A 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, missing since her parents were discovered shot dead in their home three months ago, was found on Thursday, malnourished and dirty but alive, after apparently fleeing her captor in a remote community, police and media said.
One man, who has not been identified by police, was in custody, authorities said, in connection with the case of James Closs, 56, and his wife Denise, 46, whose bodies were found on Oct. 15 while their daughter, Jayme, was missing.
The child’s disappearance made national news, sparking massive searches, with 1,500 volunteers scouring woods and fields in suburban Minneapolis, and the offer of a $25,000 reward for her safe return.
Jayme was found by a resident of the town of Gordon, about an hour’s drive from the Closs home, after the child, described as skinny and dirty with matted hair and wearing shoes that did not fit, knocked on her door, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said.
“This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” said a neighbor who recognized the child, the paper added.
Neighbors in the small northern community called police, who said they took a suspect into custody. The exact details of the child’s escape were not released.
Late on Thursday, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald announced that Jayme had been found in Gordon, but he had few other details.
“We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise,” Fitzgerald said in a statement, thanking the community.
“A suspect was taken into custody,” he added. “We do not have any other details at this time as this is a very fluid and active investigation.”
Jayme was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, but her condition was not immediately clear, with the sheriff asking the media and public to respect the family’s privacy.
Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Clarence Fernandez