Friends and family of 13-year-old Jayme Closs are overjoyed today at the astounding news that the missing teen has been found alive. Authorities have been searching for her whereabouts since she vanished from her family’s Barron, Wisconsin home on October 15th. Now, they are breathing a sigh of relief that things have turned out the way they had hoped.
USA Today reports, “Jayme was found in the town of Gordon, Wisconsin, at 4:43 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
“Gordon is about 40 miles south of Lake Superior and about 65 miles north of Barron, Jayme’s hometown. The town is home to about 645 people in a heavily forested region where logging is the top industry. During the winter, many homes are left vacant.
Jayme’s ordeal began in the wee hours of the morning in mid-October. Around 1 a.m. on the 15th, police received a 9-1-1 call that led them to the Closs home, where parents James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, were dead from gunshot wounds.
“Jayme was missing and there weren't any solid leads on her whereabouts. Police believed she was at the house when her parents were killed.
“Hours later, local authorities said the girl was in danger and asked the public for help finding her. An Amber Alert was also issued.”
Since that time, there have been thousands of tips and leads, but none had resulted in Jayme’s rescue. Although police are not saying if one of the tips finally paid off, they did announce that they had arrested a suspect just minutes after Jayme was found, was found “bedraggled and malnourished."
“Jayme was found east of the town of Gordon at 4:43 p.m. Thursday, and a suspect was arrested minutes later. She was being examined at a hospital late Thursday night and was to be reunited with family members.”
Jayme escaped from a home in Gordon, approached a neighbor walking a dog and asked for help. The neighbor, social worker Jeanne Nutter, said Jayme appeared thin with matted hair but physically okay.
“Nutter took her to the nearby home of Peter Kasinskas, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reports, saying ‘This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!’ Kasinskas told the Tribune that Jayme didn't know where she was but believed she had been in the area for most of the last three months.“
The Center for Missing and Exploited Children made a poignant statement after hearing the news.
“We are overjoyed by the news that 13-year-old Jayme Close from Barron, Wisconsin, has been located alive after nearly 3 months.
“We applaud the Barron County Sheriff’s Department and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and all of the investigating agencies involved for their exhaustive efforts to bring her home.
“Jayme is an example of why we never lose hope and never stop searching.
"The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children stands with all of Barron Wisconsin as they begin to move forward and heal”
A press conference is scheduled for 11:00 am Eastern Time on Friday. At that time, we will report any new details surrounding this astonishing case.
But, for now, let’s thank God that she is alive and that it did not turn out the other way.