6 Theories About What Happened To Jayme Closs —The Wisconsin Girl Missing After Her Parents Were Murdered

Photo: FBI Milwaukee
What Happened To Jayme Closs? Details Jayme Closs Missing Theories

Jayme Closs' disappearance has baffled authorities and the nation alike. With little information available, amateur investigators have taken it upon themselves to come up with a string of theories as to what really happened.

The 13-year-old girl from Barron, Wisconsin, was reported missing Oct. 15 after police responded to a 911 call. They found both of her parents shot to death in their home, and Jayme was nowhere to be found.

As time went on, authorities revealed Jayme's disappearance baffled them as much as it did locals. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald basically admitted early on that authorities had no leads on where Jayme could be.

“Our deputies …they’re frustrated,” Fitzgerald said in news conference. "It’s just a different scene for us. We don’t have a suspect. We don’t have any leads right now. We’re working very diligently right now to get those leads. We’re working with other agencies."

Police believe she is still alive but in danger. They are currently seeking information about "two vehicles of interest" while investigators are still searching nearby foods and wooded areas. 

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Both a red or orange car believed to be a 2008-2014 Dodge challenger or charger, and a black SUV believed to be a 2006-2010 Ford edge or a 2004-2010 Acura MDX were seen on surveillance cameras near the home at the time of the murder and Jayme's disappearance. 

Jayme is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds. She has green eyes and blond or strawberry blond hair. Anyone with information about her or the cars is urged to call the tip line at 1-855-744-3879. 

So where is Jayme Closs and what happened to her? Sleuths online are determined to solve the mystery before police and have released multiple theories as to what could have happened to the girl who went missing seven days ago.

Here are some of those theories:

1. Jayme killed her own parents.

Barron County Sheriff's Department

Although authorities have ruled Jayme out as a suspect or runaway, some believe she was the one who pulled the trigger. Despite little evidence being found at the Closs' home, new details have emerged that make this scenario much less believable.

Fitzgerald said the front door of the rural house was "kicked in," something a 100-pound teenage girl would likely not be able to do. Even if Jayme managed to kick the door in, it's difficult to imagine she would have been able to shoot her own parents. There has also been some inconsistency with the state of the door when authorities arrived at the scene. Another police report says the father answered the door.

Was it kicked down or opened by Jayme's dad?

The young girl was described as "sweet," "quiet," and a "loyal friend." If she won $1 million, she would "feed the hungry and give the rest to the poor," Diane Tremblay, superintendent of the Barron Area School District, said at a news conference.

A family friend told PEOPLE that Jayme and her slain mother were "inseparable." 

They were just two peas in a pod,” Melissa Salmonson told the outlet, adding that her mom, Denise, “was pretty quiet and shy like Jayme — they were similar.”

Fitzgerald cleared the girl as her parents' killer and believes her life may be in danger.

“Right now, she’s missing and endangered. She’s not listed as a suspect," he said. "And as of now, we are just focused on finding a 13-year-old scared girl.”

2. Jayme was the intended target.

Barron County Sheriff's Department

It has been theorized that whoever killed Mr. and Mrs. Closs were actually targeting Jayme for sexual purposes. Whoever shot her parents may not have planned on doing so but, in an effort to kidnap Jayme, killed them to ensure no witnesses were left alive.

However, others have pointed out that those who kidnap people for sex trafficking rarely do so in a way that attracts attention. Sex traffickers mainly snatch their targets while nobody is looking — not from the comfort of their own home.

3. Jayme met an older man online.

This popular, yet unsupported theory is a long shot. 

Reddit users have discussed the idea that Jayme met an older man online. When her parents found out about the relationship, they didn't approve and forbade her from communicating with him. 

The two plotted against Jayme's parents, killed them, and ran away together after the deed was done. 

Police received a tip about a possible sighting of Jayme in Miami. The Miami Police Department tweeted that the missing girl may have been seen in a black Ford Explorer with Wisconsin plates along with two bearded men, but it was deemed not credible.

Again, Fitzgerald had publicly ruled Jayme out as a suspect, so there is likely little truth to the theory. If there was an older man she was communicating with via text or online, the FBI and police would have a lead, and they have made it clear that the 1,000 plus tips that have poured in have brought them no closer to finding the missing teen.

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4. It was a drug-fueled hit gone wrong.

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Barron County Sheriff's Department

The northern Wisconsin area where the Closs family live has one of the largest methamphetamine problems in the state, Fitzgerald said back in June. 

The idea that whoever killed Jayme's parents had gone to the house with the intent to kill someone involved with drugs but hit the wrong house has some validity to it. It is very possible that a drug-fueled conflict went wrong. A drug user or dealer could have shown up to resolve a problem with violence but ended up at the wrong house. 

Once the killer(s) was seen, there would be no option but to kill the family in order to prevent them from going the to police as witnesses. 

But this theory has some holes in it, too. Why would the killer kidnap Jayme instead of shooting her along with her parents? She was a witness, as well. 

5. It was a murder-suicide.

Some have argued that one of Jayme's parents killed her and hid her body before killing the other parent and then took his or her own life. 

Authorities have already proven this theory incorrect. Autopsies concluded that neither parent had self-inflicted wounds and a murder weapon was no where to be found at the scene. Their deaths were officially ruled as homicides.

6. Her parents had a dangerous secret.

Denise and James Closs are described as a friendly, yet fairly introverted couple. But did they have a secret that could have brought their early demise? 

While Jayme and her mother were known to be close, her father was a bit more of a reclusive man. There is no credible support of this theory so far, but it is quite possible for the missing girl's parents to have had a vice that could have caused problems. Secrets are kept secret for a reason.

The pair also worked together at a local turkey plant, so there is a theory floating around that someone at work could be involved. A disgruntled coworker may have had it out for them and decided to take their lives.

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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.