UPDATE: Sheriff: Missing girl was in home at the time of the murders

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BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- We now know the deaths of James and Denise Closs have been ruled a homicide, and the search is still ongoing for their 13-year-old daughter, Jayme Closs.

More than 48 hours after an Amber Alert was issued for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, the search continues for the missing Barron teen.

“We want to bring Jayme home and put that that smile back in her family’s hands,” says Barron County Sheriff, Chris Fitzgerald. “Every second does count. That's why we do things like this.”

The death of her parents James and Denise now ruled a double homicide by gunshot, “We believe Jayme was in the home at the time of the homicides, and we believe she is still in danger,” adds Sheriff Fitzgerald.

The 911 call early Monday Morning had no clear communication. Deputies arrived just 4 minutes after the call ended, but there was no sign of Jayme.

With little information, still so much remains unclear to the Barron County community.

“Came out here to find out what's going on,” says Chris Thom of Rice Lake.

With few leads, Sheriff Fitzgerald is asking that same community for help.

“Walk your properties,” he says. “There will be many hunters in the area in the upcoming weekend and daily. Check your cabins, walk your land and report you feel anything you think is important to us.”

The case hitting home to Shawn Dueholm, that's exactly what he did,

“The other day I was at home and I just decided to hop on my 4-wheeler and go for a ride,” he says.

With over 400 tips pouring in, Sheriff Fitzgerald is stressing you'll never know if that tip will help, unless you make the call.


A medical examiner has ruled the deaths of James and Denise Closs as a homicide, and says the couple died of gunshot wounds. Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says their investigation also shows that missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs was in the home at the time of the murders.

Sheriff Fitzgerald revealed the new information during a 4 p.m. press conference in Barron County.

He urged people to keep calling in tips. He said as of 3 p.m. they have received over 400 tips both locally and nationally.

Fitzgerald also thanked citizens for their participation in keeping law enforcement updated on any out-of-the-ordinary situations in the area.

If you have any information on Jayme’s whereabouts or anyone that has had contact with Jayme, you are asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department at 715-537-3106 and the 24-hour tip line at 855-744-3879.

Fitzgerald will be hosting a local town hall for Barron County residents only; there will be no media access. He says it is to offer law enforcement the opportunity to connect with the citizens of Barron County, and have a private dialogue about how our community is doing. There will also be victim assistance personnel available to address wellness concerns. This event will be held at 7 pm at WITC in Rice Lake at 1900 College Drive in the Conference Center



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) --Another news conference will be held by the Barron County Sheriff Wednesday in the case of the missing 13-year-old girl from Barron.

It is scheduled to happen at 4 p.m. To watch it when it airs live, click here.

Local, state and national law enforcement agencies are still looking for 13-year-old Jayme Closs; she is considered to be in danger, and Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says she is not a suspect at this time.

Jayme was last seen Sunday afternoon at a family gathering, and deputies were called to her home near Barron on Monday where they found her parents dead. The sheriff said Jayme is not considered to be a suspect in their deaths at this time.

If you have any information on her possible whereabouts or anyone that has had contact with Jayme, you are asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department at 715-537-3106.



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- National attention is on Barron, Wis., a city of less than 3,500 people as the search continues for 13-year-old, Jayme Closs following the tragic death of her parents, James and Denise.

Daylight was lost at St. Peter Catholic Church in Cameron Tuesday night, but hope was not.

A vigil was being held at the church to remember James and Denise Closs, who were killed after a shooting early Monday morning, and pray for the return of their daughter, Jayme who disappeared.

“They were active in girl scouts, in school, related things, just like the rest of us in this tight-knit community,” says Melissa Salmonson, a family friend of the Closses.

"Our goal in the school district is the same as yours; we want Jayme safe and back in our hands,” says Diane Tremblay, Superintendent of the Barron Area School District.

But with little details, there are still so many unanswered questions.

“I'll be honest, you know I'm struggling with this because I don't have some of those answers that I want to give,” says Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald of the Barron County Sheriff's Office.

With more than 200 tips and more than 30,000 hits to the Amber Alert sent out for Jayme, the city of Barron is holding out hope for the 13-year old girl.

“Jayme is sweet quiet girl, who’s a loyal friend and loves to dance,” says Tremblay.

At Tuesday’s vigil, ribbons representing the teen's favorite color blue, and green for missing child awareness were handed out to friends, family and community members.

“Just feel like maybe those prayers are helping in some way, will just make us feel a little better,” says Salmonson.

Feeling helpless, the community is doing what it can to show support.

“So that they could just carry that with them,” says Salmonson, putting her hand over the ribbon.

For now, it's a 24-7 operation, to find Jayme and bring justice to her mother and father.

“Every second counts in this case, when a child like Jayme is missing,” says Sheriff Fitzgerald.


The Barron County Sheriff says investigators have received around 200 tips in the case of the missing 13-year-old Barron County girl.

In a second press conference on Tuesday, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald admitted that he was struggling with the disappearance of 13-year-old Jayme Closs because the department still doesn’t have answers as to where she could be.

Fitzgerald did say that the earlier report of a vehicle, somehow tied to the case that was found in Florida, might not be credible.

Jayme was last seen at a family event on Sunday, and deputies were called to her home near Barron on Monday where they found her parents dead. The sheriff said Jayme is not considered to be a suspect in their deaths at this time.

At the 11 a.m. press conference, Fitzgerald said they were expecting to conduct the autopsy for James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 in time for the 4 p.m. conference; however, during the latest conference he said the autopsies would most likely happen on Wednesday.

The sheriff is urging the public to notice any out-of-the ordinary behaviors of anyone in the community that seem off.

If you have any information on her possible whereabouts or anyone that has had contact with Jayme, you are asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department at 715-537-3106.



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald is slated to hold another press conference at 4 p.m. on the case of the missing 13-year-old girl.

To watch it when it airs live, click here.

Fitzgerald said in an 11 a.m. press conference that he hopes to be able to release autopsy findings for missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs' parents, who were found dead in their home near Barron.

Local, state and national law enforcement agencies are still looking for Jayme; she is considered to be in danger, and Fitzgerald says she is not a suspect at this time.

Jayme was last seen Sunday afternoon at a family gathering.

If you have any information on her possible whereabouts or anyone that has had contact with Jayme, you are asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department at 715-537-3106.



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald held a press conference on the case of the missing 13-year-old girl.

Fitzgerald said an autopsy is being done on Jayme Closs’ parents, who were found dead in their Barron County home on Monday. The sheriff says he expects to have the autopsy results in time for another news conference at 4 p.m. Fitzgerald described Jayme as being a shy 13-year-old girl who loves sports and to dance, and he also said he still believes she is in danger.

Jayme was last seen Sunday afternoon at a family gathering.

If you have any information on her possible whereabouts or anyone that has had contact with Jayme, you are asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department at 715-537-3106 immediately.



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) --A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Barron County regarding the disappearance of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who vanished after her parents were found dead.

To watch it when it airs live, click here.

There is also scheduled to be an updated press conference at 4 p.m.

We'll bring you the latest online and on air as this story develops.



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- The 13-year-old girl who disappeared after her parents were found dead in Barron County, WI has been possibly spotted in Miami.

According to the Miami Police Department, the endangered juvenile, Jayme Closs, may have been spotted Monday afternoon in the area of N. W. 27 Avenue and 11 Street.

Authorities said if this was her, she was in a black Ford Explorer with a possible WI plate of I60WER.

If you have any more information, please call 911.

BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- An AMBER Alert is issued for a missing teenage girl after her parents were found dead inside their Barron home.

Officials in Barron County say autopsies have been scheduled for James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46. The two were found dead inside their home early Monday morning. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says while the death investigation continues, the main focus at this time is locating 13 year-old Jayme Closs, the couple’s teenage daughter.

Sheriff Fitzgerald says a 911 call came in around 1A.M. The call came from a cell phone inside the residence but it’s not known who made the call. “We could hear yelling in the background on this 911 call, not much information," said Fitzgerald.

He says the call lasted less than a minute and the only word that can be understood is “help”.

"Deputies arrived at that address a short time after the call ended to find no one around on the outside,” Sheriff Fitzgerald says as deputies approached the house, they saw the front door was open and there was a deceased male in that front door way. Officers later found a deceased female while searching the rest of the home.

Both James and Denise Closs were employees at Jennie-O in Barron. The couple lived at the home with their daughter Jayme, who is now missing and considered endangered. Officials say she is not a suspect in the death investigation at this time. "We don't know what happened. This was a gunshot crime scene," said Fitzgerald.

A neighbor says she and her husband heard gunshots around 12:30am. "Very loud shots, big gun and didn't think anything of it,” said Joan Smrekar. She says she didn’t think to call police, assuming the shots were someone shooting at an animal. "There's deer, there's bear, you name it out here so no it didn't really bother us to hear shots. It’s just something that we hear and with hunting season coming…," she said.

Investigators are working on analyzing the 911 call to hopefully learn more but finding Jayme remains the priority. "We're working with the Barron School District on this case,” said Fitzgerald.

The Department of Criminal Investigation and FBI are assisting with the case. Neighbors say the incident is alarming. Sheriff Fitzgerald says a cause of death could be released as soon as Tuesday after autopsies are complete.

The AMBER Alert for Jayme Closs is still active. She’s five feet tall, 100 pounds, has green eyes, and blond or strawberry colored hair.

Officials are asking anyone with information to call the 24-hour tip line at 855-744-3879.



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU)--Two people are found dead in their Barron County home and their 13-year-old daughter is believed to be missing and endangered.

The sheriff's department says it received a 911 call overnight with one word standing out, "help."

Neighbor Joan Smrekar said she woke to shots close to 1 a.m. on Monday.

Smrekar recalled, “When I heard the first shot it was, "boom!" Then second, “boom!" even bigger, louder.”

Smrekar said in her experience the family mostly kept to themselves but it is still hard to believe such a tragedy could happen so close.

“It's a mother and a father and it's this close to you,” added Smrekar. “It gives you goosebumps and it just makes you sad that this happens.”

Deputies say when they received the call no one on the phone interacted with dispatchers and while yelling was heard Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said it was hard to decipher.

“We could get "help" out of it, we could hearing yelling out of it but not much information,” Fitzgerald explained.

The department says it is now working to get the audio enhanced.

When deputies arrived at the home on Hwy 8 west of Barron they discovered two bodies later identified as James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46.

The department says they're the parents of 13-year-old Jayme Closs.

“We're considering her missing and endangered,” said Fitzgerald. “We don't know what happened. This was a gunshot crime scene and we do not know where Jayme is.”

The department says at this point there are no signs of drug or alcohol use and say this case is particularly interesting as there were no weapons found on scene.

Fitzgerald explained, “This is a strange one but we do believe Jamie needs to be located and we do feel she's in danger to some degree and that's our focus now, that's where our efforts and being produced.

The FBI and Department of Criminal Investigation are assisting with the investigation. They’re talking with friends, family and classmates as well as scouring Facebook and Snapchat for any sign of Jayme or any indication as to what happened.

“She's not a suspect at this time,” added Fitzgerald. “She's missing and endangered. She's a 13-year-old girl that we believe may have been at the scene when this took place.”

The Barron County Sheriff's Department says as of now it has no leads.

If you have any information on where Jayme is you're asked to call the sheriff's department at 715-537-3106 immediately.

BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Deputies say the two people found dead in a Barron County home were the parents of the missing 13-year-old girl.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department says it received a 911 call around 1 a.m. Monday from a person asking for help at the address of 1268 Highway 8, in the Town of Barron. When deputies arrived at the house, they found the two parents dead inside. Deputies initially said they didn’t find any weapons in the home.

Their 13-year-old daughter is missing from the home and is considered missing and endangered. The girl is 13-year-old Jayme Closs. Deputies say she is 5 feet tall and 100 pounds, with green eyes and blonde hair.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says they have never responded to this home in the past. Deputies say the girl is not considered a suspect, at this time.

Anyone with information about the missing girl’s possible whereabouts or anyone that has had contact with Jayme is asked to contact the Barron county sheriff's department at 715-537-3106 immediately.



BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Two people have been found dead in Barron County, and a teenager is missing in the case.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department says it received a 911 call around 1 a.m. Monday morning from a person asking for help at the address of 1268 Highway 8. When deputies arrived at the house, they found two adults dead inside. A 13-year-old girl is missing from the home and is considered missing and endangered.

The girl is 13-year-old Jayme Closs. Deputies say she is 5 feet tall and 100 pounds, with green eyes and blonde hair.

Anyone with information about her possible whereabouts or anyone that has had contact with Jayme is asked to contact the Barron county sheriff's department at 715-537-3106 immediately.