Jayme Closs found alive in northern Wisconsin

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Watch Live 10 a.m. : Barron County Sheriff gives update on Jayme Closs

Barron County (WXOW) – Jayme Closs has been found alive, according to Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.

A suspect is also in custody in regards to the case.

Closs was found in Douglas County in northern Wisconsin.

READ: Wisconsin couple describes finding Jayme Closs

A brief statement from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said: “The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office confirms that Barron County missing person JAYME CLOSS was located alive in the Town of Gordon in Douglas County at 4:43pm and a suspect was taken into custody at 4:54pm, also in the Town of Gordon.”

The sheriff said there are few other details available.

There will be a news conference at 10 a.m. Friday. WXOW will carry the news conference live on WXOW.com

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said, ”We want to thank the Douglas Co Sheriff’s Department and agencies assisting them tonight. We also want to thank all the Law Enforcement agencies across the state and county that have assisted us in this case. We also could not have endured this case without the support of the public and I want to thank them for all the support and help.
Finally we want to especially thank the family for their support and patience while this case was ongoing. We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!”

Our station News 18 has talked to Jayme’s aunt Jennifer Smith who says her family is relieved Jayme has been found. Smith said she is hopeful she will get to see Jayme yet Thursday night.

Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Jayme was being treated at a hospital.

Sue Allard, Jayme’s aunt, told the Star Tribune that she could barely express her joy after learning the news Thursday night.

“Praise the Lord,” Allard said between sobs. “It’s the news we’ve been waiting on for three months. I can’t wait to get my arms around her. I just can’t wait.”

LISTEN: Jayme Closs’ aunt reacts to her niece being found

The Town of Gordon lies about 40 miles south of the Lake Superior shoreline and 65 miles north of Barron, where the Closs family lived. Gordon is home to about 645 people. The area is heavily forested. Logging is the top industry in the region.

Town Chairman Denny Kline said Jayme was found about six miles east of town. He described the area as a small-town development with single-family, cabin-like homes.

He said he first learned Jayme had been found while listening to a police scanner, adding that he heard Jayme was walking down the road and someone stopped near her. Kline said he heard over the scanner that Jayme told them who she was and they brought her to their home.

“A lot of people were very concerned, did a lot of praying and all that,” he said. “Prayers were answered, for finding her, anyway.”

Barron Mayor Ron Fladten said Thursday night he hadn’t heard any details about Jayme’s discovery yet but was overjoyed at learning she is alive.

“There was a lot of discouragement because this took quite a while to play out,” Fladten said. “A lot of people have been praying daily, as I have. It’s just a great result we got tonight. It’s unbelievable. It’s like taking a big black cloud in the sky and getting rid of it and the sun comes out again.”

He acknowledged that Jayme may not be the same person she was before she disappeared.

“I hope that she’s in good shape,” the mayor said. “She’s no doubt been through just a terrible ordeal. I think everybody wishes her a good recovery and a happy life going into the future.”


Investigators believe Jayme was abducted Oct. 15 before dawn after her parents, James and Denise Closs, aged 56 and 46, were gunned down in their home in Barron.

RELATED: WXOW coverage of the Closs case

Police responded to the house after a strange 911 call just before 1 a.m. local time when someone called 911 from Denise Closs’ cellphone, and the 911 dispatcher heard “a lot of yelling,” according to records from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department obtained by ABC News. The dispatcher called the number back but was unable to leave a voicemail.

More attempts were made, but the phone went unanswered. Authorities also tried calling the home’s landline but it was disconnected, records show.

When authorities responded to the home minutes later, they found the front door kicked in and the couple had been shot to death.

Jayme was believed to be home when they were killed but had been abducted by the time authorities arrived.

Related Story:Timeline of events
Related Story: Watch: Jayme’s aunt pleads for information on her whereabouts 
Related Story: Reward for missing teen increases to $50,000
Related Story: Watch: Search for Evidence in Barron County
Related Story: Funeral held for James and Denise Closs
Related Story: Sheriff looks for 2 vehicles of interest in Barron County
Related Story: 911 logs from night of homicide in Barron County
Related Story: Family, friends share stories of who Jayme Closs is

Map shows where Closs went missing on Highway 8 in Barron and where she was found, in the town of Gordon.

The Associate Press and ABC News contributed to this story. 

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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