Jayme Closs, missing Wisconsin teen, disappeared after parents killed: A timeline of events
The mysterious disappearance of Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs, who went missing after her parents were brutally murdered inside their Barron home, has plagued investigators for days. News about the 13-year-old has continued to spread since the gruesome discovery Monday — with authorities tirelessly combing the country for any signs of the girl.
Jayme was ruled out as a suspect in the slaying of her parents, Denise, 46, and James Closs, 56, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald confirmed Tuesday. The sheriff urged people across the country to be on high alert,as the young girl is believed to be in danger.
“I’m telling you: Jayme is missing and endangered,” Fitzgerald said, adding investigators believe the teen was home at the time of the murders.
Authorities have fielded more than 400 tips relating to Jayme’s potential whereabouts so far.
“[Investigators still have] a 100 percent expectation that she’s alive,” Fitzgerald said Tuesday.
Here’s what you need to know about the timeline of events surrounding Jayme’s disappearance and the ongoing investigation into her parents’ grisly murder.
Jayme’s relatives told CBS News on Oct. 19 the front door of the family’s home “was shot in,” though they didn’t provide any more details about the scene.
The Barron County Sheriff’s officeasked for 100 volunteersto help authorities “in conducting a routine search for articles of evidentiary value” that could provide clues into Jayme’s disappearance.
“Volunteers need to present a valid form of photo identification and be able to walk on uneven terrain. Proper footwear (hard soled shoes) and clothing are required. Volunteers are asked to provide their own water,” the sheriff’s office said.
Fitzgerald revealed the 13-year-old girl was home when her parents were shot, and autopsies confirmed James and Denise Closs were ruled homicides.
“We want to bring Jayme home and put that smile back in her family’s hands,” said Fitzgerald, who added investigators don’t know whether the attack was random or targeted.
The sheriff called a meeting later that night with Barron County residents, though he barred reporters from attending, saying he wanted to have a private dialogue with the people who elected him.
Authorities released updated pictures of Jayme asking anyone with information to call 855-744-3879.
A possible sighting of Jayme at a gas station in Miami, Florida that emerged on Oct. 15 was dismissed by Fitzgerald as “not credible.”
Fitzgerald said he doesn’t believe the young girl, who was last seen at a family gathering for her cousin’s birthday on Oct. 13, ran away from home, though he didn’t specify why.
The Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from an unknown person at 12:58 a.m. from a home in Barron but the caller didn’t communicate with police. Noises heard in the background suggested there was a disturbance or struggle of some kind. The 911 call, which is being analyzed, lasted 45 seconds to a minute, sources told FOX9.
Police rushed to the home and discovered two deceased adults with gunshot wounds, though a gun was not found at the scene. The couple’s 13-year-old daughter wasn’t home at the time and was later declared missing.
“At the end of the day, I want a 13-year-old here safe and sound. That’s our goal. That’s our only goal right now,” Fitzgerald said, emphasizing Jayme was not considered a suspect in the murder case.
In an Amber Alert, Jayme was described as 13 years old, 5 feet tall, 100 pounds with green eyes and strawberry-blonde hair.
Deputies searched the area around the family’s home with drones and infrared equipment, but they didn’t find any clues as to her whereabouts. Officers also spoke with friends and staff at Jayme’s middle school, hoping to develop some leads.
“Anyone with information about her possible whereabouts or anyone that has contact with Jayme is asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff’s Department at 715-537-3106 immediately,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook, along with a photo of the young girl.
Miami police later said a witness reported seeing a girl fitting Jayme’s description in a black Ford Explorer with two well-dressed, bearded men at a gas station in the afternoon. The Barron County Sheriff’s department didn’t comment on the validity of the report at the time.
Fox News’ Katherine Lam and The Associated Press contributed to this report.