Wisconsin hunters asked to help in search for Jayme Closs
Wisconsin's firearms deer season begins Saturday, and officials are asking hunters across the state to keep an eye out for any evidence that might provide a break in the case of a missing 13-year-old girl.
Jayme Closs vanished on Oct. 15 from her home near Barron in northwestern Wisconsin. Her parents, Denise and James Closs, were found shot to death inside the home.
After extensive ground and air searches, and after authorities have pursued hundreds of tips, Closs remains missing. Investigators have said she's in danger and that she isn't a suspect in her parents' deaths.
Todd Schaller, chief conservation warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said information about the case was sent out to deer license vendors statewide, to pass along to hunters. The DNR also posted information about the case at its regional offices and in state parks, as well as on its social media pages.
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"We'll have between 550,000 and 600,000 hunters traveling and out and about in woodlots and marshes and forests," he said. "So it's a great opportunity (to get) eyes and ears out there, and hopefully we can find something and help this case along."
Hunters are asked to report anything unusual or suspicious that they find on their property or other land where they hunt.
Schaller said it's not the first time the agency has asked hunters for their help in law enforcement cases.
"When there's high-scale investigations, and if there's something we can do to assist that by communicating to our hunters to keep an eye out, we always do," he said. "We have in the past and we will continue to do in the future."
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a Facebook post Thursday that the case "remains the No. 1 priority" in the county and across the nation.
"We continue to follow up on leads, expand and view our recovered video from the area and explore all digital evidence," he said. Local investigators are working with state and federal officials on the case.
While a month has passed, Fitzgerald said, "there is still hope in this department on this case, and the community support and prayers that we have been given continues to fuel our drive and determination to bring Jayme home."