UPDATED 6:35 AM PT — Friday, January 11, 2019
87-days after she seemingly vanished,13-year-old Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs has been found alive. Barron county officials confirmed the news Thursday after being alerted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department.
According to local sources, a woman was walking her dog in the remote area of Eau Claire Acres, more than 60-miles from where the teen was allegedly kidnapped, when Closs approached her. Closs told the woman a man had killed her parents, which prompted the woman to call 9-1-1.
Closs’ family responded to the news by saying it’s nothing short of a miracle.
“I honestly had faith, I figured if they hadn’t found her by now that the person that did this didn’t want her dead, so I had hope every day, every day there was hope,” said Kelly Engelhardt, Jayme’s aunt.
“It was just unbelievable, because you know, you hear about you’re not sure if she’s gonna be found and then when you actually hear it, its unbelievable — we’re all so grateful and happy,” said Jeff Closs, Jayme’s uncle.
Closs has been missing since October 15, 2018, when her parents — James and Denise — were found murdered in their home.
Authorities confirmed a suspect was taken into custody just minutes after she was found. The suspect’s identity has not yet been released. Reports are claiming the suspect is a male, who may not have been working alone. Her family was reportedly told the name of the suspect and said they are not familiar with him.
Closs now remains in a local hospital and has reunited with her family.
“My sister can rest in piece now, and Jayme is coming home to me,” said Jennifer Naiberg Smith, Jayme’s aunt.
In a recent statement, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald thanked state and county law enforcement agencies for their assistance in the investigation.