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Rusk County News


BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) — The 13-year-old girl who disappeared after her parents were found dead in Barron County, WI has been possibly spotted in Miami.

According to the Miami Police Department, the endangered juvenile, Jayme Closs, may have been spotted Monday afternoon in the area of N. W. 27 Avenue and 11 Street.

Authorities said if this was her, she was in a black Ford Explorer with a possible WI plate of I60WER.

If you have any more information, please call 911.

BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) — An AMBER Alert is issued for a missing teenage girl after her parents were found dead inside their Barron home.

Officials in Barron County say autopsies have been scheduled for James Close, 56, and Denise Close, 46. The two were found dead inside their home early Monday morning. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says while the death investigation continues, the main focus at this time is locating 13 year-old Jayme Closs, the couple’s teenage daughter.

Sheriff Fitzgerald says a 911 call came in around 1A.M. The call came from a cell phone inside the residence but it’s not known who made the call. “We could hear yelling in the background on this 911 call, not much information,” said Fitzgerald.

He says the call lasted less than a minute and the only word that can be understood is “help”.

“Deputies arrived at that address a short time after the call ended to find no one around on the outside,” Sheriff Fitzgerald says as deputies approached the house, they saw the front door was open and there was a deceased male in that front door way. Officers later found a deceased female while searching the rest of the home.

A neighbor says she and her husband heard gunshots around 12:30am. “Very loud shots, big gun and didn’t think anything of it,” said Joan Smrekar. She says she didn’t think to call police, assuming the shots were someone shooting at an animal. “There’s deer, there’s bear, you name it out here so no it didn’t really bother us to hear shots. It’s just something that we hear and with hunting season coming…,” she said.

Investigators are working on analyzing the 911 call to hopefully learn more but finding Jayme remains the priority. “We’re working with the Barron School District on this case,” said Fitzgerald.

The Department of Criminal Investigation and FBI are assisting with the case. Neighbors say the incident is alarming. Sheriff Fitzgerald says a cause of death could be released as soon as Tuesday after autopsies are complete.


Monday afternoon at 1:25 PM, a theft complaint was reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office. According to the report, a female subject advised that her pills were stolen out of her purse at Lighthouse on County Highway 27, Ladysmith. The complainant thinks it may be one of the other residents that took them but cannot prove it. Whom ever took the pills left the empty prescription bottle. A Rusk County deputy an Ladysmith Officer responded to the scene. A female subject Lisa Bohlen had a PBT of .145. She is on several bonds that say she cannot drink alcohol. Bohlen was taken into custody for the bond violation. She was transported to the Rusk County jail.

Ladysmith Police Monday afternoon at about 4:40, received information that Matthew Skamfer was consuming alcohol at a residence on Fritz Avenue East, Ladysmith. Ladysmith Police a County deputies responded to the scene. After an investigation, Skamfer at a PBT of .035. Probation placed a hold on him and he was taken into custody and transported to the Rusk County jail.

This (Tuesday) morning at about 1:50 AM, a Rusk County deputy advised he was at a location on Park Avenue, Ladysmith, with 3 males that looks suspiscious. According to the report, Ladysmith Police were requested at the location for a bunch of juveniles that were turned over to the City Police. Citations were issued to two juveniles for underage drinking.

As required by state statute on or by October 15th of each year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has provided the certified amount each public school district will receive from the $4.656 billion appropriated for general state aid for the 2018-19 school year. This amounts to a $72.75 million increase in state general aids compared to last year. Roughly 55 percent of the state’s public school districts will receive more general state aid this school year that they did in 2017-18.

In our area, Ladysmith will receive $6,247,233 which is $174,745 less than last year. Flambeau will get $3,973,574 which is $194,712 more than last year. Bruce will receive $2,273,613 which is more than $161,044 than last year. The Lake Holcombe school district will get $203,356 which is $36,125 less than last year. Winter will receive $80,225 and that is $14,252 less than last year. Cornell will get $2,745,769 that is $37,176 down from last year. Chetek/Wey will get $2,139,748 and that is $380,101 less than last year.

  • RUSK COUNTY NEWS June 11, 2019
    WLDY-WJBL NEWS 6-11-19 Monday afternoon at about 1;15, Rusk County deputies with the Rusk County K-9 did a search of a residence on East 3rd Street North, Ladysmith. After a K-9 search a positive alert was given for Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia. No other information was available. BARRON COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) — The man charged […]
  • Moving Sale June 11, 2019
    Moving Sale (phase 2)  Thursday, Friday and Saturday June 13-15.  8 AM to 4 PM.  Queen size bed set, TV stand, household items, more tools, clocks, and lots more.  W11133 Christman Road. lot 7 Bruce.