Sheriff says 'every second counts' in
search for Wisconsin girl
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[October 18, 2018]
By Gabriella Borter
(Reuters) - Despite more than 400 tips from
across the country about the disappearance of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, a
Wisconsin sheriff said on Wednesday he had few solid leads about the
whereabouts of the girl, whose parents were found fatally shot in their
home this week.
"We believe Jayme was in the home at the time of the homicides and we
believe she's in danger," Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, who is
leading the search, told a news conference.
Police issued an Amber Alert for the girl on Monday afternoon after
discovering the bodies of her parents earlier that day. The deaths of
James and Denise Closs, who had suffered gunshot wounds, were ruled
homicides on Wednesday, Fitzgerald said.
While 82 percent of the Amber Alerts issued last year identified a car
and 50 percent had specific license plate numbers, according to U.S.
Department of Justice statistics, Closs' case offers neither of those
Fitzgerald said there were no suspects in the case.
"Is it random or targeted? I don’t know that answer. We’ve received no
other threats or anything in the local area to say it was just a random
act, but we do not know that answer," he said. Barron County is in
"We have over 200 law enforcement workers on the ground right now,"
Fitzgerald said. "Every second counts."
In Closs' case, law enforcement is depending on public awareness to
supply evidence. The Amber Alert system, launched in 1996, is a tool to
notify the public about missing children so tips can be relayed to law
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Jayme Closs, 13, is shown in this undated handout photo provided
October 17, 2018. Office of the Attorney General, Wisconsin
Deparment of Justice/Handout via REUTERS
"I cannot stress that tip line enough. Every tip is important,"
In 2017, 99 percent of Amber Alert cases were solved, with only two
cases outstanding at the end of the year. Of the children found, 96
percent were recovered within 72 hours of the alert.
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Jessica
Resnick-Ault and Peter Cooney)
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