Missing teen may have been spotted in Miami after parents found dead in Wisconsin home

Diane Pathieu Image
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Missing Wisconsin teen may have been spotted in Miami
A 13-year-old girl missing from Wisconsin may have been sighted in Miami, Florida, police said.

BARRON, Wis. -- A 13-year-old girl missing from Wisconsin may have been sighted in Miami, Florida, police said.

Miami police said someone fitting the description of Jayme Closs may have been spotted at a gas station there Monday afternoon. Police said the witness saw her with what they described as two well-dressed Middle Eastern men in their 30s and both had a beard.

They were seen driving a black Ford Explorer with Wisconsin license plate I60WER. Authorities stopped short of calling this a confirmed sighting.

Authorities began the search for Closs after her parents were found dead inside their home in Barron Wisconsin, about 90 miles northeast of Minneapolis.

Deputies went to the home after getting a 911 call at around 1 a.m. on Monday. The call came from the house, but no one was on the line. Detectives don't know who made the call.

The sheriff said they found the bodies of Closs' parents, who were later identified by the sheriff's department as 56-year-old James Closs and his 46-year-old wife, Denise Closs.

They searched the area around the family's home, but they did not find any clues as to where Jayme was. Authorities say she is not a suspect in her parents' murder, and they do believe she is in danger.

Jayme is described as 5 feet tall and 100 pounds with strawberry-blond hair and green eyes.

Investigators have enlisted the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI, which has agents who specialize in missing children cases, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.

Barron neighbors Joan and Tom Smrekar said they heard something strange overnight.

"I hear one shot and the second shot was even louder yet," said Joan.

"It actually sounded like a car backfiring or something quite large," said Tom.

Police confirmed there had been gunshots, but stopped short of saying that's how the couple died.

"At the end of the day, I want a 13-year-old here safe and sound. That's our goal. That's our only goal right now," Fitzgerald said at a news briefing.

Deputies searched the area around the family's home with drones and infrared equipment, but they didn't find any clues as to her whereabouts. Fitzgerald said investigators are frustrated they haven't developed any leads and asked for the public's help with any information about what could have happened to the girl.

Officers also were at Jayme's middle school talking with her friends and acquaintances, hoping to develop some leads, officials said.

An Amber Alert was issued Monday for Jayme, although it did not include information about a suspect or vehicle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.