Relatives Plead for Vigilance as They Share Profound Loss of Closs Family

January 11, 2019 06:34 AM

October 14.

That was the last time anyone saw 56-year-old Jim, 46-year-old Denise or 13-year-old Jayme Closs alive.


Every day since then has been excruciating for relatives, classmates and the community of Barron, Wisconsin.  

The Barron County Sheriff's Department along with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and FBI are doing everything they can to find the eighth-grader.  

As her disappearance enters a second month, relatives urge the public to remain vigilant.

RELATED: One Month After Jayme Closs' Disappearance, Community Says 'We're Not Giving Up'

"My sister will not rest until she's home, neither will my brother in law, she was the world to both of them," said Jennifer Smith, Denise's sister and Jayme's Aunt. 

Smith describes Denise as fun-loving and her niece Jayme as a timid teenager in a crowd, but with family, she could let loose.

"They were inseparable, they did everything together," Smith said.

Smith lives in the town of Barron and makes sure the rest of the family in outlying towns is informed on the investigation of the double murder and disappearance.

RELATED: Thursday Marks 1 Month Since Jayme Closs Reported Missing

Robert Naiberg lives in Cornell and smiles when he thinks of his daughter Denise.

"She was the family angel and fun-loving," he said.

Naiberg said his son-in-law Jim was more reserved, a hard worker and diehard Packers fan. He sat on the couch and proudly shared photo after photo of his granddaughter, who enjoyed cross-country and dancing.

"Every morning and every day I think of her, it's been a nightmare, the worst nightmare a person can have," Naiberg said.

Naiberg keeps artwork Jayme made for him on a table in the living room so he can readily see them. She sketched a cardinal for him.  While recovering in the hospital from pneumonia, she put together and decorated a birdhouse.

RELATED: New Video Surveillance Search Expanded, Electronic Device Detecting K-9 Used in Jayme Closs Search

"She made that for me, I will treasure that forever," Naiberg said.

Relatives had bright, bold t-shirts printed which read, "Bring Jayme Home." Green bracelets and key chains with her picture were made.  Posters are being passed around. Every day a relative will post a message on social media and share as many pictures of her as possible, to keep awareness alive.

Naiberg remembered how Jayme always gave him hugs and he misses her terribly.

"I don't really know where she's at, it's really hard, unbearable at times, I wake up in the mornings and it's all I can think of," he said.

RELATED: Barron County Sheriff Says No New Searches Scheduled in Closs Investigation

Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald is consumed with her disappearance and her parents' murders, too.  Wednesday, he said there is still no obvious motive. Fitzgerald confirmed Jim owned three guns and they were located in the home, but were not used in the crime, which means someone else murdered the couple and likely took off with Jayme.

The sheriff also said there are still no suspects, no gun, no vehicle and no credible sighting of Jayme. Investigators are cross-referencing the driver's licenses obtained from volunteer searchers on Oct. 23. Plus, video from squad car dash cams that initially responded to the Closs home are being analyzed for possible leads.  

The FBI has collected even more than the initial 80 pieces of footage from various surveillance cameras along Highway 8 to be reviewed.

To date, the sheriff said 2,300 tips have been cleared. There remains a $50,000 reward for information which leads to the return of Jayme Closs.


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Beth McDonough

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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