Just over 9 weeks ago, during the early hours of October 15th 2018, thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs went missing from her home in Barron County, Wisconsin. The tragic circumstances of Jayme’s disappearance have resulted in extensive media attention.
At 12:56AM, Barron County Police received a 911 call from the home that Jayme lived in with her parents, Denise Closs (46) and James Closs (56). The nature of the 911 call was described as unusual, as nobody from the household spoke directly to the operator during the call. The call was made from the cell phone belonging to Denise Closs, but all that could be determined from the call was that there was a struggle going on; throughout the call, the operator reported hearing ‘a lot of yelling’. Unsettled by the call, the operator attempted to call the cell phone back a number of times, however only reached Denise’s voicemail. The same happened when they called the landline. They were able to ping the phone and find out the address, which was the Closs family home: 1268 13 1/2 Ave. (U.S. Hwy. 8).
Barron County police officers were dispatched to the Closs home and arrived at 1:04AM. On their arrival, officers found that the door to the Closs home had been kicked in. They found James and Denise had been shot dead inside the home and that ‘multiple rounds had been spent’. The gun, which had been used to kill the couple, was nowhere to be found and after extensive searching of the home, nor was Jayme. The family dog, Molly, was found in the house alive and well and has been handed over to other family members.
The Days After The Disappearance
Barron County Sheriff’s Department led by Sheriff Fitzgerald, investigators from the Wisconsin DCI, FBI agents and the NCMEC are all involved in the investigation into Jayme’s disappearance.
Twelve hours after Jayme had been reported missing, at 3:30PM on the 15th, an Amber Alert was issued, appealing for information regarding Jayme’s whereabouts. Jayme is described as being 5 feet tall, and 100lbs with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes.
On the morning of the 16th, Barron County officers held a press conference stating that there were no suspects at the time. They asked that Barron County residents report any strange behaviours from anyone they knew living in or around the area, for example, anxiousness, increased stress and/or physical changes such as weight loss, not shaving, etc.
The Investigation Up Until Now
Investigators received a tip claiming that Jayme had been seen on the afternoon of the 16th at a gas station in Miami inside of a Black Ford Explorer with a Wisconsin licence plate. However, after investigation into this tip Sheriff Fitzgerald determined it not credible.
The Sheriff’s Department have since received 1000s of tips regarding Jayme’s whereabouts and 1000s of volunteers have assisted law enforcement by participating in searches for Jayme or anything that may be of use in the investigation into her disappearance.
On the 24th of October, it was announced that a $25,000 reward would be given to those responsible for bringing Jayme home safely. By the 26th, the reward had increased to $50,000. The reward was established by the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron, where James and Denise Closs were both long-time employees.
The Closs Home Is Burglarized
Twelve days after Denise and James were murdered and Jayme went missing, their empty home was broken into. It also happened that Denise and James’ funeral service would take place later that day.
Just before 2:30AM on Saturday October 27th, Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a break in by a man wearing a puffy jacket and a skull cap at the Closs home. Police responded to the call right away and discovered 32-year old Kyle Jaenke-Annis at the home. Jaenke-Annis told the police he ‘wanted to know what size Jayme was’. He planned to leave the house with her underwear as well as other items of her clothing. Although he also worked at the Jennie-O Turkey store off and on, he claimed to not know the Closs family personally.
The following Monday, Jaenke-Annis was charged with burglary and bail-jumping, however he has been cleared of having any involvement in the murder of Jayme’s parents or her disappearance.
Thoughts For Jayme
Sheriff Fitzgerald has continued to express his gratitude to his colleagues and other law enforcement officers involved in the investigation, as well as the support from the community and volunteers.
On December 10th, he wrote on social media:
“This case remains the #1 priority of the Sheriff's Dept and we still have the FBI and DCI on site working the case with us. There is nothing new to report but we continue to follow up on leads and we are trying to build a longer timeline of their lives through digital and social records in hopes of leading us to a clue. Keep the Hope alive and we will bring Jayme home.”
On December 12th, a ‘Tree of Hope’ Ceremony took place where members of the community gathered together to pray and send out positive thoughts for Jayme and her friends and family.
Jayme has been described by those close to her as ‘sweet’, ‘quiet’ and a ‘loyal friend’. Many photos are available of Jayme online, in which she is smiling and appears happy. She was said to be particularly close to her mother Denise, whose life was ‘all about Jayme’ according to another family member.
If you have any information regarding Jayme:
Contact the tip line at 1-855-744-3879 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be keeping up with this case and updating this post accordingly. I also plan to donate 50 pence for each unique visitor that visits this post in the next month to NCMEP in the USA and Missing People in the UK.
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