Missing 13-Year Old Found After 87 Days

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When Kristin Kasinskas heard someone pounding on her door Thursday evening, she opened it and found her neighbor standing next to a skinny girl with unkempt hair and shoes a few sizes too big. Kasinskas recognized the girl as being Jayme Closs, who had been missing for 87 days after she vanished on October 15, the same night police found in her home, the grisly murder of her parents, both of whom had been shot in what appeared to be a break-in.

Jayme was located in the Wisconsin town of Gordon, about 70 miles north of where she had last been seen. Jayme did not say a word, according to the account Kasinskas gave to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. Her neighbor was out walking her dog when Jayme reportedly approached her asking for help. The neighbor was so unnerved by the sight, she did not want to be identified, according to the Star Tribune.

The neighbor then rushed over to the Kasinskas’s home and waited for authorities to arrive. Peter Kasinskas, Kristin’s husband, told the Star Tribune, “I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost.” Authorities say Jamye was picked up shortly before 5 PM, and a suspect was arrested just 10 minutes later.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a statement: “Finally, we want to especially thank the family for their support and patience while this case was ongoing. We promised to bring Jamie home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!”

Thousands of people volunteered for months to help locate the missing teen, while investigators received countless potential tips. Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, released a statement through the sheriff’s department pleading for her safe return home. “Jayme, we need you here with us to fill that hole we have in our hearts,” Smith said shortly after the girl went missing. “We all love you to the moon and back. And we will never stop looking for you.”

Jayme was reunited with her family Thursday night. The Mayor of Barron released a statement saying, “I hope she’s in good shape. She’s no doubt been through just a terrible ordeal. I think everybody wishes her a good recovery and a happy life going into the future.”

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