The search continues for a missing western Wisconsin 13-year-old girl, feared abducted after her parents were murdered in their home, outside the city of Barron.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald continues to send updates on the case on the department's social media accounts and through daily press conferences.
When investigators entered the home off Highway 8 they found the bodies of James and Denise Closs, but there was no sign of their daughter Jayme. Agents from the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations and the Milwaukee branch of the FBI have joined the effort but still, no announced developments in the search for the missing teen have been made.
Fitzgerald said Wednesday James and Denise were shot to death and that Jayme was likely inside the home at the time of the shooting. Their deaths are being investigated as a homicide.
Here is what we know about the case of Jayme Closs:
Monday, Oct. 15
1 a.m. - Barron County dispatchers received a 911 call from a subject asking for help on the 1200 block of Highway 8, just outside of the town of Barron.
- Deputies arrive on scene to find two adults dead inside. A 13-year-old girl identified as Jayme Closs was not found in the residence and is considered missing and endangered.
- Investigators from Barron County, the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children arrive to process the scene, and try to determine what happened to Jayme.
- Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says the Closs property was searched by drone and infared camera with no sign of the girl. Investigators go to Jayme's school in Barron to interview teachers and Jayme's classmates to determine if anyone knows where she might be.
- Pictures of the girl are handed out in town in case anyone has seen her.
3:30 p.m. - Authorities declare a nationwide AMBER Alert for Jayme Closs, described as 5-feet-tall, 100 pounds, with blond or strawberry blonde hair after it is believed she was taken from her home at gunpoint.
6 p.m. - Sheriff Fitzgerald identifies the deceased as Jayme's parents, 56-year-old James Closs and his 46-year-old wife Denise Closs.
11 p.m. - Police in Miami post on their Twitter account detailing a tip that was received earlier in the day.
- Tipster believes he saw Jayme Closs may have been seen at a gas station in their community Monday afternoon, riding in a black Ford Explorer with a possible Wisconsin license plate of I60WER.
- The tipster reportedly told police two well-dressed, Middle Eastern men were inside the SUV. Officers say the tipster said the men were in their 30s, roughly 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9 and 200 to 250 pounds. They both reportedly had beards.
- The person who called authorities said a young girl -- who might be Closs -- was inside the SUV.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
11 a.m. - Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald updates reporters with agents from the FBI and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.
- Fitzgerald says the 911 call that came in from the Closs home at 1 a.m. Monday was made by cell phone. He says dispatchers were unable to learn what was happening as no one was communicating, but it was obvious that there was a significant disturbance going on. That's why deputies rushed to the scene.
- Tips have been coming in and investigators have interviewed people, but the sheriff would not classify them as 'persons of interest.' "We've questioned a lot of people ... have followed up on every tip," he says.
- The Sheriff asked everyone in Barron and the surrounding area to consider if anyone they know has been acting in an unusual manner, missing work, altering routines, skipping appointments, changing behaviors or suddenly leaving town. If so, his department wants to hear about it.
- The FBI is helping to check Jayme's social media use to see if there is anything that sheds light on what may have happened to her.
- Investigators and crime scene technicians have returned to the Closs home to take a second look at the scene to see if anything was missed in Monday's rush. "In rural western Wisconsin, we just don't see this," Fitzgerald told reporters.
- Sheriff Fitzgerald says he is not discounting the tip to police in Miami, but says any pertinent information on the case will be coming through him, not another agency.
- Anyone with information is asked to call a special tipline at 1-855-744-3879.
2:45 p.m. - The Miami Police Department responded to surveillance video taken Monday afternoon from the Sunflex gas station, where a person matching the description of Jayme Closs was seen inside a vehicle with Wisconsin license plates. Miami police officer Michael Vega told NBC News the person was sitting in the front seat and appears to either reach in the back or climb into the backseat, while the window is rolled down. Vega told NBC News the vehicle was a black Ford Explorer.
4 p.m. - In a news conference, the Barron County Sheriff emphasized that only information coming from their department and from these news conferences, are credible. He said they investigated the Miami incident and have ruled it to be "not credible." Other information released at the 4 p.m. update ...
- "We have no credible information that was a credible tip," Sheriff Fitzgerald stated, regarding tips to Miami Police on a possible sighting. He said the FBI handled that investigation.
- Sheriff Fitzgerald said he could not classify this as an abduction, as there's no information to support that at this time but is saying she is missing and in danger.
- Fitzgerald said there's no credible information that this is a sex trafficking case.
- He also admitted this is a tough case and they are not as far as he'd like to be in the investigation. "I'm struggling with this, because I don't have some of the answers that I want to give you and give the family," he said.
- Fitzgerald said more than 100 active law enforcement is working the case currently. Updates will be sent via the Barron County Sheriff's Department or the FBI social media channels.
- The community is not needed to conduct searches at this point, Fitzgerald said, but the tipline is the best direct source for the public to relay pertinent information in this case.
- The autopsy of the Closs couple will take place on Wednesday -- it was initially supposed to be conducted on Tuesday, but new information pushed it back.
- At this point, they do not know if she is alone or traveling with anyone, nor do they know if she has a boyfriend.
Wednesday, Oct. 17
11 a.m. - Sheriff Fitzgerald announced there will be a 4 p.m. press conference in Barron, regarding the latest in the case.
2:45 p.m. - The Barron County Sheriff's Office announces they will hold a town hall for residents only. The purpose of the town hall is to have a discussion on how the community is doing during this difficult time. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Barron County Town HallBarron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald will be hosting a local town hall that is for Barron...
4 p.m. - Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says at a 4 p.m. press conference that the medical examiner has ruled the deaths of Denise and James Closs a homicide. Fitzgerald states it is believed that Jayme Closs was present at the time of their deaths and is in danger. He said more than 400 tips have come in on the investigation.
Thursday, Oct. 18
10:30 a.m. - The Wisconsin DOJ announced they were working with Barron County School District to send therapists and comfort dogs to the students who were classmates of Jayme Closs. “An entire state has been racked with Jayme’s disappearance, and the death of her parents,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. "These trained therapists, school resource officers and therapy dogs are going to provide the schoolchildren and staff in Barron the support they need to get through the next few days."
12:30 p.m. - The Barron County Sheriff requested 100 volunteers to help in a "routine search for articles of evidentiary value." Those volunteers are asked to meet county officials at the intersection of Highway 8 and 16th Street for a 2 p.m. search in the city.
Press ReleaseOctober 18, 2018Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald would like to thank the community for their continued support...