Sister, aunt opens up about Closs family tragedy

Barron County (WQOW) – The Closs family is still grieving Jim and Denise, and the disappearance of their niece Jayme Closs.

On October 15, Denise’s sister Jennifer Smith was sleeping when her husband woke her up, and brought her  to authorities at her door. “He [an officer] said Denise and Jim had been shot, and Jayme’s missing, it was all just; I don’t know,” said Smith. It’s still tough for her to find the words. “I think I just went into shock. Just wanted to fall to the ground.”

Smith said she talked to her sister the night before, and they got off the phone at about 10 p.m. She said everything seemed fine. She had no idea that was the last time she’d hear her sister’s voice.

“Everybody’s struggling, everybody’s scared, but we know we have to be strong to get Jayme home,” said Smith.

Smith is taking loving care of Jayme’s dog Molly. When News 18 was there, Molly was curled up in her lap. “She still lays with Jayme’s sweatshirt, has her little scent on it still.”

Smith said social media rumors about her family are upsetting. There are entire Facebook groups dedicated to theories about the crime, not all of them are kind to the family. “And all that stuff on social media that’s made up, I just get so angry, I can’t even go read it anymore. It’s a tragedy, it’s horrible. Losing a sister and a brother-in-law and then have your niece missing, and people saying this about us, it’s awful. I just wish it would stop,” said Smith.

The family is thankful they haven’t had to be strong alone. There have been fundraisers, t-shirts, and bracelets to raise awareness of Jayme’s disappearance. “The community has been awesome, I mean it’s overwhelming.”

She just can’t fathom what could’ve led to this. “Our minds go every direction. and you don’t know what to think,” Smith said. “They were great parents, they were loving parents.”

Right now she’s holding on to hope Jayme will be found. “My sister and my brother-in-law will not rest in peace until they know she’s okay,” said Smith.

She’s keeping a candle lit around photos of her niece, hoping she’s out there somewhere, listening.

“Jayme, wherever you are, please just get help, get somewhere safe and get help, and we’ll come and get you. No matter where you are. We just want you home, we all love you we miss you so much,” said Smith.

Smith said the since the incident, she is always checking her locks, and checks the window every time she hears a noise outside.


Sheriff Fitzgerald keeping hope Jayme Closs is still alive, calls it the worst crime in county history

One month later: Residents still in fear after murder, disappearance in Barron County

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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