Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Gunshots killed couple near Barron; daughter still missing

Gunshots killed couple near Barron; daughter still missing

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said that 46-year-old Denise Closs and 56-year-old James Closs were victims of homicide.

17 said the deaths of 13-year-old Jayme Closs' parents, James and Denise, have been ruled homicides.

The sheriff called a meeting Wednesday evening with Barron County residents, but he barred reporters from attending, saying he wants to have a private dialogue with the people who elected him.

The Sheriff added that it took only 4 minutes from the time the 911 call had completed until deputies arrived on the scene, though Jayme was not there when authorities arrived.

Fitzgerald said investigators still have a "100 percent expectation that she's alive", but that even though they've received more than 400 tips, none have been of a credible sighting.

Support for Kroeze is visible all around town, including one sign created by Jayme Closs and her middle school classmates, prior to her disappearance.

The sheriff says he can not say for sure that it is not Jayme Closs in surveillance video from Florida released Tuesday. The 911 call was placed with a cell phone around 1 a.m. on Monday morning (October 15, 2018), the sheriff said previously, but no one spoke, although unspecified noise was heard in the background.

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But officials haven't been able to find a single agent that would explain the clusters of cases that occur around the same time. Numbers dropped drastically in 2015 and 2017 - to 22 and 33, respectively - but were back up again in 2016 at 149.

Jayme's grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that nothing seemed amiss at a Sunday gathering, which was to celebrate the birthday of a grandson who is cousins with Jayme. "If there is something that this community can do, I guarantee you that you'll see, nearly everyone from this town, from the surrounding towns, doing everything they can to help", said Chris Kroeze.

Police say gunshots were involved in the parents' deaths, but they have yet to give more details on the situation. Their daughter, Jayme, was missing. There was no gun found on the scene.

Authorities have not released details about the deaths - including how the parents were killed or how long they had been dead. "We've received no other threats or anything in the local area to say it was just a random act, but we do not know that answer", he said. An Amber Alert was issued without a description of a suspect or vehicle.

The missing teenager has been described as being approximately 5ft (1.5m) tall and 100lb (45kg) with green eyes and strawberry blonde hair.

The FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are helping in the search.

"The media are uniquely able to help, in terms of getting out information and encouraging people to share tips", Lueders said. Sheriff Fitzgerald urged the public to continue calling the hotline with tips: 855-744-3879.

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