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Rusk County News


The Barron County Sheriff’s Department is announcing that with the help of Jennie-O Turkey Store the reward to bring Jayme Closs home is now $50,000.  At this time I want to thank Jennie-O and all of its employees for their cooperation during this tragic time for them with the loss of two of their employees and their willingness to help bring 13 yr old Jayme home. 
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Tip Line at 1-855-744-3879 or

Barron County (WQOW) – Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald tells News 18 that investigators have released the crime scene back to the Closs family. The investigation remains active.

Barron County (WQOW) – More than 1,700 tips have come in as investigators continue to try and figure out where missing Barron County teen Jayme Closs might be.

Very few new details are available. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said the department has received 1,740 tips and more than 1,400 of them have been closed.

The sheriff also urged everyone to continue submitting tips to 1-855-744-3879 and


MINNEAPOLIS — The search for a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl whose parents were killed enters its 12th day Friday and investigators still haven’t said if they have clues as to what was behind the attack and suspected abduction. They have followed up on more than 1,700 tips and the FBI has offered a $25,000 reward for information that leads to Jayme Closs. But child abduction case experts say the need to find her grows more urgent with each passing day and that it’s important the public stay engaged, no matter how long it takes to find her. Here are some details:


She’s been missing since early on Oct. 15, when sheriff’s deputies responding to a 911 call found the door to her family’s home near Barron kicked in and her parents, James and Denise Closs, shot dead inside. Investigators believe Jayme was abducted and ruled her out as a suspect in her parents’ killings.


Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said more than 200 law enforcement officers are on the ground daily and authorities have cleared more than 1,400 leads and continue to pursue othersSome tips led officials to recruit 2,000 volunteers for a massive ground search , which has yet to turn up anything of value. Authorities are also seeking information on two cars — a red or orange Dodge Challenger and a black Ford Edge or black Acura MDX — that may have been near the family’s home on the night of the attack. And they are asking anyone who was on Highway 8 early on Oct. 15 to call the tipline to see if they can offer any information.

Fitzgerald said Wednesday that a new evidence team went through the house to make sure nothing had been overlooked and that it removed some items that were being processed. Authorities are also still reviewing the 911 call in which no one spoke to dispatchers. The call was made from Denise Closs’ cellphone.

Rick Thornton, a former head of the FBI in Minneapolis who is not connected to the case, said authorities are also likely interviewing witnesses and associates, examining social media accounts, computers and other devices, and analyzing cellphone traffic from the area. He said the real challenge for investigators is prioritizing what leads might be most likely to bear fruit. Another challenge is managing it all and making sure that someone takes a look at what is found to try to connect the dots.

Thornton also said investigators might know more than they are releasing to the public, and that they need to strike a balance between keeping the public engaged and protecting the investigation.


Thornton said in any criminal probe, the first 48 hours are critical to getting a quick resolution. But no matter how long it takes, investigators will not give up on missing children cases and will be motivated to follow any lead that comes in.

“You don’t lose hope on these things,” Thornton said. “You keep following the leads that come up.” He said it only takes one lead to go from an unsolved case to “all of a sudden you are on the fast track to a resolution.”

Thornton led the FBI’s Minneapolis office when the remains of Jacob Wetterling, a boy who was kidnapped in Minnesota in 1989, were found in 2016. He said that despite the decades of not knowing what happened, he always held out hope that Jacob would be found alive.

Bob Lowery, vice president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said: “As time goes on … it becomes more difficult to find these children, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t.”


Thursday afternoon a Ladysmith Officer responded to the Barron County jail to take custody of Izak W. Reeves, 18. He was arrested by the Rice Lake Police Department earlier on Thursday. Reeves was held on an outstanding LPD Municipal Warrant. The City Officer took Reeves into custody and transported him to the Rusk County jail.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities have detained a person in connection with the mail-bomb scare that widened to 12 suspicious packages, a Justice Department official said Friday.

Bomb Package Investigation – The Clintons in Chappaqua, NY; George Soros in Katonah, NY; John O. Brennan & Robert De Niro in NY; the Obamas and Maxine Waters in Washington, DC and Los Angeles; Joe Biden in Wilmington, DE and a device intended for Eric Holder was misaddressed and sent to Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s office because her name was on the return address in Sunrise, FL / (MGN)

Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said authorities planned to announce more information at a press conference.

Earlier Friday, authorities said suspicious packages addressed to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper — both similar to those containing pipe bombs sent to other prominent critics of President Donald Trump— had been intercepted.

The discoveries — making 12 so far — further spurred a coast-to-coast investigation, as officials scrambled to locate a culprit and possible motive amid questions about whether new packages were being sent or simply surfacing after a period in mail system.

The devices have targeted well-known Democrats including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The FBI said the package to Booker was intercepted in Florida. The one discovered at a Manhattan postal facility was addressed to Clapper at CNN’s address. An earlier package had been sent to former Obama CIA Director John Brennan via CNN in New York.

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