Jayme Closs, 13, has been missing since October 15, 2018. That morning, an intruder broke into her home in the small town of Barron, Wisconsin and shot her parents. The murderer appears to have taken Jayme. The local police and FBI had no leads and no idea where she was…until Thursday, January 10, 2019. What happened to Jayme Closs? Where is she now? This Jayme Closs wiki looks at the information uncovered so far.
Who Is Jayme Closs?
Jayme Closs has been missing since the morning hours of October 15, 2018. The case of her mysterious disappearance has catapulted her to the top spot on the FBI’s kidnapped and missing persons list.
|About Jayme Closs|
|Birth||July 13, 2005 Barron, Wisconsin|
|Parents||James Closs, Denise Closs|
|Hair Color||Blonde/Strawberry Blonde|
|Missing Since||October 15, 2018|
But who is Jayme Closs?
Jayme was born July 13, 2005. She lived in the small town of Barron, Wisconsin with her parents Denise Closs, 46, and James Closs, 56.
Her father James was born on September 25, 1962 in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. His parents were James and Lynn Closs.
Jayme’s mother Denise was born to Robert and Rebecca Naiberg on July 21, 1972 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
James and Denise had been married for 15 years. Their wedding was in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9, 2003.
According to their obituary, they had both been employed for 27 years at Barron’s Jennie-O Turkey Store.
In her own words, 13-year-old Jayme wrote on her now-deactivated Facebook page, “I love to dance at Christine’s Dance Jazz, ice-skating, volleyball, swim, Art, cross country, Track, and Dance.”
Her Facebook profile was filled with photos of her smiling, spending time with friends, taking part in a middle school sports team, in dance outfits, and in a Halloween costume.
Jayme is described as being five feet tall and weighing 100 pounds, with green eyes and blonde or strawberry-blonde hair.
Aside from her physical characteristics, Closs is described by her cousin Tina Sabin as being sweet and shy.
“Please, please, please help! This is my 13-year-old cousin, her parents were shot to death this morning in Barron County Wisconsin and she is missing. She has blonde hair green eyes. Her name is Jayme, she is sweet and shy and we need to get her back!” she wrote.
Diane Trembley, an administrator at the Barron Area School District, said in a news conference that Closs is a “sweet girl who is a loyal friend and loves to dance.” She also noted that Jayme Closs is a member of the cross-country team.
Trembley relayed how Jayme, for a class assignment, was asked what she would do with $1.0 million. Jayme said she would “feed the hungry and give the rest to the poor.”
What Happened to Jayme Closs & Her Parents
Jayme Closs was last seen on Sunday, October 14 at a family member’s birthday party.
After midnight, in the wee hours of Monday, October 15, 2018, a 911 operator received a garbled call made from Jayme’s mother’s cell phone. No one spoke during the call, but the dispatcher heard a “lot of yelling.” Loud noises were heard in the background.
According to the dispatch log entry from 12:56 a.m.: “RECEIVED A 911 CALL FROM XXX-XXX-XXXX AND COULD HEAR A LOT OF YELLING. CALLED NUMBER BACK AND WAS UNABLE TO LEAVE A VOICEMAIL. PHONE PINGED TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. ADVISED 317, 325, & 329.”
Local police were reportedly on the scene by 1:03 a.m.
It appears that James, who was wounded, answered the door when authorities arrived.
At this initial point, it did not appear as though police knew that Denise was also in the home or that Jayme was missing.
According to the log entry at 1:04 a.m.: “325 ADVISED ONE MALE DOWN, MULTIPLE ROUNDS SPENT. REQUESTED THAT ADMIN BE NOTIFIED.”
One minute later, at 1:05 a.m., police updated the log: “ADVISED THE DOOR HAS BEEN KICKED IN. ADVISED THAT THE MALE WHO IS DOWN HAD ANSWERED THE DOOR. UNKNOWN IF ANYONE IS MISSING.”
James Closs died shortly after police arrived.
Soon after, they found Denise Closs dead in the bathroom.
After investigating the scene, authorities finally acknowledged that Jayme had been abducted at 3:27 a.m. that morning, writing in their dispatch log, “ENTERED JLC AS A MISSING JUVENILE.”
At around 8:00 a.m., the Barron County Sheriff’s Department asked for the public’s help. They admitted at the time, though, that they didn’t have a lot of information. An Amber Alert was issued later that day, at 3:30 p.m.
Authorities did not say why investigators believe Jayme was abducted and not a runaway. Disclosing more information would, they said, compromise their investigation.
The Barron County Sheriff’s Department said two vehicles were spotted on surveillance cameras near the home. The first vehicle was described as a red or orange Dodge Challenger. The second is believed to be a black Ford Edge or Acura MDX. The authorities have asked anyone who might have seen these vehicles to come forward, and for volunteers to help search for Jayme.
In an interview, neighbors of the Closs family said they heard gunshots about 20 minutes before the 911 call was made. They thought it was probably a hunter.
“I asked him, I said, ‘Are those gunshots?'” Joan Smrekar recalled. “What makes us feel bad is because we didn’t call in right away, that maybe we could have saved her.”
Was It a Random or a Targeted Attack?
Family and investigators have no idea why Denise and James Closs were targeted.
However, as per an FBI official who spoke to RadarOnline.com, it does appear that authorities quickly determined what had transpired that night.
FBI investigators believe that attack wasn’t random, but rather that the killer came to the home with the intention of abducting Jayme Closs.
“It was targeted. The perpetrator had the specific intent to leave the home with Jayme in their possession,” the official said.
Someone knocked on the door. When James went to answer it, he was met with gunfire. Denise, hearing the blasts, barricaded herself in the bathroom and called 911. The intruder broke into the bathroom and killed Denise before she could reach dispatch.
In fact, it now appears as though the 911 dispatch operator had heard Denise’s final few seconds.
Incredibly, the timeline of the murders suggests that the killer had only four minutes to grab Jayme and flee after the 911 call was made and before police arrived at the scene.
Ground and Air Search for Jayme Closs
On Thursday, October 18, authorities and 100 volunteers began their first search for Jayme Closs. Nothing of evidentiary value was discovered in the ground search of nearby fields and forests. The search was called off the next day.
Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, speaking at a news conference, said “We’ve searched the area around the residence to make sure she didn’t just go outside and go to the woods. We’ve used drones. We’ve used infrared. We’ve searched…the area around there. We’ve searched the school. We’ve met with the friends. We’re working very closely with the… middle school where she attends school. We have officers there today.”
Barron County Sheriff’s Department Issues a Press Release
Later that same day, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department issued a press release urging anyone who knew the Closs family or had relevant information to come forward:
“The Barron County Sheriff’s Office continues to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in the search for missing and endangered 13 year old Jayme Closs. We ask the public’s help in continuing to provide tips at 1-855-744-3879. We have received over 800 tips since Monday, 10/15/18, at our Command Center.
“Today, with assistance from community volunteers, we are conducting a routine search for articles of evidentiary value that may be related to Jayme’s disappearance. We thank the volunteers for their efforts, as the search efforts are still underway. As of the time of this release, nothing of evidentiary value has been recovered. We will update the public as appropriate.
“Barron Area School District Superintendent Diane Trembley wishes to extend her sincere gratitude for the continued support from law enforcement, businesses, families and community. We ask that you continue to respect the privacy of our students, staff and the family of Jayme Closs.
“Please follow our Barron County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and FBI Twitter #FindJayme updates as this is the most up-to-date information as we know it, and continue to remain vigilant in reporting any tips you may have to law enforcement.”
Second Search for Jayme Closs
On Monday, October 22, the small rural community of Barron, Wisconsin got together at a high school stadium to pray for the safe return of Jayme Closs. At the time, Sheriff Fitzgerald said they’d received more than 1,300 tips—1,100 of those had already been closed out. But because of the tips, investigators expanded their ground search north.
He asked for 2,000 volunteers—roughly half of the population of Barron—to come out the next day to walk specific areas.
The search turned up no new leads. The sheriff’s department said no further searches were scheduled.
Her Family Speaks
The FBI announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the location of Jayme Closs in a news conference on Wednesday, October 24.
On top of the reward announcement, the Closs family made their first public statement. Jennifer Smith, Jayme’s aunt, thanked the community for its “show of love and support.”
“To whoever may know where Jayme is, please contact the Barron County Sheriff’s Department,” said Smith.
She then addressed Jayme directly.
“Jayme, we need you here to fill that hole we have in our hearts.
“Your dog, Molly, is waiting for you. She’s sleeping in one of your sweatshirts,” Smith said.
“Jayme, not a moment goes by when we aren’t thinking of you and praying for you,” she said, talking about Closs’ “sparking eyes” and “little giggles.”
Investigators Downsize Search for Jayme Closs
In early November, authorities announced that they were scaling back their search for Jayme Closs from 200 to 100 people. Despite more than 2,100 tips, two ground searches, pleas for help, and a $25,000 reward, her whereabouts and the identity of the person responsible for killing her parents are still unknown.
Sheriff Fitzgerald said that the “declining number of tips” had forced the department to shrink its 24-hour Emergency Operations Center to a “more deliberate and methodical effort to progress the investigation.”
The decision to reduce the number of people working on the case was made so investigators could focus their efforts on analyzing messaging apps and online communications.
Fitzgerald noted that “just because the posture of our operations center has transitioned, does not mean the tips should stop. We still have a team on-call to handle them as they come in.
He urged people to continue to call in tips.
Fitzgerald said he is convinced that “there is something out there” that can lead to Jayme, given all the digital breadcrumbs in this world from smartphones, the Internet, and video surveillance.
November 1, 2018The Barron County Sheriff’s Department would like to thank all of our law enforcement agency partners…
A Case of Mistaken Identity?
As clues to the whereabouts of Jayme Closs dried up, rumors began to swirl about what could have happened to the 13-year-old girl. Did Jayme Closs pull the trigger and kill both of her parents? Did she run away with a secret, older boyfriend?
Cops put the kibosh on the theory that Jayme Closs was behind the murders. They said she was not a suspect; she was abducted and in danger. Fitzgerald also said that their investigation had not uncovered any secret boyfriend.
Others speculated that her parents were targeted because they were involved with crystal meth. The neighborhood where the Closs family lived has one of the worst methamphetamine problems in the state. Some believed that a drug dealer might have been behind the murders or had the wrong address.
There is no evidence to back this theory up, either.
Despite all of the rumors, Barron County investigators and the FBI continued to search for Jayme Closs.
“I want to reassure the great residents of Barron County and everyone else across the nation who continue to support and follow this case that we have left no stone unturned,” Fitzgerald said.
With the hunting season having started the weekend of November 17, hunters were being asked to keep an eye out for anything suspicious in their travels, i.e. clothing or firearms that seemed out of place.
Officials also announced there were two vehicles of interest. Vehicle #1 was believed to be either a 2004-2010 Black Acura MDX or a 2006-2010 Black Ford Edge. Vehicle #2 was believed to be 2008-2014 Red/Orange Dodge Challenger.
January 10, 2019: Jayme Closs Found Alive in Wisconsin
On the evening of Thursday, January 10, 2019, after 88 days seemingly in captivity, it was revealed that 13-year-old Jayme Closs has been found alive. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin contacted the Barron County Sheriff’s Department with the exciting news.
Closs was found Thursday afternoon, at around 4:00 p.m., in Gordon, Wisconsin, just 65 miles, or a short, one-hour drive, north of Barron, the last place where Jayme was seen on October 15, 2018.
A woman, who did not want to be identified, was walking her dog Thursday evening when Jayme Closs, malnourished, wearing oversized shoes, and with dirty, unkempt hair, approached her. Jayme identified herself but the woman knew instantly who it was. The pair rushed to the nearest home, where they knocked on the door and called authorities.
Jayme turned away any offers of food and water. Instead, she just wanted to spend time with the family’s puppy. Jayme told them she didn’t know where she was, but it sounded as though she had been in Gordon for most of her captivity.
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, Arrested
When police arrived, Jayme provided them with a description of her captor’s car. Police apprehended the suspect just 10 minutes later.
Late Thursday evening, local police blocked all access to a cabin in the 14100 block of S. Eau Claire Acres Circle, looking for evidence. It is where the 21-year-old suspect, Jake Thomas Patterson, who is currently being held in the Barron County jail, resides. He is being held on two counts of intentional homicide, for the murders of Jayme’s parents, and one count of kidnapping.
Authorities said that Patterson had no criminal history locally or elsewhere in the state of Wisconsin. Police also said they are not looking for any additional suspects. Police further admitted that the town of Gordon, Wisconsin was not even on their investigative radar.
Closs Released from Hospital after Observation
Jayme Closs was taken to a local hospital for observation, where she spent the night. She was cleared Friday morning (January 11). Police said there is a unification process that includes medical and psychological evaluations, questioning by authorities, and being reunited with her family.
Word of Jayme’s escape quickly made the rounds. Before dawn Friday, the Dairy Queen in Barron had erected a sign, “Welcome home Jayme. Thank you for bringing her home.”
The Barron City Hall also had a sign up, which read: “Welcome Home Jayme.” And cars passing the Barron County Justice Center honked their horns in appreciation.
Jen Smith, Jayme’s aunt, told ABC’s Good Morning America that her niece escaped from where she was being held, but didn’t provide any other details about the case.
At a press conference Friday morning, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said that Jayme Closs had been found, was safe, and that the investigation was ongoing.