Today, we delve into the tragic case of Jenise Wright, a young girl whose disappearance shook her community and captured the attention of the nation. Jenise was just 6 years old when she vanished from her home in Bremerton, Washington, on August 2, 2014. Her disappearance sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community, as friends, family, and neighbors rallied together in a desperate search for the little girl. Thanks to the prioritization of the investigation and DNA testing, the case was solved quickly. Later in the episode, we hear from one of the detectives that worked on Jenise’s case, Lindsey Wade who recently released a new book In My DNA: My Career Investigating Your Worst Nightmare.
Jenise Wright, photos from NBC News and Daily Mail
Gabriel Gaeta, photos from 9 News, People, Kitsap Daily News, Facebook
Left: Zina Linnik Right: Terapon Adhahn
Lindsey Wade BIO
Lindsey served as a Tacoma Police Officer for twenty-one years. She has an impressive track record of utilizing her keen investigative instincts to solve violent crimes. During her fourteen years as a detective, she investigated sexual assaults, child abuse, missing persons, and homicides. In 2010, Lindsey first became aware of the issue known today as Lawfully Owed DNA when she discovered that serial killer Ted Bundy was not in CODIS. She worked with authorities in Florida to track down a sample of Bundy’s DNA and it was finally entered into the national DNA database in 2011. In 2012, Lindsey’s work on collecting DNA from convicted sexual predators in Washington state who’d slipped through the cracks, led to an arrest in the 1980 homicide of a teenage girl. In 2018, Lindsey, along with Tacoma Police Detectives and the FBI, solved two 32-year-old cold case child homicides thanks to advances in DNA technology, Forensic Genetic Genealogy, and good old-fashioned police work. Lindsey retired in 2018 as the Tacoma Police Department’s cold case detective.
After retiring from the Tacoma Police Department, Lindsey joined the Washington State Attorney General’s Office as a Senior Investigator assigned to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to pursue her passion—using DNA to solve cold cases. Lindsey worked on Purpose Area 1 (SAK Backlog) and Purpose Area 3 (Lawfully Owed DNA). In 2019, Lindsey worked with state legislators to pass a new DNA law in Washington known as Jennifer & Michella’s Law. Lindsey authored an article on Lawfully Owed DNA for Forensic Magazine and an article on Forensic Genetic Genealogy for Officer.com Magazine. Lindsey provided her knowledge and expertise as a contributor to the National Institute of Justice National Best Practices for Implementing and Sustaining a Cold Case Investigation Unit. She was also a contributor to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Long-term missing child guide for law enforcement.
Lindsey is a member of the National Institute of Justice Cold Case Working Group, the International Homicide Investigators Association, and in 2017, she created the Washington State Cold Case Working Group. She is a former member of the FBI ViCAP National Advisory Board and teaches child abduction response and cold case investigations for the National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College. As a subject matter expert, Lindsey has been a speaker at numerous law enforcement conferences around the country, lecturing on cold cases, sex crimes, DNA, and child abduction response.
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Interview with Lindsey Wade 06.16.2023 | Lindsey Wade - In My DNA: My Career Investigating Your Worst Nightmares | Seattle PI - Girl 6 Missing in Bremerton | Seattle Times - Jenise Wright Murder Suspect Caught | CBS News - Teen Held on 1 Million Dollars Bail | Heavy - Gabriel Gabe Gaeta | People - Jenise Wright Killer Gabriel Gaeta Sentenced | People - Washington Man Admits Rape Murder Six Year Old | Kitsap Sun - Guilty Plea 2014 Murder | Kitsap Daily News - The Trial of Gabriel Gaeta A Timeline | EasyDNA - Forensic DNA Analysis | CNN - Rodney Reed DNA Supreme Court Death Penalty | Wikipedia - Innocence Project | Wikipedia - Kitsap Peninsula | Wikipedia - Bremerton, WA | Steele Creek Mobile Home Park | Legacy - Jenise Wright | Komo News - Parents of slain girl |