Washington authorities believe they have found the body of Jenise Wright, a 6-year-old girl who vanished from her home last weekend.
A planned autopsy by a forensic pathologist and painstaking examination and mapping of the wooded spot where the body was found are among the tools they will use.
The body believed to be that of Jenise Wright was found Thursday in woods near the Bremerton-area mobile home park where she lived. The FBI‘s Specialty Search Dogs Unit discovered the body after volunteer canine search teams reported their dogs showed interest in a particular area, Kitsap County sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said.
The girl’s family was notified.
Formal identification of the body was expected Friday, Scott Wilson said.
In a statement, the sheriff’s department said a coroner will make official confirmation of the identity, but “it appears that the body is that of Jenise”.
The body believed to be that of Jenise Wright was found Thursday in woods near the Bremerton-area mobile home park where she lived (photo AP)
“This is going to be a criminal investigation, there’s no doubt about that,” Wilson told a news briefing Thursday. Authorities are trying to track down anyone responsible, and they’re “not ruling out anything,” he said.
Determination of the manner and cause of death is pending, Scott Wilson said, but “we suspect that she just did not go off by herself and fall into some bushes and die.”
There have been no arrests in the case, authorities said.
A forensic pathologist under contract to the county will perform the autopsy, Scott Wilson said.
Jenise Wright was last seen when she went to bed Saturday night. Her parents waited a day before calling for help because they say the girl had wandered around the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park on her own in the past. She was outgoing and unafraid to talk to anyone, family said.
Scott Wilson said in an interview Thursday that there were no signs of forced entry at the girl’s home and no indication that she was taken from her room.
An FBI evidence research team has finished checking the area where the body was found, and a forensic mapping team from the Washington State Patrol’s criminal investigation division planned to map the spot, Scott Wilson said Thursday evening.
More than 350 people, including officers from 15 law enforcement agencies, searched for Jenise Wright, going door to door at Steele Creek Mobile Home Park on the west side of Puget Sound, across from Seattle.
After the search began, state child welfare workers removed two other children, an 8-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, from the home.
Jenise Wright’s father, James Wright, was charged more than a decade ago with molesting two girls, ages 8 and 15, court records show.
James Wright eventually pleaded guilty in Whatcom County Superior Court in December 2001 to a misdemeanor assault charge related to the older girl. It was not immediately clear why the molestation charges were dropped.
A judge in Whatcom County Superior Court sentenced James Wright to a year in jail but suspended the entire jail term on the condition that he follow certain conditions, including paying fees.
Scott Wilson said at a news briefing Wednesday that authorities were aware of the past charge against the father, but that officers were focused on finding the girl.
A small dog likely saved the life of a three-year-old Polish girl who went missing from her home overnight in freezing temperatures, firefighters say.
The child, Julia, vanished on Friday and was found lying in marshes several kilometres from her house on Saturday morning, with the dog by her side.
Julia is now in hospital in western Poland, suffering from frostbite after temperatures fell to -5C (23 F).
Firefighter Grzegorz Szymanski said the dog kept the child warm enough to live.
The small dog likely saved the life of a three-year-old Polish girl who went missing from her home overnight in freezing temperatures
“For the whole night the animal was with the girl, it never left her. Remember, it was 5 degrees below zero and the child was wet,” he said, adding that the animal was the most important factor in the girl’s survival.
More than 200 people had searched for the child overnight. It is thought she spent hours wandering through the forest near her home in the village of Pierzwin.
Her parents had last seen Julia playing in the backyard with the small black mongrel.
Julia’s was eventually discovered by firefighters after she was heard crying for her mother.
Aliahna Lemmon, a 9-year-old missing girl from Indiana, has been found dead, and the family friend who was watching her before she disappeared was charged last night with murder, authorities said.
Allen County sheriff’s spokesman Cpl Jeremy Tinkel said investigators found the body of Aliahna Lemmon in the county, but he wouldn’t say where.
Jeremy Tinkel also said Mike Plumadore, 39, was “interviewed by police and taken into custody at 9:00 p.m. and charged with murder”.
Mike Plumadore, who had been watching Aliahna Lemmon and her sisters before she was reported missing late Friday, is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Earlier Monday, FBI agents descended on the rundown mobile home park in Fort Wayne where Aliahna Lemmon lived.
The park is a known haven for registered sex offenders, though Mike Plumadore isn’t on Indiana’s registered sex offenders list. He has a criminal record in Florida and North Carolina that includes convictions for trespassing and assault.
More than 100 emergency workers searched Saturday for Aliahna Lemmon around the mobile home park, where she was last seen.
Aliahna Lemmon, 9, has been found dead, and the family friend who was watching her before she disappeared was charged last night with murder
Sheriff’s deputies, police officers and firefighters fanned out in the area around the trailer park where the girl disappeared, searching on ATVs and on foot. An airplane circled the area.
But Sheriff Ken Fries called off the hunt for Sunday, Christmas Day, and ordered only limited searches of area ponds on Monday.
Sheriff Fries said searchers exhausted every possible hiding place in a one-mile radius around the trailer where she disappeared.
He didn’t see any good in using the manpower to lead further widespread hunts for the girl, who was feared dead as federal authorities took over.
About half-dozen officers in black windbreakers, several of whom identified themselves as FBI agents subsequently arrived, some with search dogs were seen at a nearby storage facility.
Agents at the scene wouldn’t say why the FBI was involved.
According to a state website, 15 registered sex offenders live at the mobile home park that numbers about two dozen homes.
“Children don’t just walk away during Christmastime,” Aliahna Lemmon’s step-grandfather, David Story, said Monday afternoon.
Aliahna Lemmon’s mother, Tarah Souders, 28, told The Journal Gazette earlier on Monday that her daughter had vision and hearing problems and suffered from attention deficit disorder and emotional problems. She also has a history of sleepwalking, family members said.
The girl and her sisters were staying at a family friend’s nearby home because their mother had been sick with the flu and Aliahna Lemmon’s stepfather works at night and sleeps during the day.
Mike Plumadore told The Journal Gazette Sunday that he left the three girls in his mobile home about 6:00 a.m. Friday and went to a gas station about a mile away to buy a cigar.
Authorities have said the store’s surveillance video shows him there about that time.
“I had dead-bolted the door,” Mike Plumadore said.
“When I got back, all the girls were here.”
He said he smoked his cigar and went back to sleep, and then woke up about 10:00 a.m. when Aliahna Lemmon’s mother called. After that call, he realized the door to the home was unlocked and that the girl was gone. He said Aliahna Lemmon’ six-year-old sisters told him Aliahna had left with her mom.
Mike Plumadore said it wasn’t until he talked with Aliahna Lemmon’s mother at about 8:30 p.m. that they realized she was missing and police were notified.
Tarah Souders said miscommunication between the two of them caused the delay in determining that the girl had vanished.
Jorge Garzon, 42-year-old man, has been arrested for harboring Allie Loftis, a runaway 13-year-old girl from Massachusetts, at his New Jersey home Wednesday.
Alexandra “Allie” Loftis vanished from her Boston home for nearly two weeks after boarding a bus headed to New York City on November 4th, sending her parents on a relentless hunt to get their daughter back.
Allie Loftis was located at Jorge Garzon’s Jersey City residence and taken into police custody around 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, after police say they received a tip off.
Jorge Garzon, who also goes by the name George Gonzalez, was arrested just over an hour after her recovery at the New Jersey address.
Allie Loftis was located at Jorge Garzon's Jersey City residence and taken into police custody around 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, after police say they received a tip off
Affirming Allie Loftis father’s fear, the two are believed to have met online, a sources close to the investigation told NJ.com.
Allie Loftis’ family had searched long and hard for their daughter, never giving up hope, with their efforts rippling throughout the New York area to local police stations, city streets and across social media sites showing a number of various fliers.
Believing she had run away independently, her parents posted numerous messages to her on Facebook, as well as pictures of them together, imploring her to come home.
Allie Loftis’ father admitted that before her disappearance she seemed unhappy in school, but thought it was just a rough patch.
“I live in semi-rural community where it’s peaceful and quiet, and she wanted big city, bright lights,” Tony Loftis said.
“She wanted to go to school in a different area. As she said, where we live is boring.”
Pleading, in hope that she may see their efforts and pain online, the family devoted a Facebook site to their missing daughter, posting a flood of photos of them together.
“One of many trips to get ice cream w dad,” her father wrote above one picture of the two of them together.
“I luv u honey, pls let us know u r ok,” Tony Loftis wrote.
Following their daughter’s trail the family traveled to New York City, chasing any and all leads of their daughter.
Allie Loftis' family had searched long and hard for their daughter, never giving up hope, with their efforts rippling throughout the New York area to local police stations, city streets and across social media sites showing a number of various fliers
Every location they thought she might go – from the Barnes and Noble in Park Slope Brooklyn to Prospect Park, both locations her father said he knew Allie Loftis loved – they handed out fliers and recruited volunteers.
And with him having family in Brooklyn, Tony Loftis hoped it’s where she would be.
“Whenever I’m focused on trying to find her, I’m okay. But, whenever that stops, and I’m home at night, and I wake up in the morning, and I think, you know, I … I … I … it’s hard,” Tony Loftis told CBS Boston.
“You know this is completely devas… you can’t … it’s my only daughter,” the father said.
Asking volunteers to take two Saturdays out of the next six to stand on street corners in matching T-shirts and fliers, the family’s plan was to “create a media event to help bring Allie home for the holidays”, her parents wrote in an email to volunteers, according to the Wayland Patch.
“We think the only way to put pressure on the person holding her, and to keep the leads coming, is to sustain media coverage,” the family wrote.
After their daughter disappeared, Tony Loftis says she never turned on her cell phone or went on Facebook, despite him describing her as tech savvy.
“We have left voice mail messages on her cell phone until it got filled up. We’ve tried every method we think possible but haven’t heard from her,” Tony Loftis told CBS after her disappearance.
That made it even more concerning for him, with his fear that Allie Loftis could have been held against her will.
Allie Loftis’ father did confess his believe that she may have met someone online.
Jorge Garzon, who Allie Loftis was found with, is currently being held in custody in the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office pending charges which have yet to be filed.
The circumstances surrounding both Allie Loftis’ disappearance and the activities since she ran away are still under investigation, according to police.