FBI(BREMERTON, Wash.) — The father of a missing 6-year-old girl in Washington state was previously charged with molesting a young family member, court documents reveal.
But authorities say James Wright, whose daughter Jenise was last seen on Saturday night, is not a suspect in his daughter’s disappearance.
Wright was charged with molesting an 8-year-old girl in 2000, but the charge was dropped after he pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge, according to court records.
Police won’t comment on that charge, and say both parents have been cooperative. The parents also took lie detector tests, although authorities won’t release the results to the public.
Jenise’s family have said they last saw her when she went to bed on Saturday night at home in the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park in Bremerton, but they didn’t call police to report her missing until Sunday night.
“Since I called, I haven’t been to sleep,” her father told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV. “My head is just swimming, swimming. Trying to stay focused. Good thoughts.”
Jenise often played alone and wandered around the neighborhood, so it wasn’t unusual for her to be gone, her family told police. They organized their own search party before they reported her missing.
“It got dark and that’s when we called, so our independent neighborhood search already started earlier than that,” Wright told KOMO.
ABC News could not reach Wright for comment about the earlier child molestation charge.
The FBI is assisting Washington State Patrol and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office in the search for the girl. More than 100 investigators are on the case, going door to door in the mobile home park and searching every car that enters and leaves the neighborhood.
“We had two FBI agents actually come to the house and check the closets and everything and ask a few questions,” a neighbor told ABC News.
Kitsap County sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said they would look “as long as it takes” to find Jenise.
She’s described as being 3 feet tall with black hair and weighing 45 pounds.
Meanwhile, Child Protective Services removed two of Jenise’s siblings, an 8-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, from the Wrights’ home.
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