The Barron County sheriff says authorities have two vehicles of interest in the perplexing disappearance of Jayme Closs, the Wisconsin teen who vanished after her parents were found shot to death in the family’s rural home.
Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald stood in front of easels that contained pictures of similar vehicles and implored the public to contact authorities if they have any details about them.
The vehicles are:
A 2006-2010 black Ford Edge
A 2004-2010 black Acura MDX
A 2008-2014 red or orange Dodge Challenger
Authorities are only looking for two vehicles but released three models because they aren’t sure if the second vehicle was the Ford or Acura.
“These are three images of the two vehicles of interest that we determined were in the area of the Closs home at the time of the incident regarding the disappearance of missing and endangered 13 year old Jayme Closs. Again, these are ONLY vehicles of interest,” the Barron County Sheriff’s Department said on Facebook. “If anyone sees or has seen either of these vehicles in or around Barron County over the past two weeks they are asked to call our tip line 1-855-744-3879 with the time they observed it, location observed and plate number. Again we are only taking tips based on the below information, no other makes or models will be followed up on.”
It was the most significant update in the case since Jayme vanished on October 15 and her parents’ bodies were discovered in the rural community of 3,300 people in Northwestern Wisconsin.
Fitzgerald said October 22 that authorities still aren’t sure exactly what happened in the residence.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Vehicles Were Seen on Surveillance Video
Sheriff Fitzgerald said in an October 22, 2018 news conference that authorities obtained the vehicle descriptions after scouring surveillance video from homes and businesses in the area.
He called the vehicles “vehicles of interest.”
Fitzgerald said the two vehicles were seen “near the Closs home” in the time frame in question. He did not provide additional details.
“The two vehicles of interest were in the area at the time of interest,” he said.
A previously released dispatch record obtained by CNN says Jayme’s father James Closs had answered the door, which was kicked in. Fitzgerald declined to release more details on that when asked by a reporter whether James Closs had opened the door to law enforcement or someone else, stressing that the record only encompasses a responding officer’s initial account from the scene.
Authorities are planning a massive ground search for October 23, 2018 and are seeking 2,000 volunteers to help with that. An earlier search of ditches along Highway 8 from the murder scene to the community of Turtle Lake did not uncover anything of value to the investigation.
The sheriff said a helicopter was performing a mapping of the search grid. He declined to comment on why authorities have expanded the ground search.
Fitzgerald said authorities have not placed a gag order on the Closs family but the family has decided to have all inquiries go through the sheriff.
Authorities have said previously that both parents were murdered and shot inside the home and that Jayme was there at the time. They indicated they don’t consider her to be a suspect and say a 911 call came in, but no one was on the other end. The dispatch record indicates that call was made with the cell phone of Denise Closs, Jayme’s mother, and yelling was heard in the background. When authorities arrived at the scene, they found the bodies of both parents, who were turkey plant workers, but Jayme was gone.
An Amber Alert was issued for Jayme, who was described as a sweet and shy girl involved in dance and cross country.