The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App
crimesider

Car fire, vandalism believed linked to slain Wash. girl

Jenise Wright

CBS affiliate KIRO

BREMERTON, Wash. - Police in Bremerton, Washington, say a car fire and vandalism to a second vehicle appear to have targeted family friends of a teen arrested in the death of a 6-year-old girl.

Police Chief Steve Strachan says words left on the vandalized car early Thursday indicated the damage was linked to the killing of Jenise Wright, whose body was found Aug. 7. Gabriel Gaeta, a 17-year-old neighbor of the little girl, has been arrested for investigation of first-degree murder and rape in the case.

The Seattle Times reports that Strachan says the victims of the apparent arson and vandalism are friends of Gaeta's mother.

"Unfortunately, it looks like a very negative, a very destructive expression of someone having intense feelings about this case," Strachan said, according to CBS affiliate KIRO. "With the gasoline in the car this could cause an explosion. Certainly could cause people to be injured or even killed.

Gaeta, who is being held on $1 million bail, is currently undergoing a mental health evaluation, according the station. Neighbors reportedly tell the station Gaeta's family is moving out of the mobile home park where they lived.

grandeweb.jpg
The arson and vandalism believed to be retaliation for the slaying of 6-year-old Jenise Wright.
CBS affiliate KIRO