UPDATE: Possible sighting of missing Wisconsin teen in Miami, couple killed identified

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UPDATE (WKOW)– Authorities said someone who looks like Jayme Closs, a missing teen from Wisconsin, was seen at a gas station in Miami on Monday afternoon.

In a release provided by police, they do not call this a confirmed sighting, but authorities are looking into the tip.

The person who called in the information said they saw someone who looked like the girl in a car that had a possible Wisconsin license plate. The tipster also said they saw two “well dressed, middle eastern men” who looked like they were in their 30s in the same vehicle.

 

 

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BARRON COUNTY (WKOW) — Investigators identified the couple killed in western Wisconsin — the couple whose daughter is still missing.

They are James and Denise Closs, the parents of 13-year-old Jayme Closs. Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the teenager Monday afternoon. They believe she may be in danger.

Confused and frustrated is how Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald describes his latest case.

“I can tell you there were two victims at the residence. Gunshots are involved,” Fitzgerald said. “We don’t have any leads at this time on what really took place at that house,” he continued.

His department received a call around 1 a.m. Monday from someone asking for help. When deputies arrived at the house in Barron, about 55 miles north of Eau Claire, they found Jayme Closs’ parents shot and the 13-year-old nowhere to be found.

“The deceased are the mother and father of Jayme,” Fitzgerald said. “We have a 13-year-old girl who has vanished and we need to get a hold of her to make sure she’s OK.”

Joan and Tom Smrekar said they’ve never heard much coming from their neighbors house next door – until now.

“I hear one shot and the second shot was even louder yet,” Joan Smrekar said.

“It actually sounded like a car backfiring or something quite large,” her husband Tom Smrekar added.

Parents at Riverview Middle School where Jayme attended are hopeful she will be found safe.

“I pray to God she’s safe and they find her,” one man said.

“I’m hoping and praying with God’s help and the community that we all rally around each other and help find this girl and bring her home,” one woman said.

Until then, Fitzgerald said he’ll focus all his efforts towards finding Jayme.

“At the end of the day, I want a 13-year-old here, safe and sound. That’s our goal. That’s our only goal right now,” Fitzgerald said. “If that’s tonight, today, tomorrow, we have teams in place to handle that. And we’ll work to get that done.”

Investigators believe Jayme was there when her parents were killed, but they say the 13-year-old is not a suspect in the deaths. At this point, investigators haven’t identified any suspects.

Fitzgerald said they are working closely with the Riverview Middle School, talking to friends of Jayme who may provide any leads.

The FBI is helping with the investigation.

Authorities said they have searched the area around the house to make sure Jayme didn’t run into the woods. They’re also using drones and infrared as part of the search.

If you have any information about her, please call police or the tip line at 1-855-744-3879.

David Johnson

David Johnson

Reporter, WKOW

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