Volunteers join search for evidence in Jayme Closs case
About 100 people have joined a volunteer search for evidence related to the disappearance of Barron teen Jayme Closs and the death of her parents.
The group searched Thursday afternoon along State Highway 8 in the Northwestern Wisconsin city. The Barron County Sheriff's Office described it as "a routine search for articles of evidentiary value that may be related to the incident."
An Amber Alert remains active for 13-year-old Jayme Closs. She disappeared early Monday morning. Her parents were found shot to death at their Barron home.
On Oct. 15, at 12:53 a.m., dispatchers received a 911 call from the Closs home at 1268 Hwy 8 in Barron. Dispatchers heard the sound of a "disturbance" but there was no conversation between the caller and the dispatcher. Police arrived and found James and Denise Closs, 56 and 46 years old respectively, dead inside the home. Their daughter, Jayme, was missing.
It is unknown who made the 911 call. It came from a cell phone. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald estimates that deputies arrived on scene about four minutes after the 911 call was placed.
Sheriff Fitzgerald says Jayme Closs is not considered a suspect in the death of her parents.
Investigators have not found the weapon used to kill the Closses.
Investigators have received about 800 tip calls from across the nation. No tip is considered credible at this time. They have more than 200 law enforcement officers on the ground.
Barron Area School District Superintendent Diane Tremblay described Jayme as "a sweet, quiet girl who is a loyal friend and loves to dance."
The FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are assisting with the investigation.
The sheriff is asking hunters to search their property and cabins and report anything out of place or unusual.
"We want to bring Jayme home. That's the main point. I will not interrupt this investigation for anybody to have any information that's not necessary, except for the essential people behind me and their staff. That's why I won't give out any information," Fitzgerald says.
Teams have used drones and infrared in their search for Jayme Closs. They've spoken with friends and classmates to see if they know anything. Jayme was at a family gathering Sunday afternoon. The gathering was not at the Closs home.
Therapists and comfort dogs are being sent to the Barron Area School District to provide support to classmates and friends of Jayme Closs.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of School Safety is working with the Wausau Police Department and the Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center to provide trained therapists, dogs and school resource officers to the district.
The support team will be available to help students and staff in managing trauma and mental health needs. The resources are funded through an emergency grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
“There comes a time in every community when help is needed; we have certainly experienced that need for help,” said Wausau Police Chief Ben Bliven. “We are proud to offer support in the form of our outstanding employees for those in Barron County struggling with the trauma of recent events. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the Barron County community and we pray for the safe return of Jayme Closs.”