in December 2001 to a misdemeanor assault charge related to the 15-year-old. It was not immediately clear why the molestation charges were dropped. He was also charged with first-degree child molestation in February 2000 for molesting an 8-year-old girl following a New Year's Eve celebration.

The FBI and Washington State Patrol joined the search Tuesday, bringing in personnel and resources from all over the country.

Frank Montoya Jr., the special agent in charge of the FBI's Seattle Division, said the agency would leave "no stone unturned" in the investigation.

"They bring with them the kind of experiences that are gained from these kinds of investigations in every part of the country and even globally. We thought it was that important to find Jenise that we bring these resources to bear," he said.

As of Wednesday morning, searchers have looked everywhere they can in and around the mobile home park, which has 103 homes.

Wilson said the girl's parents took a lie detector test Monday evening, but the results likely won't be released to the public.

But according to Davis, the family won't stop holding out hope that Jenise is safe, and they had a special message for her.

"I would say to her, I just hope that she's strong and that all her siblings down here love her," Davis said tearfully. "We hope that she comes home safely so that we can have her back because we love her so much."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alyssa Kleven, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at MyNorthwest.com. She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.
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