On Monday October 15th, 2018, police were alerted to the scene of a disturbance in Barron County, Wisconsin.
A phone call was made to 911 just one minute before midnight and although the caller did not directly communicate with the dispatcher, yelling and screaming could be heard from the receiver. Police acted swiftly and it took no more than four minutes for them to arrive at the address. The door to the home appeared to have been kicked in and visible bullet holes were evident. Once inside they discovered the body of 56 year old James Closs- a father and employee of the nearby Jennie-O’ Turkey store. It appeared as though he had been fatally shot while answering a knock at the door and an autopsy would later prove that the cause of death was indeed a fatal gunshot.
46 year old Denise Closs, was found dead in the bathroom. She had barricaded herself in there to hide from the attacker while she called 911. Her autopsy would later reveal that she too had died from a fatal gunshot wound and analysis of her phone would confirm that she had placed the call to the emergency services at 11:59PM. By 1:08AM police had confirmed the 2 victims down.
The family dog was left unharmed and the firearm used to kill James and Denise was not recovered from the scene.
The couple has a 13 year old daughter named Jayme who was believed to be in the house at the time of her parent’s murder. Jayme was no longer at the house when police showed up only 4 minutes after the 911 call.
She is considered missing and endangered.
Jayme is described as being quiet, shy and generous, much like her mother, who was a well-liked and charitable woman. Friends and family told the media that the two were “inseparable” and had a very close mother-daughter relationship. Denise was said to be very involved in Jayme’s life and still showed up to watch her daughter’s activities at school.
Jayme Closs is described as 5ft tall and around 100lbs. She has green eyes and strawberry blonde hair. Any tips, sightings or information can be reported at the following number: 855-744-3879.
The police do not believe she has voluntarily run away and instead believe that she may have been taken against her will. They quickly put out an amber alert for the missing child and canvassed the local area to interview residents of the neighborhood. One neighbor told police that they recalled hearing two distinct gunshots ring out at around 11:53PM on the night of the crime. Could these be the gunshots that killed the first victim, James Closs?
With the help of 100 volunteers, investigators did a thorough search of the surrounding area on foot, including a search of the nearby forest and school, but turned up nothing. They utilized drones to search from the sky but found no clues pertaining to the whereabouts of the missing 13 year old. Tips flooded in to the hotline they set up in a search for any information on the case and over a 1000 tips were reportedly called in. One of the tips included an unconfirmed sighting of Jayme at a gas station in Florida. The tipster claimed that they saw the missing girl in a black Ford explorer with a registration that read 160WER with possible WI plates. The sighting was captured on CCTV footage at the gas station and although Miami police dubbed it “not credible” the sighting is still a point of interest to those working on the case back home in Wisconsin.
With very little information to go on the online world is abuzz with theories of what happened that night. A popular theory is that Jayme had a boyfriend and was involved with someone who killed her parents and convinced her to run away with them. Friends and family refused to entertain the idea and although nothing can be ruled out at this point in time, police believe that Jayme is not a suspect and has been taken against her will. Their main focus is to bring her home safely.
UPDATE: The Barron County Sheriff’s office have released a statement to the public revealing that they are looking for two vehicles of interest that were picked up on CCTV on the night of the Closs family murders.
The first vehicle they are interested in tracking down is a Dodge Challenger which they have described as being a 2008-2014 model in either “red or orange” (they could possibly mean Hemi Orange).
The second vehicle they want people to be on the lookout for is a black SUV which they believe to be either an Acura MDX (2004-2010) or a Ford Edge (2006-2010). Local residents and business owners are encouraged to check their surveillance footage from the night of the crime.
Barron authorities have also made an appeal for volunteers to take part in a six hour search (From 9AM – 4PM) of the local and surrounding area this Tuesday. They have reached out to the public to amass 2000 volunteers to search on foot but have not revealed any further details as to not jeopardize the safety of the missing 13 year old, who has been missing for over a week. The starting point for the search is an area known to locals as “hungry Hollow ground”, located on 1883 highway 25 in Wisconsin.
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