SHE’S ALIVE!

VAN­ISHED AF­TER PAR­ENTS’ SLAY

New York Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY KATE FELDMAN AND STORM GIF­FORD

A 13-year-old girl who van­ished in mid-Oc­to­ber when her par­ents were mur­dered in their Wis­con­sin home turned up alive late Thursday.

Jayme Closs was found by the Dou­glas County sher­iff’s of­fice Thursday evening, more than three months af­ter she went miss­ing.

Res­i­dents of Bar­ron, Wis., never gave up on Jayme’s re­turn. Fam­ily and friends held a vigil in mid-De­cem­ber as leads on her where­abouts ap­peared to take in­ves­ti­ga­tors nowhere.

A sus­pect was taken into cus­tody, ac­cord­ing to the Bar­ron County Sher­iff’s Depart­ment. The sus­pect’s iden­tity and the charges against him or her were un­clear late Thursday.

“We do not have any other de­tails at this time as this is a very fluid and ac­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Sher­iff Chris Fitzger­ald said in a state­ment.

“We promised to bring Jayme home, and tonight we get to ful­fill that prom­ise. From the bot­tom of my heart THANK YOU!” the state­ment said.

Jayme was re­port­edly found alive in Gor­don, Wisc., about 65 miles north of Bar­ron. Cops said a cit­i­zen’s phone tip led to her dis­cov­ery.

Of­fi­cials had spec­u­lated that Jayme was ab­ducted, and they of­fered a $50,000 re­ward for in­for­ma­tion on her dis­ap­pear­ance.

Fitzger­ald’s of­fice plans to hold a news con­fer­ence about the case on Fri­day.

Her re­mark­able dis­cov­ery has had its share of amaz­ing turns.

The night of the killings — at 1 a.m. on Oct. 15 — some­one placed a call from Jayme’s mother’s cell phone to 911. A dis­patcher heard “a lot of yelling” in the back­ground be­fore the call was dropped.

Mo­ments later Denise Closs, 46, and her hus­band, James Closs, 56 — who worked at a turkey pro­cess­ing plant — were found shot dead in their Bar­ron home.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors soon came to be­lieve that Jayme had been kid­napped.

For hours, cops can­vassed the woods near the crime scene, search­ing for ev­i­dence and for Jayme her­self. “Ev­ery sec­ond counts in the case,” a law of­fi­cial said at the time.

The next day, po­lice in Mi­ami tweeted there had been a pos­si­ble sight­ing of Jayme at a gas sta­tion — but Wis­con­sin in­ves­ti­ga­tors didn’t be­lieve that tip was cred­i­ble.

Fitzger­ald asked the pub­lic to pro­vide tips and to re­port any cit­i­zens who sud­denly left Bar­ron.

The trail went cold — un­til Thursday, when Jayme was ex­pected to fi­nally be re­united with fam­ily mem­bers.

Jayme Closs

Sher­iff Chris Fitzger­ald (right, on Oct. 17) said Thursday that 13-year-old Jayme Closs (left), who van­ished af­ter her par­ents were killed Oct. 15 in their Bar­ron, Wis., home, had been found alive and that a sus­pect had been ar­rested, but of­fered no fur­ther de­tails.

Lo­cals search for Jayme af­ter her dis­ap­pear­ance.

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