Jayme Closs has been found alive in Wisconsin, bringing a bright end to a search that lasted more than three months since the teen’s parents were murdered.
The Barron County Sheriff’s Department announced late on Thursday that the 13-year-old had been located by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department in the town of Gordon, which is roughly 66 miles north of where she had last been seen. As CNN reported, an unnamed suspect was taken into custody within minutes of the teen being found.
The teen’s family members said they were elated at the news.
“I mean I’m shocked,” Jayme’s aunt, Kelly Engelhardt, told KARE 11. “It’s what we’ve prayed for every single day.”
Engelhardt said Closs would be home by Thursday night or Friday. Family members said they do not believe Jayme had been physically harmed, and said she is talking to FBI agents and answering questions.
Closs has been missing since October 15, 2018, when police found the bodies of her parents murdered in their home in Barron. Police said they found Closs at Eau Claire Acres, a small housing development several miles away.
As CNN had reported in October, investigators initially struggled to find clues about Closs’s disappearance and hundreds of volunteers joined in to search for the teen, or any possible clues to her whereabouts. Though Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald did not share many specific details at the time, he said there was a “100 percent expectation” that the teen was still alive.
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 https://t.co/otlQvSYp7A pic.twitter.com/5VM0a13AaN— CNN (@CNN) January 11, 2019
Fox 9 reporter Paul Blume said he spoke with the sheriff, who said one person was in custody and believes more people were involved in her disappearance. Blume said Jayme’s family was told the name of the suspect and said the person was not known to them.
The sheriff confirmed that Closs was found as the result of a tip that came into the department, but said it was not related to an alleged sighting that was making the rounds on social media in the hours before she was located.
ABC 7 reporter Rob Eglas detailed a harrowing escape for Closs, passing along a report from KSTP that a woman was walking her dog when a teenager approached her screaming that a man had murdered her parents. The teen was identified as Jayme Closs, and the suspect was soon arrested.
The Barron County Sheriff’s Department said it would hold a news conference on Friday to give more details on the rescue of Jayme Closs.