Jayme Closs is missing

Barron County, WI sheriffs office

WI Sheriff slams media in coverage of Jayme Closs case: ‘Respect the privacy of this community’

He said the media was distracting from the investigation.

October 17, 2018 - 5:29 pm

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald expressed a growing frustration with how media has acted while covering the disappearance of Jayme Closs and the murder of the 13-year-old girl’s parents.

Fitzgerald said that the school district superintendent in the small Wisconsin community had been "overwhelmed" and "bothered" by constant requests for interviews since the crime occurred early Monday morning.

"These distractions take away from the focus of this investigation which is to find Jayme and interrupt the daily operations of our kids in this school. That will cease and desist today.”

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Fitzgerald continued:

"No longer will the media hound the Barron Area School District. I feel very strongly about that. That stops today. Once again, I'm asking that you respect the privacy of this community, Jayme's family and the school personnel, and let them grieve and do their job."

As a result, Fitzgerald will hold a private town-hall meeting with residents of Barron County Wednesday evening. That meeting will take place at 7 pm at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake. The meeting is closed to the media.

"Just like these press conferences are for you to relay information, that meeting is for the citizens of Barron County only," Fitzgerald told the gathered reporters.

He did thank the media for helping to spread the word about the case.

"We can't do this investigation without you, but again, I ask that you respect the community of Barron County tonight and not attend the Town Hall," he said.

Investigators believe Jayme Closs was home when both her parents were shot. Fitzgerald urged anyone with information on the case to call the tip line: 1-855-744-3879.

Listen to the Sheriff Fitzgerald full comments here: