Ground search for missing Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs being scaled back, sheriff says
As the amount of tips connected to the disappearance of Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs have begun to dwindle, the sheriff’s office announced Thursday that they are changing how they’ll approach the search moving forward.
"As of today, we have transitioned our Emergency Operations Center from a 24/7 reactive operative to a more deliberate and methodical effort to progress the investigation," Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald wrote on the department's Facebook page.
Even though they are scaling back the ground search for the missing teen, Fitzgerald added "the case remains our number one priority" and authorities will continue to investigate "until we bring Jayme home."
“I want to reassure the great residents of Barron County and everyone else across the nation who continue to support and follow this case that we have left no stone unturned,” the post said.
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The decision was made as a result of “a declining number of tips,” Fitzgerald said, while vowing to “continue to fully investigate those remaining tips and new information we receive going forward.”
Closs, 13, vanished on Oct. 15 after her parents were fatally shot at their home in Barron County. The sheriff's office and the FBI's Milwaukee office, which have teamed up to investigate the grisly murders, as well as locate the missing teen, said Monday they're optimistic Closs will be found.
Upwards of 2,100 tips have poured in to authorities, Fitzgerald wrote, adding that people should continue report any potential leads.
“Again, just because the posture of our operations center has transitioned, does not mean the tips should stop,” Fitzgerald said. “We still have a team on-call, to handle them as they come in. Please continue to call in your tips - there is a tip out there that will help us solve this case and bring Jayme home.”
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The sheriff went on to praise the “great team of investigators” who he said have been focused on the case for the last 18 days.
“They have worked with passion, determination and resilience to solve this case and bring Jayme home. I am so proud of each and every one of them,” Fitzgerald said.
He also thanked the community, individuals who submitted tips, law enforcement members’ families and “search volunteers that continue to keep our hope alive.”
A $50,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Jayme.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and The Associated Press contributed to this report.