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‘This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!’ Couple describes how missing teen ended up at their door

Kristin Kasinskas was at home Thursday evening when someone pounded on the door. When she opened it, her neighbor was standing next to a skinny girl with unkempt hair and oversized shoes.

“This is Jayme Closs!” the neighbor said, according to an account Kasinskas gave to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Call 911!”

With those words, the frantic search for Jayme ended 87 days after she vanished on October 15, the same night her parents were found dead in their home near Barron, northwestern Wisconsin. She was found Thursday in the Wisconsin town of Gordon — about 70 miles north of where she was last seen.

As the stunned neighbors stood at the door, Jayme did not say a word.

She asked a dog walker for help

The neighbor was walking her dog when Jayme approached and asked for help, according to Kasinskas, a local teacher.

The woman was so unnerved, she did not want to be identified, the Star Tribune reported. She told the paper that when Jayme walked up to her, she immediately knew who she was.

They rushed to the nearest home, which happened to be that of Kasinskas. As they waited for authorities, Jayme declined food and water, and instead met the family’s puppy.

“I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” her husband, Peter Kasinskas, told the paper.

Authorities said Jayme was located shortly before 5 p.m., and a suspect arrested 10 minutes later.

Good news after a day of rumors

Jayme was taken to the hospital after she was found, her aunt Sue Allard said.

“Oh my gosh,” Allard told CNN affiliate WCCO between sobs. “There was rumors earlier today, and I prayed and prayed and they come to not be true. And I just shut myself totally down. I thought today was going to be the day, and then I find out two hours later that she’s found and I just cannot believe this.”

Jayme’s cousin, Seara Closs, shared her relief on social media.

“She is alive and on her way home from the bottom of my heart thank you all for the help!” she posted on Facebook. “I can never repay each and everyone one of you for posting and sharing and contributing to the search of my cousin Jayme Closs!”

No more details were immediately available. Authorities planned a news conference Friday morning.

Mysterious 911 call

Since Jayme disappeared, authorities have said they believe she’s in danger. Her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot dead in their home the same night she went missing.

Investigators say a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover the bodies. When the dispatcher called the number back, a voice mail greeting indicated the phone belonged to Denise Closs. The log does not say who made the 911 call, but the dispatcher heard yelling in the background.

Police arrived to find the door kicked in but no one was there. Investigators said they believed Jayme was at home during the shooting.

Months of search parties

For months, thousands of people joined search parties as investigators received thousands of tips. The FBI offered a cash reward for information on her whereabouts, and authorities urged hunters in the area to be on the lookout for clues.

The searches and thousands of tips had not yielded any clues before Thursday. But Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said they never got tired of looking for Jayme.

“We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “This case has been very trying on the family so please respect their privacy and we reunite them later tonight.”

He also thanked the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, which responded to the scene when Jayme was found, and other law enforcement agencies that helped in the search.

Barron is 90 miles east of Minneapolis.

After 87 days of questions, numerous searches and thousands of tips, missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs has been found alive. Jayme vanished on October 15, the same day her parents were found fatally shot in their northwestern Wisconsin home.

Here’s a timeline of her disappearance:

October 15

Authorities are called to the Closs home in Barron, 90 miles east of Minneapolis. There, they find Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs, shot dead.

Deputies arrive after a 911 call from Denise Closs’ cellphone. They find Jayme’s parents, but the teen is missing. On the 911 call, no one talked, but the dispatcher “could hear a lot of yelling.” Detectives start an effort to find Jayme that includes thousands of tips, surveillance videos and massive searches with the help of volunteers. Law enforcement agencies across the country are put on alert as the case makes national news.

October 17

Two days have passed since Jayme disappeared. But as investigators scramble to find her, few answers have emerged. The FBI pleads for more help in finding her as hundreds of tips pour in. Investigators are trying to find out not only where Jayme is, but also what led to her parents’ deaths in the small city of Barron.

October 22

A week after Jayme’s disappearance, a local sheriff seeks 2,000 volunteers to help search for her, the equivalent of two-thirds of the population of Barron.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says the volunteers will help authorities in an expanded routine search of the area around the crime scene. Barron, a city of less 3 square miles, has a population of about 3,300.

The same day, people gather at Barron High School football stadium for “A Gathering of Hope,” an event to honor Jayme.

The sheriff also releases photos of two “vehicles of interest” captured on surveillance footage near the Closs home during the killings. Fitzgerald said they don’t know the vehicles’ license plates.

October 24

As agonized relatives await word on Jayme, her aunt pleads with whoever knows where she is to contact the sheriff’s department.

She sends a message to her niece. “Jayme, we need you here with us to fill that hole we have in our hearts,” Jennifer Smith says. “We all love you to the moon and back. And we will never stop looking for you. … Your dog, Molly, is waiting for you. She’s sleeping in one of your sweatshirts.”

The FBI offers $25,000 for information leading to Jayme’s location.

October 27

Jayme’s parents are laid to rest in a funeral attended by loved ones and strangers alike.

October 28

Wisconsin investigators see via motion-activated cameras a man in a skull cap break into Jayme’s home through a patio door, according to a criminal complaint.

Law enforcement officials respond to a call and set up a perimeter around the home. They order the man to come out with his hands up. The man concedes he had broken into the home and stolen items, a criminal complaint says. In his coat pocket, a sergeant finds several items, including a small pink tank top and girl’s underwear, according to the complaint.

The man is identified as Kyle Jaenke, 32, of Cameron, Wisconsin. “The defendant was asked how many items he took and he stated three or four items, including some underwear that he believed belonged to Jayme,” the complaint says.

October 30

The same day, Jaenke is charged with breaking into the home and stealing girls’ underwear and other clothing, but he’s cleared of involvement in her disappearance. He says he did not know the Closses and he stole items that he thought the family wouldn’t miss, according to the complaint.

November 17

Wisconsin authorities urge hunters to be on the lookout for clues on the missing teen.

“As hunting season opens on Saturday, we ask that hunters report anything suspicious such as clothing, weapons or anything you think it just not right on your property,” the Barron County Sheriff’s Department says.

Deputies said they’ve not given up on finding the teen, and the cases remains a top priority for them.

“We continue to follow up on leads, expand and view our recovered video from the area and explore all digital evidence,” they say.

December 4

Jayme has been missing for nearly two months now, and the community is finding ways to pay tribute to her.

Holiday decorations take on a new meaning for local authorities in Barron County, where the Clerk of Courts’ Office dedicates its Christmas tree to her.

The tree is displayed in the county’s Justice Center building. The decorations spell out Jayme’s name in big, glittery letters, and they include green bulbs and ribbons. The color green is often used to raise awareness for missing children.

January 10

Jayme is found alive.

She was found in Gordon, Wisconsin, and a suspect was taken into custody minutes later. Jayme’s aunt, Sue Allard, said her niece was in the hospital Thursday night. Gordon is about 70 miles north of where she was last seen.

No more details were immediately available, but authorities plan to hold a news conference Friday morning.

CNN News

CNN News

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