Dad of slain girl: I’ve already forgiven suspect

Gabriel Gaeta is charged with killing 6-year-old Jenise Wright

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Jenise Paulette Wright. (AP Photo/FBI)
This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Jenise Paulette Wright. (AP Photo/FBI)

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) – The father of a slain 6-year-old Washington state girl says he forgives the 17-year-old neighbor suspected of killing and raping his daughter.

James Wright tells the Kitsap Sun Gabriel Gaeta “chose wrong” but that “I’ve already forgiven him.”

Gabriel Gaeta, right, stands next to his lawyer at a hearing in Kitsap County Superior Court, on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Port Orchard, Wash. A judge found probable cause to detain the 17-year-old boy as an adult for the death and sexual assault of a 6-year-old girl. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)
Gabriel Gaeta, right, stands next to his lawyer at a hearing in Kitsap County Superior Court, on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Port Orchard, Wash. A judge found probable cause to detain the 17-year-old boy as an adult for the death and sexual assault of a 6-year-old girl. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

Gaeta is being held in lieu of $1 million bail on investigation of first-degree murder and rape of a child.

Jenise’s body was found on Aug. 7 in a muddy bog near her home. James Wright says Gaeta was considered “part of the family.”

He and his wife are seeking to regain custody of three children who were removed from their care on Aug. 4 as authorities investigated Jenise’s disappearance.

The state placed the children with two adult siblings in Bellingham. The Wrights have a court date Monday.

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