Jayme Closs located alive, suspect in custody

January 11, 2019 06:39 AM

Jayme Closs, the teenage girl who has been missing since her parents were found fatally shot in their Barron County, Wisconsin home on Oct. 15, was located alive Thursday in Douglas County, according to the Barron County Sheriff's Department.

In a statement, the department also said a suspect has been taken into custody.


The full statement said the department was notified Thursday night by the Douglas County Sheriff's Department that Closs had been located.

Douglas County is around 60 miles north of Barron County.

KSTP's Beth McDonough said a source reports a teenage girl is said to have walked up to a woman walking her dog in Douglas County Thursday afternoon, screaming that a man had murdered her parents.

A release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said Closs was located in Gordon, Wisconsin at 4:43 p.m., and a suspect was taken into custody at 4:54 p.m., also in Gordon.

The full statement on the Barron County Sheriff's Department Facebook page read as follows:

On Thursday evening the Barron County Sheriff's Department was notified by the Douglas CO WI Sheriff's Department that they had located Jayme Closs alive.

Shortly after this a suspect was taken into custody in regards to this case. We do not any other details at this time as this is a very fluid and active investigation. We will not be answering any questions or taking calls on this tonight.

We are planning a press briefing approximately 10 am tomorrow at the Sheriff's Department in Barron. We are receiving support from the FBI and WI DCI agents as this investigation continues.

We want to thank the Douglas Co Sheriff's Department and agencies assisting them tonight. We also want to thank all the Law Enforcement agencies across the state and county that have assisted us in this case. We also could not have endured this case without the support of the public and I want to thank them for all the support and help.

Finally we want to especially thank the family for their support and patience while this case was ongoing. We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!

This case has been very trying on the family so please respect their privacy and we reunite them later tonight.

The news followed a day in which Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald earlier had to respond to online speculation regarding a police situation in southeast Wisconsin with a tweet saying Closs had not been located, and that the heavy law enforcement presence in Walworth County was not connected to the case.

Investigators found Closs' parents, Denise and James, dead inside their home in October. And the teen has been missing ever since.

Detectives have pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and spent countless hours searching for Closs in the months since her disappearance.

Denise's sister Jennifer Naiberg Smith said Closs was being checked out at a hospital in Duluth, but authorities said she was expected to be on her way back home later Thursday night. She said they don't believe Closs is injured.

She profusely thanked everyone who helped out and kept hope alive, and said the family is focused on supporting Jayme, knowing she will need them.

And she hopes now the family can get justice for her sister and brother-in-law.

Closs' grandfather, Robert Naiberg, also said the family was overjoyed.

"Everybody is so happy," he told McDonough. "We can't believe it."

KSTP will continue to lead on the story with full coverage online and on-air throughout the day Friday.

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