The nearly three-month long search for missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs is over as the mystery over what happened to her and her parents deepens. The Barron County Sheriff’s Office said Jayme was found alive Thursday afternoon in Gordon, Wisconsin, about 65 miles north of where she went missing from her home in Barron. Local sheriffs will only say a suspect is in custody.
Jayme had not been seen since her parents were murdered there on October 15. Closs is expected to be reunited her extended family Friday.
When Peter Kasinskas answered the pounding at his front door on Thursday, the first words he heard were “This is Jayme Closs” and “Call 911.” It was his neighbor and the missing girl who vanished without a trace almost three months ago.
Kasinskas told CBS News his neighbor was walking her dog in a remote and woodsy area of Gordon, Wisconsin, just after 4 p.m. on Thursday when she ran into Closs. She immediately brought her to the Kasinskas’ home to call authorities.
“She saw this girl screaming ‘help me, help me,'” Kasinskas said. “It was literally like we were seeing a ghost, because we have seen the billboards and the commercials and all that stuff, and there she is in my kitchen, you know.”
According to Kasinskas, Jayme appeared thin and ragged. Wearing what looked like leggings, a sweatshirt and oversized men’s tennis shoes. He said she was quiet while they waited for police to arrive, 15 minutes later.
“She looked the same as in all the photos and little thinner. Her hair was still the same color and length. She just looked a little unkempt like she hadn’t been able to take care of herself or something,” Kasinskas said.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, 11 minutes after police arrived, a suspect was taken into custody.
Jayme’s aunt was relieved her niece had been found alive – nearly three months after the teen’s parents were murdered and Jayme disappeared.
James and Denise Closs were found shot to death in their Barron home on October 15. Police say a mostly inaudible 911 call from Denise Closs’s cell phone around midnight. Police arrived four minutes later to find the front door kicked in and the parents dead. Jayme was gone.
For months, police and volunteers conducted an extensive ground search. Her tight knight community kept the faith over the holidays, holding a Christmas tree vigil for her. There were very few promising leads but Jayme’s family never gave up hope.
Police say this is a fluid, active investigation and have not yet released the name of the suspect. They will hold a presser Friday morning, hopefully shedding some more light on this investigation. Jayme was kept overnight at a hospital and is expected to be reunited with her family today.
Kasinskas believes Jayme had been held in a home about half a mile from his. He said the people who lived there kept to themselves and were “different.”
Police took Jayme to a hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. She’s expected to be reunited with her family on Friday.