Timeline: The disappearance of Jayme Closs

The 13 year old had been missing for nearly 3 months.
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Jayme Closs

Jayme Closs has been found alive in Wisconsin, with a suspect taken into custody by police.

Here's a look at the sequence of events that has led to the remarkable discovery on Thursday evening.

October 14, 2018

Jayme Closs attends a family party, the last time she was seen prior to her disappearance.

October 15

Barron County Sheriff's Office receives a 911 call just before 1 a.m., asking for help at a home on Hwy. 8.

Police arrive at the scene in rural Barron, Wisconsin, to find two dead adults with gunshot wounds, as well as a door kicked in at the property.

The deceased were identified as 56-year-old James and 46-year-old Denise Closs, the parents of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was missing from the house.

Later that day, an Amber Alert was issued for Jayme Closs, with authorities believing her to be in imminent danger.

October 16

Police in Miami, Florida, spark interest after saying they're investigating a possible sighting of Closs in the area, but ultimately was unable to verify it.

The FBI meanwhile says they believe Jayme was taken at gunpoint from the house.

October 17

The deaths of James and Denise Closs are ruled homicides, with police saying they believe Jayme was in the house at the time of their deaths.

They also confirmed that no gun was recovered from the scene, and say deputies arrived at the house 4 minutes after the 911 call was placed, but could find no trace of anyone alive inside.

October 18

The Barron County Sheriff's Office requests the help of 100 volunteers to carry out a search on a 13-mile stretch of land west of the Closs home in Barron.

Volunteers were tasked with finding anything of "evidentiary value." More than 200 volunteers turn up.

October 19

More details about the night Jayme disappeared are released, including the revelation that the 911 call that alerted police to the incident came from the phone belonging to Denise Closs.

The dispatcher said they could hear "a lot of yelling" in the background, but it wasn't revealed who made the call or what was said.

October 20

Barron County says it's received more than 1,000 tips about Jayme's disappearance, of which it had sifted through more than 800 with the aid of the FBI.

October 22


Police identify two vehicles of interest in the case: one a red Dodge Challenger, the other a black SUV that might be an Acura MDX or a Ford Edge.

Surveillance footage taken from nearby businesses revealed that these vehicles were seen near the Closs home during the time of Jayme's disappearance and her parents' killings.

October 23

Some 2,000 volunteers assemble along Hwy. 25 to carry out a massive grid search for evidence.

Meanwhile, the funerals for Denise and James Closs are scheduled for Oct. 27, with obituaries stating the pair had married in 2003 in Las Vegas, having both worked at the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron for 27 years.

October 24

The FBI offers a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the discovery of Jayme. 

A press conference is held, with Jayme's aunt, Jennifer Smith, making an appeal directly to her niece, saying "we miss you so much, your sparkling eyes, your bright smile."

October 26

The FBI reward is upped to $50,000.

October 27

The funeral for Jayme's parents is held in Cameron, Wisconsin.

In the early hours of the morning, a 32-year-old man was arrested after breaking into the Closs home, and was found with some of Jayme's underwear in his pocket.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says he's not wanted in connection with her disappearance.

October 31

It's announced that the force investigating Jayme's disappearance will be cut in half, from 200 to 100, as the investigation enters a "new phase," according to Fitzgerald, who continues to express hope that the teen will be found alive.

November 15

Fitzgerald issues a plea to Wisconsin hunters to be on the lookout for any clues about Jayme as they take to the woods for deer hunting season.

November 26

Fitzgerald says that his department has been looking into other cases of disappearances involving young teens across the country to see if there is any link to Jayme's case.

One of them, in North Carolina, saw a 13-year-old girl abducted in an SUV, but Fitzgerald tells the Post Crescent that while it's a similar situation, it's unlikely to be linked to Jayme's disappearance. 

December 15

Family and friends of Jayme hold an event and balloon release to mark 2 months since her disappearance.

Fitzgerald says there is nothing new to report on the case, with no solid leads as to who was behind Jayme's disappearance or her parents' murders.

January 10, 2019

The Barron County Sheriff's Office announces that Jayme Closs has been found alive in Gordon, Wisconsin, on Thursday evening.

She was missing for almost 3 months.

A suspect was taken into custody, with more details due to be released on Friday, Jan. 11.

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