Skip to main content

Timeline: The disappearance of Jayme Closs

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

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.

Next Up

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: California woman embezzled over $1M from MN employer

Mai Xiong faces several federal charges in the case.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Shot woman who sparked appeal found injured at Twin Cities hotel

Authorities began searching for Hsa Say early Monday morning.


Development may bring changes to Stonebrooke Golf Club in 2023

The popular southwest metro golf course offers scenic views of O'Dowd Lake.


Homeowners alert DNR to grouse hunting complaints in Northland

Some hunters are allegedly shooting directly in front of houses.


Charges: Teen couple tortured children while babysitting in St. Paul

A doctor called this "the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years."


New apartment proposal could spell the end for Myth Live

Myth Live in Maplewood has a spotty past with the surrounding community.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Police trying to find woman, 18, who was shot at in St. Paul

Police are looking for help finding the woman.


Is an Amazon grocery store coming to Woodbury?

There's six rumored stores in the Twin Cities.


Man sentenced to life in prison for 2021 murder of girlfriend

Lacy Jo Krube, 36, was found unresponsive at her St. Paul home, after she'd been beaten in Brooklyn Park.

Richfield High School

New threat prompts closure of Richfield secondary schools

The new threat comes after a shooting outside the Richfield High School football game Friday night.

Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 6.09.38 PM

Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg to headline Duluth rally

The rally will take place at Leif Erikson Park on Oct. 1.


Jayme Closs: The girl who saved herself

The 13-year-old escaped on Thursday, after the trail had seemingly gone cold.

Man, 21, held for kidnapping of Jayme Closs, murder of her parents

The 13 year old was found on Thursday having escaped her captor.

Reports: Jayme Closs fled her captor, found by dog walker

The 13-year-old's family have expressed huge joy and relief that she's been found.

New details about night Jayme Closs disappeared, her parents died

Dispatch logs reveal previously unreported details about the night Jayme went missing.

Police identify 2 vehicles of interest in Jayme Closs disappearance

Police are looking for a red Dodge and a black SUV.

Search for Jayme Closs is scaled back as number of tips decline

The 13 year old has been missing since Oct. 15.

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 7.27.32 AM

Jayme Closs' family home is torn down in Barron

The 13-year-old had said she didn't want to go back there.

Wisconsin hunters are given another target: clues about Jayme Closs

The 13 year old has been missing for more than a month now.