Teenager missing for three months after parents murder is found alive
A teenager who was missing for three months after her parents were killed in their home has been found in a Wisconsin town.
Police had been searching for Jayme Closs since October, when they discovered someone had broken into her family home and fatally shot her parents, but found the 13-year-old was nowhere to be seen.
She was discovered wandering in the small town of Gordon, 65 miles north of her hometown of Barron, by a woman who immediately began pounding on a neighbour’s door shouting: “This is Jayme Closs, call 911!”
A suspect was arrested and taken into custody 11 minutes later, police said.
The girl was reported to be skinny and dirty, wearing shoes too big for her feet.
Barron County authorities believe Jayme was likely abducted after she disappeared, and have maintained they were confident she was alive for the time she was missing.
Details of the case indicated that the teenager had been snatched minutes after an intruder came into the house and murdered her parents, damaging little else in the family home.
Peter Kaskinskas, who tried to make Jayme feel comfortable in the 20 minutes she was in their home, said she declined food and water and appeared “pretty flat” emotionally.
He said the girl said she didn’t know where she was or anything about Gordon, though it seemed she had been in the area for most of her disappearance.
Sue Allard, Jayme’s aunt, told local media she could barely express her joy on hearing the news.
“Praise the Lord,” she said. “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.”
“I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” Kaskinskas told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “My jaw just went to the floor.”
Barron, which has a population of around 645 people, is in a heavily forested region close to Lake Superior.
The town’s mayor Ron Fladten said the news was a “great result” and that he had been “praying daily” for the safe return of Jayme.
“I hope that she’s in good shape,” he 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.”