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BARRON, Wis. (WCCO) — An AMBER Alert has been issued for a 13-year-old girl missing since her parents were found dead in their Wisconsin home early Monday morning.
On Tuesday, reports surfaced that 13-year-old Jayme Closs may have been spotted in South Florida.
Miami police say a girl matching the description of Closs was seen at a gas station Monday afternoon.
The person who reported it said they saw a black Ford Explorer with possible Wisconsin license plates reading “I60 WER” and two well-dressed men with the girl they believed to be Closs.
Investigators have been looking for Closs since her parents, James and Denise, were found dead after an alarming 911 call.
Along Highway 8 on the edge of Barron, flashing lights flickered in the same spot all day, catching Debbie Church’s eye early in the morning.
“My first thought that maybe there was a fire or a gas leak or something,” said Church, who lives just a few houses down from the Closs home.
But as the day wore on, news of what happened left her and many others in town shocked.
“It’s really, really frightening,” Church said.
Investigators say it started with a 911 call at 1 a.m. from the Closs home.
“Nobody answered our dispatcher, but we could hear background noise — yelling for help,” said Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.
When deputies arrived, they found the couple dead with gunshot wounds. Their 13-year-old daughter, Jayme, was gone.
“We believe Jayme was in the house when this took place,” Fitzgerald said. “We don’t know where she’s gone, but we have entered as missing and endangered.”
With help from the FBI, Barron County investigators searched for clues in and around the home, extending into neighbors’ yards.
“They came through and they looked through the house in the garage and the buildings in the back,” Church said.
Although she didn’t know the Closs family well, she says their loss is painful.
“Some of my coworkers knew her. They played together on their daughter’s softball team,” Church said. “And so you feel like your heart just goes out to the family and friends and everybody involved. It’s horrible.”
Sheriff Fitzgerald said they don’t have any leads as of Monday night in what he describes as a mysterious case. It’s why both he and neighbors remain hopeful that someone in the community has information that can help.
“It’s becoming united from what I can tell, to help find this girl and find out, get to the bottom of what’s going on here,” Church said.
Sheriff Fitzgerald says investigators are also taking a digital approach by looking into social media accounts like Facebook and Snapchat, hoping they’ll find clues on the internet that can point them in the right direction.
The Barron Area School District said there would be an increased police presence at all of its buildings because of the case.
“Due to the proximity and unknown facts of this incident, we will have increased police presence at and around all of our buildings, simply as a preventative measure,” a statement from the school district said.