Barron, WI – Police arrested a man who broke into the home of missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs to steal her underwear on Saturday.
Jayme has been gone since Oct. 15, when police responded to an anonymous 911 call from her home and arrived to find Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs, dead and their 13-year-old daughter missing, according to WJW.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald has said Jayme is not a suspect in her parents’ murders and that investigators do not believe that she ran away.
“I’m telling you, Jayme is missing and endangered,” he told reporters, according to WJW.
Sheriff Fitzgerald has asked for the public’s help with any information anybody might have about what could have happened to the girl as law enforcement across the country has engaged in a nationwide manhunt that has thus far led nowhere.
The Barron County Sheriff’s Office has received more than 2,000 tips about Jayme’s disappearance and has cleared 1,875 of them, according to KMOV.
Video from motion-activated cameras nearby the Closs home alerted Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officials that a man had broken into the house through the patio doors at about 2:22 a.m. on Oct. 27, KMOV reported.
DCI agents and a sergeant from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department responded to the home and set up a perimeter around it.
Authorities could see movement inside the house, so the sergeant returned to his car to get his police K9.
But by the time he returned, he could hear DCI agents ordering the suspect to come out with his hands up, KMOV reported.
Kyle Jaenke, 32, carried a flashlight as he gave himself up to police.
The complaint filed against him said Jaenke had admitted to breaking into the home and stealing several items.
The sheriff’s sergeant found a pink extra-small tank top, orange-and-green girl’s underwear, a red-and-white girl’s tank top, and an orange-and-white girl’s dress in Jaenke’s coat pocket, according to the complaint.
“The defendant was asked how many items he took and he stated three or four items, including some underwear that he believed belonged to Jayme,” the complaint read.
Jaenke also carried black gloves and a mask with a skull on the front of it, KMOV reported.
The suspect told agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and DCI that he had gone to the Closs home after work at a turkey store.
The complaint alleged that Jaenke rode his bike from work to a nearby laundromat and then walked the rest of the way to the Closs home, KMOV reported. He claimed the patio door had been unlocked when he arrived.
He told investigators that he thought he had stolen items that nobody would miss.
“Additionally, the defendant stated he was curious about what size Jayme was,” the complaint read, according to KMOV.
The complaint said that Jaenke had just been released on bond Aug. 11 for another burglary he had allegedly committed.
A condition of his bond was that he not commit any other crimes, and he was scheduled for an arraignment on Dec. 19.
As a result of the latest arrest, Jaenke faced charges of burglary and felony bail jumping, KMOV reported.
The judge set bail for Saturday’s escapade at $5,000, and ordered that Jaenke not to go anywhere near the Closs home.
Jaenke was represented by a public defender at his appearance on Monday, but it was unclear whether Andy Knaak would continue to represent the man because records indicated he did not qualify for a public defender, KMOV reported.
The search for Jayme Closs continued at full throttle despite the distraction.
Her family broke their silence last week and sent a message to the 13-year-old in an interview.
“We all love you to the moon and back, and we will never stop looking for you,” her aunt Jennifer Smith said. “Your dog, Molly, is waiting for you. She’s sleeping in one of your sweatshirts.”
A search party of about 2,000 people did not find any new clues for investigators, but authorities have not given up home, KMOV reported.
Sheriff Fitzgerald has reiterated his belief that Jayme is somewhere alive and endangered.