Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who went missing after both of her parents were found murdered, has been found alive.
On Oct. 15, 2018, a 911 call was made from the Closs’ family home from an anonymous caller who simply asked for help. When authorities arrived Jayme was nowhere to be found.
An Amber alert was quickly issued in hopes of finding the young teenager.
Since that tragic night, Jayme’s family along with the local community have not given up hope and have continued to look for her. Investigators have received “a flood of tips,” according to KARE, over the past three months but hope kept fueling their search.
“This is what we are running on right now, is hope,” Sheriff Fitzgerald said in December. “We will bring Jayme home and we will bring peace to this community.”
Between setting up the “Tree of Hope” in December and a dedicated performance by Chris Kroeze, a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” the community has truly rallied around the Closs family as they continued to search for the missing teen.
Then on Jan. 10, 2019, the news that the community had been so faithfully hoping for, finally came true: Jayme was found alive only 70 miles from her home.
According to Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec, Jeanne Nutter was approached by a thin woman claiming to be Jayme Closs. Nutter took Jayme to a nearby house, owned by Kristin Kasinskas, to alert authorities that she was found alive and safe, KMSP-TV reported.
Kasinskas told KARE that she immediately knew who the “slender-looking girl” was. After calling authorities, Kasinskas had about 30 minutes to talk to the teen.
Jayme told the kind neighbor that she had in fact been taken and that her parents were murdered. “She didn’t express any fear, fear,” Kasinskas said. “She didn’t say that she was afraid this person was coming after her.”
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children shared a post celebrating Jayme’s safe return home.
“Jayme is an example of why we never lose hope and never stop searching,” they wrote.
“It was only a few months ago that we as a community gathered to pray for Jayme’s safe return at Barron High School,” Brian White, Barron County District Attorney, said during the media conference held on Jan. 11. “God has answered those prayers.”
Since Jayme’s safe return, a suspect has been taken into custody. The 21-year-old Gordon, Wisconsin, local has been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the murder of Jayme’s parents and one count of kidnapping.
He is being held in the Barron County Jail.
Jayme was taken to a local hospital to ensure that she is healthy and unharmed in any way.
“It’s time to move forward and bring justice for my sister and brother-in-law,” Jennifer Naiberg Smith, Jayme’s aunt, told KMSP-TV. “And we’ll get through this with Jayme together as a big family.”
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