Father of Jenise Wright asks forgiveness for accused killer

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

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BREMERTON, Wash. - It has been more than 24 hours since Karen Gullickson and her neighbors learned who investigators think raped and killed 6-year-old Jenise Wright.

"A lot of people were worried about just who did it," said Gullickson, "And why they would hurt such a pretty little girl."

A 17-year-old boy who lived just around the corner from Jenise, across the street from Gullickson, was arrested Saturday afternoon. Gullickson says she doesn't really know him.

"He seemed to be a fairly nice kid, walking around," she said. "He always was pleasant. Other than that, I don't know anything about the 17-year-old."

Neighbors at the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park watched Saturday night as investigators removed three vehicles from the home where they say the suspect lived.  The authorities have not released his name but neighbors have been talking about him, by name, all over social media, some with great bitterness.  

But at the Brownsville Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Poulsbo where he is a member, Jenise's father spoke to the congregation, saying he can forgive the teenager.

Yet for some neighbors, even his arrest hasn't eased their fears.  So deeply felt was this tragedy that befell a 6-year-old girl whom everybody there knew.

"I know for people with children here in the park, they've got to be worried," said Gullickson.  "It's not a thing you get over with that quick."

The teenager is expected to make his first appearance in Kitsap County Juvenile Court Monday afternoon.

A memorial for Jenise will be held next Aug. 16 at 1 p.m. at 9256 Nelson Road NW, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.