Authorities in western Wisconsin on Thursday night announced that Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old girl who was apparently abducted after her parents were slain last fall, has been found alive and a suspect has been arrested.
Acting on a tip called in by a citizen, Douglas County sheriff’s deputies found Jayme about 4:45 p.m. Thursday in Gordon, Wis., which is 60 miles north of her hometown of Barron, according to a news release issued by the Douglas County sheriff’s office. The suspect was taken into custody about 10 minutes later.
“Finally we want to especially thank the family for their support and patience while this case was ongoing,” Fitzgerald wrote. “We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise.”
Fitzgerald posted the update on the case about three hours after he took to Facebook to refute online rumors that a heavy police presence in southern Wisconsin’s Walworth County was related to the search for the missing girl.
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 was overjoyed at learning Jayme is alive.
“A lot of people have been praying daily, as I have,” Fladten said. “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.”
A relative told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Jayme was being evaluated at a local hospital Thursday night.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children applauded the Barron and Douglas county sheriff’s offices in a series of tweets Thursday night.
“Jayme is an example of why we never lose hope and never stop searching,” one of the tweets said.