Wisconsin authorities said Wednesday that missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs was present at home when her parents were killed, and they confirmed the couple was fatally shot.
The bodies of parents Denise Closs, 46, and 56-year-old James Closs, were found in the early morning hours Monday after police received a 911 call before 1 a.m. during which nobody spoke but a disturbance could be heard. When police subsequently arrived at the family home, they found the parents’ bodies but no sign of Jayme, who is now the subject of an AMBER Alert and was declared “missing and endangered” by Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.
Next-door neighbor Joan Smrekar told HLN’s Crime and Justice with Ashleigh Banfield she heard two shots ring out seconds apart after 12:30 a.m. Monday. “It was just, ‘bang’ and ‘bang,'” Smrekar said.
Jayme’s relatives told CBS News that the front door to the family home was shot in.
Fitzgerald has said Jayme is not a suspect in the killings. At a Monday press conference, he said, “We don’t have a suspect, we don’t have any leads right now.”
Fitzgerald said Tuesday that authorities have identified whose phone the 911 call came from but said authorities are not releasing the caller’s identity. “I’m not able to comment on whose phone that is as part of the investigation,” he said.
Describing the unusual call, Fitzgerald said, “It was on a cell phone and there was no comment made — no one communicated with the dispatcher.” He added, “I don’t know if the word ‘help’ was said, but there was some sort of disturbance going on, which is why officers were sent to the house.”
CBS News reports that family members saw Jayme on Sunday afternoon at a birthday party, and nothing seemed wrong.
“We don’t know how far she could have gone or if someone took her,” Fitzgerald said on Monday. “We don’t know the answer to that. We just know we have a violent crime scene and we’re missing a 13-year-old girl.”
On Tuesday, he said that Jayme “has been described as a sweet and shy 13-year-old who enjoys dancing and sports. Our community is concerned for her safety. Every second counts in this case.”
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Fitzgerald said Wednesday investigators are reviewing tips that continue to pour in. Authorities have also been examining Jayme’s social media accounts for potential clues.
Without identifying anyone, Fitzgerald told reporters on Tuesday that several people have been interviewed as part of the case.
“Our goal is to bring her home — that is our only goal,” he said.
State investigators as well as agents from the FBI are in Barron to assist with the investigation.
Both James and Denise Closs were long-time employees of the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron, Wisconsin. The company released a statement expressing sorrow at the killings.
“Our thoughts are with the Closs family and the entire Barron community,” said the statement. “This is a difficult time for our entire team and we are mourning this loss and are still processing this terrible tragedy. We are also hopeful for the safe return of their daughter, Jayme, and are keeping her and the Closs family in our thoughts.”
Jayme stands 5 feet tall and weighs 100 lbs. She has green eyes and blonde or strawberry blonde hair.
Anyone with any information concerning her whereabouts is urged to call the Barron County Sheriff’s Department at 715-537-3106 or the tip line at 1-855-744-3879.