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Wisconsin county dedicates Christmas tree to missing girl as search for clues continues

By Gisela Crespo, CNN

(CNN) -- This year's holiday decorations take on a new meaning for local authorities in Barron County, Wisconsin, as they search for a 13-year-old girl who went missing in October.

Jayme Closs disappeared after her parents were found slain in their Northwestern Wisconsin home. The Barron County Clerk of Courts Office dedicated its Christmas tree to her.

The tree is displayed in the county's Justice Center building. The decorations spell out Jayme's name in big, glittery letters, and they include green bulbs and ribbons. The color green is often used to raise awareness for missing children.

"It was a group effort," Clerk of Court Sharon Millermon told CNN affiliates WQOW. "We're trying to give back and let the family and our community know that we're still hopeful, we're still remembering Jayme."

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told WQOW the tree brings hope while the department continues chasing for clues.

"That is what we've been running on," Fitzgerald said. "That's what we've been refueling on every morning when we come to work and we go through the tips saying 'I think there's a tip out there that will help us, I hope there's a tip out there.'"

An Amber Alert was issued for Jayme after her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot dead in their home on October 15.

Investigators say a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover the bodies. The call was "pinged" to the Closs home. When the dispatcher called the number back, a voicemail greeting indicated the phone belonged to Denise Closs. The log does not indicate who made the 911 call, but the dispatcher heard yelling in the background.

On November 15, with hunting season kicking off, the sheriff's department urged hunters to report anything suspicious, such as pieces of clothing or weapons.

"This case remains the #1 priority in Barron Co and across the nation," the department said in a news release shared on Facebook. "We continue to follow up on leads, expand and view our recovered video from the area and explore all digital evidence."

The sheriff's department is working alongside the FBI and state agents on the case.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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