Jayme Closs

Jayme Closs: $25K reward offered for missing girl who vanished after parents found shot dead in home

The FBI announced Wednesday that a $25,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the whereabouts of Jayme Closs, a Wisconsin girl who disappeared from her family’s home 11 days ago.

CBS reports that law enforcement, as well as the family and friends of 13-year-old Jayme are hoping the reward will persuade someone to come forward with information that will bring the young girl home.

“Please, if you have information, we want to hear from you,” FBI special agent-in-charge Justin Tolomeo said during  a news conference Wednesday.

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Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said authorities have received more than 2,000 tips and continue to go through each one, but so far, nothing has led to Jayme. The sheriff encourages people with credible information to continue to call the tip line.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, at around 12:53 a.m. on October 15, 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.

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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.

“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 last week.

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.

Read 911 transcript here

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.

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[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs/Handout]