Elizabeth Smart knows all too well how quickly an abduction can happen, and she’s now spreading awareness about missing girl Jayme Closs, a missing Wisconsin teen who disappeared last Monday after her parents were found dead in the Barron County home.
“Please repost and call the police if you have any information!” Smart posted on Instagram, referring to 13-year-old Jayme.
In 2002, Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City home by Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. At age 12 at the time, Barzee was subjected to daily sexual assault and abuse for nine months, until authorities rescued her while walking down the street with captors in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City just 18 miles from her family’s residence.
As police come through more than 1,000 tips regarding Jayme’s disappearance, the town of Barron is holding a “Gathering of Hope” meeting tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The gathering will be held at Jayme’s school, Riverview Middle School.
“A range of emotions or reactions to this crisis are completely normal and should be expected. Barron County … Mental Health staff will on hand to offer crisis support,” the organizers of the gathering wrote in a Facebook post.
Join us for – A Gathering of Hope – Monday, October 22, 2018 from 6:00-8:00pm at Riverview Middle School.
Along with resources for those in grief, the gathering will provide music, community activities, and a lighting ceremony.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, At 12:53 a.m. on Monday, a call to the Barron County 911 dispatch came from the cell phone of the missing 13-year-old’s mother, Denise Closs, 46. The caller didn’t speak directly to the 911 dispatcher but there was “a lot of noise” and sounds of distress in the background. After the call disconnected, the dispatcher called the number back numerous times but didn’t get an answer. The dispatcher then called the home’s landline, but it had been disconnected.
Three different officers were dispatched to the family’s home, around 45 miles northwest of Eau Claire.
An officer arrived at the family’s Barron home by 1 a.m., and 56-year-old James Closs was found by the front door. At 1:03 a.m., the officer noted that a male was down and “multiple rounds” had been spent. The incident was initially thought to be a suicide before the officer knew Denise had also been shot. At 1:06 a.m., the officer stated that the front door had apparently been kicked in.
“…ADVISED THE DOOR HAS BEEN KICKED IN. ADVISED THAT THE MALE WHO IS DOWN HAD ANSWERED THE DOOR. UNKNOWN IF ANYONE IS MISSING.” (1:06 a.m.)
At 1:11 a.m., an officer reported that both James and Denise “were down” and unresponsive. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald later confirmed that both victims had been shot and killed. Their deaths were listed as homicides.
Over two hours later, at 3:57 a.m., officers entered Jayme into the system as a “missing juvenile.” They combed the house and area thoroughly for the teen first, noting that they couldn’t find her nor any clues to her whereabouts. At 5:13 am, dispatchers sent out a “Missing Endangered Child” notification, indicating Jayme was likely abducted from the residence. Authorities later said she was likely taken by gunpoint.
Six days and over 1,000 tips later, Jayme remains missing. Authorities previously stated they didn’t have a description of a suspect. There was nothing amiss in her home or school life on surface, and family and friends said Jayme did not have a boyfriend. Investigators reportedly searched her social media accounts and didn’t find anything unusual.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities are now asking anyone who knew James or Denise Closs to come forward with any information.
“We are seeking information about the victims Denise and James Closs. We are hopeful to learn more about the Closs family to help bring Jayme home. If you spent time with members of the Closs family recently or if you have ever had a misunderstanding with any members of the Closs family or know someone who has, please call the tip line,” Barron County Sherriff, Chris Fitzgerald, said on Friday.
Investigators are also asking people to observe family members, friends, or people they know in the community for any behavior that seems out of the norm, including:
- Missing work for no apparent reason
- Missing scheduled appointments
- Leaving town without a reasonable explanation
- Increase in drug and/or alcohol use
- Altering their appearance
- Paying “too much or too little” attention to the case, such as quickly shutting the news off when it reports on Jayme and her parents
- Selling and/or getting rid of a vehicle
Jayme is described as a white female who stands 5-feet tall, weighs around 100 pounds, and has green eyes and strawberry blond hair.
Anyone with any information on Jayme’s whereabouts is urged to contact a tip line made specifically for her case at 1-855-744-3879.
[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs/Handout]