BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- As more details in the Closs case are released and a suspect is in custody, community members in the Barron area say they’re still in shock.
56-year-old James Closs and his wife, 46-year-old Denise Closs were found dead in their Wisconsin home. Their 13-year-old daughter Jayme Closs, is missing, Photo Date: undated / Photo: Barron County Sheriff's Department / (MGN)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says he expects the community to rebuild after this tragedy. “There's always a will and the courage this 13 year-old has shown us will only build this community and make it stronger," said Fitzgerald.
He says the safe return of Jayme is the best possible outcome in this tragedy. "We've seen bad things happen in the Barron community and we've been a part of tragedies before but we've never seen a child get kidnapped and I think that’s a struggle and has been a struggle for three months for this community and for law enforcement and for families all over," said Fitzgerald.
Three months to the day James & Denise Closs were killed and their daughter Jayme was kidnapped, some Barron area residents are wondering how something like this happened here in the first place.
"It can’t be...not in Barron," said one local resident.
Many said they were shocked and disturbed to hear the news of two bodies being found and that a child had gone missing back in October.
"We all have children and grandchildren in this area and you don’t think anybody in your area would do something like that," said Roxy LaBlanc, Barron County resident.
She says learning that the suspect, Jake Patterson had targeted Jayme after seeing her get off a school bus is one of the most disturbing details of the case.
"If it was through social media or things like that, you maybe understand it a little better but when it’s just so random, makes you realize it can happen to anybody and it’s very scary," she said.
Despite the fear and discomfort the situation has brought to the community, Fitzgerald says he believes the tragedy will bring the community closer, encouraging residents to look out for one another.
"This community has done everything they can for Jayme, for law enforcement, for me as the Sheriff and we'll get through this wholeheartedly.” He says the community will rebuild and come out stronger. “If a 13- year-old girl can do it...we can do it," said Fitzgerald.