US & Canada

Jayme Closs: Hunt for 13-year-old after parents murdered

Photograph of Jayme Closs Image copyright Barron County Sheriff's Department
Image caption The missing 13-year-old has been described as a "sweet girl" by school officials

An increasingly desperate search is under way in the US after a Wisconsin teenager went missing and her parents were found murdered.

The couple, aged 56 and 46, were found shot dead in their family home at about 01:00 local (06:00 GMT) on Monday.

Ever since police have been looking for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who they believe is "endangered".

They say a 911 call and evidence from the address suggests she was in the house when the disturbance took place.

On Tuesday, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said emergency services received a call from a mobile phone and heard a disturbance in the background, but no-one spoke to them directly.

But when police arrived four minutes later, no gun or suspects were found at the scene and there was no sign of Jayme.

On Wednesday, the deaths of James and Denise Closs were officially ruled as homicide by a medical examiner.

At a news conference, police said they had received about 400 tips from the public since the 13-year-old disappeared and an Amber Alert was issued for her.

The alert stated that she was taken from her home early on Monday morning by "unknown individual(s), likely with a gun".

Police in Miami suggested on Tuesday she "may have been seen" at a petrol station there on Monday, 1,700 miles (2,700km) away from her home.

But that claim was later dismissed by Barron County Sherriff's Office as "not credible".

"If it does not come from this podium, it is not credible information," Sherriff Fitzgerald said. "I cannot stress that enough."

The missing teenager has been described as being approximately 5ft (1.5m) tall and 100lb (45kg) with green eyes and strawberry blonde hair.

Local authorities have said investigators do not believe she ran away and they don't consider her a suspect.

"Our number one goal is to bring Jayme home, and no amount of information will be given out unless we feel it's appropriate to help," Sherriff Fitzgerald said on Tuesday.

Jayme and her mother attended a family birthday party together on Sunday afternoon while James Closs was at work, Jayme's grandfather told the Associated Press.

Robert Naiberg said that nothing seemed amiss at the gathering, and that Jayme was "quiet as always".