The aunt of a Wisconsin teenager who has been missing for more than a week after her parents were killed pleaded Wednesday with whoever knows where the girl is to contact the sheriff’s department.
She also sent a message to her niece.
“Jayme, we need you here with us to fill that hole we have in our hearts,” Jennifer Smith said, reading from a statement. “We all love you to the moon and back. And we will never stop looking for you.”
Her comments were the first publicly made by the family.
Jayme Closs, 13, vanished early October 15 and her parents were found fatally shot in their home near the town of Barron in northwestern Wisconsin.
Authorities have said a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover Jayme’s parents — James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 — had been shot dead at the family’s home.
Jayme was missing and an Amber Alert was issued. Many tips have come in but authorities said Wednesday they weren’t any closer to developing a suspect profile.
Speaking while another aunt held a small dog, Smith said: “Not a moment goes by when we aren’t thinking of you and praying for you. Your family and friends miss you so much. Your sparkling eyes, your bright smile, your soft little giggles.
“Your dog, Molly, is waiting for you. She’s sleeping in one of your sweatshirts.”
She asked people associated with Jayme’s disappearance to contact the Barron County Sheriff’s Office.
A recent search in which about 2,000 people took part didn’t immediately yield any new evidence, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said. But investigators are still looking through some of the items picked up, he said.
A new investigative team with a “fresh set of eyes” went to the Closs’ house and removed some items.
The sheriff reiterated that he believes Jayme is alive and is endangered.
Hundreds of tips
On the 911 call, no one on the line talked to the dispatcher, but a disturbance was heard, authorities said. The dispatcher “could hear a lot of yelling” during the 911 call, which was “pinged” to the Closs home, according to a dispatch log the Barron County Sheriff’s Office released Friday.
When the dispatcher called the number back, a voice mail greeting indicated the phone belonged to Denise Closs.
A responding officer arrived to find “the door has been kicked in,” according to the log. The family’s dog was there at the home when deputies arrived.
Authorities have received at least 1,550 tips, of which 1,250 tips have been closed, Fitzgerald said.
The FBI is offering a reward of $25,000 for information that leads agents to Jayme’s location.
Barron, a town of less 3 square miles, has a population of about 3,300, according to US Census figures. It is about a one hour, 50 minute drive from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is about 50 minutes from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.