Barron County Deaths Ruled a Homicide

The medical examiner has confirmed that the deaths of James and Denise Closs of Barron County were homicide as a result of gunshot wounds. The shooting incident occurred overnight on Monday, October 15.

During a 4 p.m. news conference, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald revealed that no gun was found at the scene, and they believe that daughter Jayme Closs was in the home at the time of the shooting. This conclusion was partially based on the 911 call they received at 12:58 a.m. where noises could be heard in the background, and other information that is currently classified as part of the ongoing investigation. Jayme is not a suspect in the case and is believed to be in danger. Deputies arrived on the scene four minutes after the 911 call ended.

Over 400 tips have been received as of 3 p.m. and extra phone lines have been set up to accommodate the influx. Jayme’s story has attracted widespread media attention and has been featured in national news.

There are no suspects in the case and no credible sightings. There is no confirmation whether it was a targeted or random attack. Fitzgerald stressed the importance of calling the tip line with anything that might help and to check private property. Officials have gathered surveillance from the surrounding area.

“We know that every second counts,” Fitgerald said.

A town hall meeting for Barron County residents is being held at WITC in Rice Lake at 1900 College Drive tonight at 7 p.m. This conference is for officials to have a private dialogue with residents and provide support through victim services if needed. No media is allowed.

Tips can be reported to the tip line at 1-855-744-3879.


10/16/18 – In a press conference at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department commented more about the disappearance of 13 year-old Jayme Closs from Barron County. The disappearance came after an apparent homicide of parents James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 at their residence. The FBI and Department of Criminal Investigation are assisting with the case.

According to a press release from the department, on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 12:58 a.m. the Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from a subject asking for help at 1268 Hwy 8. Jayme is age 13, 5 feet tall, 100 pounds, green eyes and blond or strawberry hair. She is described as a sweet and shy girl who enjoys dancing and sports.

Tips can be reported to the tip line at 1-855-744-3879. Anyone that has contact with Jayme is asked to contact the Barron County Sheriff’s Department at 715-537-3106 immediately.

Community members may have knowledge of the crime without realizing it, said Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald during the press conference. Individuals may observe behavior changes such as a break in routine (missing work and appointments, leaving town) and altering an appearance.

“Every second counts in this case,” he said. Many tips have already been received and are being followed up on. Regarding the possible sighting of Jayme in Miami, Fitzgerald would only say that every tip is being considered and that information would be released to the public as it would assist in the case through the sheriff department Facebook page and the FBI Twitter account.

No contact was made during a 911 call received on that night but an overheard disturbance on the line led responders to the residence. Details surrounding what happened during the disturbance inside the home which included shots fired are part of the active investigation and are being processed. The official cause of death was not divulged.

“I will not interrupt this investigation if not necessary,” said Fitzgerald. He does not believe there is a danger to the community.

Jayme was seen during a Sunday afternoon family gathering but no official time was confirmed as to when she was last seen. She is considered missing and endangered.

“I haven’t seen anything like this. In rural western Wisconsin, we don’t see this, thankfully,” said Fitzgerald. “I couldn’t be more thankful for the team behind me.”

News Desk
Author: News Desk