The search for missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs is scaling back but the Barron County Sheriff’s Department is stressing that doesn’t mean law enforcement is giving up.
Jayme disappeared after her parents were found dead in their Barron County home on Oct. 15.
Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says after the last 17 days of methodical searching the department has decided to re-direct some of its resources as fewer tips about Jayme’s disappearance are being received.
The Emergency Operations Center will no longer be open at night, but the department says the tip line will continue to be open 24/7.
“We have a lot of people that don’t want to give up and it’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time that we’re having to do this,” said Fitzgerald.
The department says since there are other crimes happening around the area and region law enforcement has to be aware of other needs.
“We need to make sure we reach out and our resources get spread to all of our citizens, but again, the focus of this county and community is brining Jayme home,” explained Fitzgerald.
The sheriff’s department says while some of the physical support, like paper signs, for Jayme may be fading that doesn’t mean the community has given up. Fitzgerald says the hope that Jayme will come home is just as strong.
“We’re scaling back, we’re not giving up,” said Fitzgerald. “There’s still hope out there and the drive behind us is only driven by the community and their efforts to support us and we can’t thank the community enough.”
As of Thursday morning, Fitzgerald says there were still 25 law enforcement personal working on the case from monitoring social media, reviewing tips and handling leads.
“There’s only one thing on people’s mind in northwest Wisconsin and really all of Wisconsin and most of the United States have been following this case. It’s been great to see, and sad because of the reason behind it, but the focus on Jayme and bringing Jayme home hasn’t changed from day one. Even with a little decrease in our operations here.”
As we enter hunting season the department is asking hunters to watch for any items of interest on their land and to also watch their trail cameras for anything suspicious.
For now, the department says it won’t be performing any more ground searches unless a tip leads to a localized area