Search Continues For Missing Wisconsin Girl

No Comment On Validity Of Tip That The Girl Had Been Spotted At A Miami Gas Station

Jayme Closs
Barron County Sheriff’s Department

The search continues for a missing 13-year-old girl from western Wisconsin.

Authorities say Jayme Closs, who has been missing since her parents were found dead in their home, isn’t a runaway and that they think she’s in danger.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said during a media briefing on Tuesday that he can’t reveal why authorities believe the girl is in danger because it could compromise the investigation. But he repeated his plea for the public’s help in finding her.

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Deputies responding to a 911 call found the bodies of James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, at around 1 a.m. Monday in their home in Barron, Wisconsin. No cause of death has been released but authorities said gunshots had been fired. Autopsies were underway on Jayme’s parents as of Tuesday morning, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald described the 911 call during the Tuesday morning press conference: “The 911 call was given that night from the residence on a cell phone, but no contact was made with somebody that was on the other line,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s what’s unusual about that 911 call. There was no one communicating with our dispatcher.”

The sheriff declined to comment on whether dispatchers heard the word “help” during the call.

He said his office is working with the FBI and the state Division of Criminal Investigation to follow up on tips.

Fitzgerald said Jayme was last seen at a family gathering Sunday afternoon, but he provided no other details.

Police in Miami, Florida say a witness reported seeing a girl fitting Jayme’s description in a black Ford Explorer with two men at a gas station Monday afternoon. At a 4 p.m. press conference Tuesday, Fitzgerald said the report made to authorities in Miami wasn’t deemed credible.

During the same press conference, Barron Area School District Superintendent Diane Tremblay said the district was fully staffed with counselors for students and that classes were continuing. She described Jayme as a giving person.

“A teacher just recently shared this with me about Jayme,” said Tremblay. “Jayme wrote in response to the question: ‘What would you do if you were given a million dollars,’ she said, ‘Feed the hungry and give the rest to the poor.’”

Tremblay said Jayme touched many lives within the district.

“Jayme is a sweet, quiet girl who is a loyal friend and loves to dance,” said Tremblay. “She is a runner on our cross country team and a wonderful addition to our Barron Area School District family.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5 p.m. with information from a 4 p.m. press conference. WPR’s Brady Carlson and Rich Kremer contributed reporting to this story.