Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old girl who vanished after her parents were found dead in their northwestern Wisconsin home, has been found alive, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department said.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin notified the Barron County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday that they had located Closs alive.
A suspect has been taken into custody but no more details were immediately available, the sheriff’s department said.
Jayme vanished October 15, and her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found fatally shot in their home near Barron, a town of 3,300 in northwestern Wisconsin.
Investigators say a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover the bodies . The call was “pinged” to the Closs home. When the dispatcher called the number back, a voice mail greeting indicated the phone belonged to Denise Closs. The log does not indicate who made the 911 call, but the dispatcher heard yelling in the background.
Police arrived to find the door kicked in but no one was there. Investigators said they believed Jayme was at home during the shooting.
“Finally we want to especially thank the family for their support and patience while this case was ongoing. We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a statement.
“This case has been very trying on the family so please respect their privacy and we reunite them later tonight.”
Thousands of people joined search parties for months as investigators received thousands of tips. The FBI offered a cash reward for information on her whereabouts and hunters in the area were also urged to be on the lookout for clues.
In December, the Barron County Clerk of Courts Office dedicated its Christmas tree to her. The decorations spelled out Jayme’s name in big, glittery letters, and they included green bulbs and ribbons. The color green is often used to raise awareness for missing children.
In the days after Jayme’s disappearance, law enforcement officials assured the public they believed she was alive and was endangered.
Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, pleaded with those who knew where the girl was to contact the sheriff’s department.
“Jayme, we need you here with us to fill that hole we have in our hearts,” Smith said more than a week after the girl went missing. “We all love you to the moon and back. And we will never stop looking for you.”
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, and is about 50 minutes from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.