Sheriff not giving up hope in finding Jayme Closs alive

"I do think she is still alive."

Adam Carter
November 15, 2018 - 2:00 pm

"We don't sleep a lot," Chris Fitzgerald says as he contemplates how the last month has differed from other typical months as sheriff of Barron County Wisconsin.

It has now been one month since 13-year old Jayme Closs disappeared, possibly taken by the person or persons who shot and killed her parents following a break-in at the family's home just outside of the city of Barron.

"It's changed our patterns of work. This is on our minds, and it's not only on our officers' minds but the public mind."

Fitzgerald is quick with a response when asked if he thinks Jayme is still alive.

"Definitely. I do think she is still alive. The FBI has provided us with many, many cases where kids have been found alive."

He points to the Elizabeth Smart case. Smart was kidnapped from her home in Utah in 2002 and rescued by police nine months later.

Fitzgerald says the Smart's foundation has reached out to offer assistance.

The sheriff announced this week that the FBI was looking at more surveillance video from near the Closs home early on the morning of Oct. 15 in hopes of finding new clues.

Fitzgerald says they continue to get on average 25 tips per day, but they often lead nowhere. He says investigators are no closer to a motive for the crime or suspects as they were on Oct. 16.

"If we did, the public would be the first to know that," Fitzgerald said. I would love for there to be a suspect, but we're not going to stretch the evidence or make it reach. We're going to go where the evidence takes us."

A $50,000 reward is offered for information that leads to Jayme Closs' return.