AMBER ALERT WI - Jayme Closs, 13, Barron, missing after parents found shot, 15 Oct 2018 *endangered* #31

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by JerseyGirl, Oct 15, 2018.

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  1. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    Deputies responded to a residence on Highway 8 east of Barron that was asking for help shortly before 1 a.m. When deputies arrived, they found two deceased adults. Jayme Closs, 13, is considered "missing and endangered." Jayme is described as 5' tall, 100 pounds and has green eyes and blond or strawberry blond hair.

    2 dead, 13-year-old girl missing in Barron County, Wisconsin


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    Media, Maps, and Timeline Thread

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2019
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  2. Whiskers16

    Whiskers16 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi everyone- As this is a very active discussion, please make every effort to stay on-topic, victim friendly, and courteous to your fellow posters. If you are posting information as fact, posting a picture, etc. include a link to your source. If you see a post which violates TOS, report the post and do not respond to it. Thank you and carry on :)
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  3. Whiskers16

    Whiskers16 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Disclaimer: This post is primarily based on what I've found from the cited sources. In several spots I made generalizations to summarize the discussions here. In a few places I haven't yet had an opportunity to gather more info. I can update this post as myself or others have a chance to compile more info.

    Victims (pictures attached):

    • James Closs, 56, homicide victim, MOD gunshot [1]
      • Note: I have seen a facebook link but I am not certain it is the victim's as there are others with the same name; I am choosing not to link it here.
    • Denise Closs, 46, homicide victim, MOD gunshot [1]
    • Jayme Closs, 13, missing and endangered [2]
      • 5 feet tall, weighs 100 pounds and has green eyes and blond or strawberry blond hair [1]
      • Facebook:
      • She goes to Barron Middle School and went to Cameron previously [16]
      • Known for her love of dance and her cross country running [17]
      • “I love to dance at Christine’s Dance Jazz, ice-skating, valleyball (sic), swim, Art, cross country, Track, Dance,” [19]
    • Of Denise and Jayme, Downing told NBC, “They got along exceptionally good […]" [18]
    • Described the family as "happy-go-lucky." [20]
    • Joan Smrekar and her husband live right next door to the Closs family, who they describe as “very quiet, almost reclusive.” [2]
    • Case Map, courtesy of thesnowflakesparkles: Google Maps
    • Victims' house: 1268 US-8, Barron, WI 54812 [12]
    • Street view of home: Google Maps
    • Note: in some cases WS users have found that the address of 1268 US-8 or 1268 13 1/2 Ave is directing to the wrong residence on Google Maps.
    • Both James and Denise Closs were long-time employees of the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron [1]
    • At the time of this post, no details have been confirmed by LE/MSM about either victim's role or work schedule.
    • Statement: by Steve Lykken, president at Jennie-O Turkey Store: “Our thoughts are with the Closs family and the entire Barron community. Jim and Denise were long time members of the Jennie-O Turkey Store family. This is a difficult time for our entire team and we are mourning this loss and are still processing this terrible tragedy. We are also hopeful for the safe return of their daughter, Jayme, and are keeping her and the Closs family in our thoughts.” [7]
    • Employee reviews: Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron, WI: Employee Reviews |
    • Job Positions: Jennie-O Turkey Store Careers
    • 10/14/18 afternoon - family gathering to celebrate the birthday of a grandson who is cousins with Jayme. Denise Closs and Jayme attended the party. James Closs was working and couldn't make it, per family member. [12]
    • 10/15/18 00:31 - Neighbors report hearing two loud gunshots within a few seconds [27]
    • 10/15/18 00:53:26 - 911 call received per dispatch log [22]
    • 10/15/18 00:56:01 - dispatched units to residence [22]
    • 10/15/18 01:00:30 - dispatched units arrive on scene. [22]
    • 10/15/18 01:03 - dispatch is advised of possible suicide attempt. Requested assistance, first responders. [22]
    • 10/15/18 1:05:19 - dispatch is advised of one male down, multiple rounds spent. [22]
    • 10/15/18 01:06:19 - dispatch is advised to request ERT; door has been kicked in, male who is down had answered the door. [22]
    • 10/15/18 01:11:02 - dispatch is advised that two subjects are down. [22]
    • 10/15/18 01:32:00 - dispatch is advised that no gun is located at this time. Responding officer requested command post response, search team. [22]
    • 10/15/18 01:38 - responding officer requests photos of property. [22]
    • 10/15/18 01:54 - responding officer requests pole cam. [22]
    • 10/15/18 02:00:59 - responding officer requests drone. [22]
    • 10/15/18 02:08:50 - responding officer advised individuals driving by multiple times were asked to leave. [22]
    • 10/15/18 02:36:15 - responding officer requested state patrol to respond for forensic mapping. [22]
    • 10/15/18 03:05:47 - type of call changed from suicidal person / attempted suicide to homicide. [22]
    • 10/15/18 03:57:47 - entered JLC as a missing juvenile. [22]
    • 10/15/18 04:02:09 - responding officer requested to contact an FBI field agent. [22]
    • 10/15/18 04:25:57 - responding officer advised deputies are going to [address removed]. [22]
    • 10/15/18 04:32:22 - contacted security at St. Croix Casino and requested they contact responding officer. [22]
    • 10/15/18 05:13:19 - Missing endangered juvenile call (ATL - Attempt to Locate)broadcast by dispatch. [22]
    • 10/15/18 06:27:18 - responding officer is at Jennie-O Turkey Store. [22]
    • 10/15/18 12:15:13 - faxed press release to Ontonagon County Sheriff's Dept. [22]
    • 10/15/18 12:35:46 - reporting officer is enroute to the office with dog from the residence. [22]
    • 10/15/18 13:28:26 - reporting officer advised dog was left with family. [22]
    • 10/15/18 13:49:49 - responding officer requested to contact Anderson Dairy to advise them of a search of the area for a missing person. Requesting to park in their yard.
    • 10/15/18 15:20 - Amber Alert issued [22]
    • 10/15/18 evening - Miami Police Department tweeted about possible sighting. “Endangered Juvenile, Jayne Closs from Barron, WI, may have been seen in the afternoon of 10/15/18, in the area of N.W. 27 Ave and 11 St. If it was her, she was in a black Ford Explorer with a possible WI plate of I60WER. If you have any information please call 911 immediately.” [18]
    • 10/16/17 11:00 - Press conference at BCJC [3]
    • 10/16/18 16:00 - Press conference at BCSD [3]
    • 10/16/18 19:00 - Prayer vigil at St. Peter Catholic Church, Cameron, WI [11]
    • 10/17/18 16:00 - Press conference at BCSD [3]
    • 10/17/18 19:00 - Local Town Hall for Barron County residents at WITC in Rice Lake at 1900 College Drive in the Conference Center [3]
      • To offer law enforcement the opportunity to connect with the citizens of Barron County, and have a private dialogue about how our community is doing. [15]
    • 10/18/18 14:00 - Civilian search (asked for 100 volunteers) performed along Highway 8 between Barron and Turtle Lake, about 3 miles from the family's home, [1]
      • Routine search for articles of evidentiary value that may be related to Jayme’s disappearance [3]
      • Report to the intersection of State Highway 8 and 16th Street at 2:00 p.m. in the City of Barron [3]
      • Volunteers need to present a valid form of photo identification and be able to walk on uneven terrain. Proper footwear (hard soled shoes) and clothing are required [3]
      • The search turned up nothing of evidentiary value. [17]
    • 10/22/18 16:00 - press conference planned at Barron County Sheriff's Office [3]
      • Released 3 potential vehicles of interest, unknown plates [29]:
        • 2004-2010 Black Acura MDX
        • 2006-2010 Black Ford Edge
        • 2008-2014 Red/Orange Dodge Challenger
      • Requested 2000 civilian volunteers for search starting at Hungry Hollow Grounds [29]
      • Volunteers must be 18 years or older and present a picture form of identification. Volunteers must be able to walk on uneven terrain. Proper footwear (boots required) and cold weather clothing are required and may become dirty or stained. [29]
    • 10/22/18 18:00-20:00 - A Gathering of Hope at Riverview Middle School [3]
    • 10/23/18 09:00 - Search planned at Hungry Hollow Grounds [29]
    Crime Details:
    • Neighbor account
      • The Smrekars reported hearing two high-powered gunshots after 12:30 a.m. Monday. [2]
      • “I hear one shot and the second shot was even louder yet,” Joan Smrekar said. [26]
      • “It actually sounded like a car backfiring or something quite large,” her husband Tom Smrekar added. [26]
      • "JOAN SMREKAR, CLOSS` NEIGHBOR: We had come home about 11:30. We went to bed about quarter after 12:00. We were not sleeping and we heard the first shot and just a couple seconds is the second shot. And I asked my husband, I said, were those gunshots? Because they were so loud? And he said, yes, and he said, it`s a big gun and I rolled over and looked at the time on my clock, and it said 12:38. My clock is off by seven minutes per the Sheriff`s department, so this happened roughly around 12:30." [27]
    • 911 call
      • A 911 call came in early Monday from a cellphone inside the home, [12]
      • Fitzgerald said the 911 call came from the home [2]
      • Dispatcher heard a disturbance in the background. But no one spoke directly to the dispatcher [1]
      • Investigator are trying to enhance the audio for clues. [2]
      • "No one had direct contact with our dispatcher when they called 911, we hear background noise, things like that" [13]
      • He says the call lasted less than a minute and the only word that can be understood is “help”. [15]
      • On Monday October 15, 2018 at 12:58am the Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from a subject asking for help at 1268 Hwy 8. [18]
      • 911 Call Log:
      • Explanation of call log, courtesy of Jethro4WS: AMBER ALERT - WI - Jayme Closs, 13, Barron, missing after parents found shot to death, 15 Oct 2018 *endangered* #7
    • Police response / Crime Scene
      • Deputies arrived to the home less than four minutes later [1]
      • Deputies arrived just 4 minutes after the call ended [15]
      • No one was in sight and no vehicles were in the immediate area [1]
      • "Where deputies found the bullet-riddled bodies" [4] {Note: WS users have discounted this point in thread 9 as it is a photo caption, not part of the article, and not reported by any other sources.}
    • Crime Scene Processing
      • Picture of Chair: {Need link to source for chair pictures here}
        • Items on chair have been theorized as cushion ties, shoelaces, various restraints, some kind of tags, zip ties, wood splinters.
      • Picture of Suitcase: {Need link to source for suitcase pictures here}.
        • Believed to be brought to/from the scene by the Medical Examiner based on the ME carrying it, not wearing gloves, placing it on the ground, etc.
      • Picture of Glass Door: {Need link to source for door pictures here}.
        • Believed to have some seasonal clings (pumpkin) on the door, unknown if any evidentiary value.
      • Wood Door: {Need link to source for door pictures here}.
      • Picture of alleged "Rifle Bags" and Rakes [25]
        • Captioned by Daily Mail as "what appeared to be a rifle bag, a rake and several duffel sized bags" [25]
        • Some think they are rifle bags which could have been removed from the home. Others have mentioned they are unlikely to be evidence from the home as the officers are not handling them with gloves.
        • Another theory is that the bag contains a metal detector, and the rakes could have been used in searching or clearing brush while using the metal detectors. Further detail in this post by rainynights
      • No gun was found at the scene [1]
      • It is unclear if Jayme took any of her personal items with her. Fitzgerald said he was working on gathering information if she had a phone or other items she would have definitely taken with her. [16]
      • Multiple rounds were “spent” [18]
      • The family’s dog was alive inside the residence when deputies responded [18]
      • Authorities found a “violent crime scene.” [18]
      • When deputies arrived on scene they found two deceased adults. [18]
      • With help from the FBI, Barron County investigators searched for clues in and around the home, extending into neighbors’ yards. [21]
      • “They came through and they looked through the house in the garage and the buildings in the back,” [21]
      • “Jayme’s phone was found in the house, along with those of her parents, Fitzgerald said.” [30]
    • Ongoing Investigation
      • The FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are assisting in the investigation. Fitzgerald says the FBI technicians are specialized in missing children. [5]
      • Deputies searched the area around the family's home with drones and infrared equipment, but they didn't find any clues as to her whereabouts [9]
      • Officers also were at Jayme's middle school talking with her friends and acquaintances, hoping to develop some leads [9]
      • Authorities just told volunteers that this is a 14 mile long crime scene. From city of Barron all the way to Turtle Lake. [11]
      • We're providing a number of resources -- investigative, technical, tactical intelligence as well as agents from our 'Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team [12]
      • "Individuals who commit acts of violence may display changes in their behavior and individuals around that person may observe those changes." [12]
      • The death of her parents James and Denise now ruled a double homicide by gunshot [15]
      • The department says at this point there are no signs of drug or alcohol use and say this case is particularly interesting as there were no weapons found on scene. [15]
      • They’re talking with friends, family and classmates as well as scouring Facebook and Snapchat for any sign of Jayme or any indication as to what happened. [15]
      • There is no history of family trouble or custody disputes [16]
      • [BS] declined to comment on the rest of the case and the family of [JC] and [DC]. He said he was advised by Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald to not to talk about it for the integrity of the investigation. [28]
    • Reward
    LE Statements:
    • October 15, 2018 at 12:58am the Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from a subject asking for help at 1268 Hwy 8. [3]
    • When deputies arrived on scene they found two deceased adults. [3]
    • "We believe Jayme was in the home at the time of the homicides and we believe she's still in danger," Fitzgerald said this week. [1]
    • But the sheriff said he has a "100% expectation that she's alive." [1]
    • On HLN's "Crime & Justice" Wednesday night, Fitzgerald told host Ashleigh Banfield that deputies had recovered the cell phone from which the 911 call was made. [1]
    • "Is it a random attack or a targeted attack? I don't know that answer," Fitzgerald told reporters. [1]
    • Fitzgerald told Fox 9 the sheriff’s office has had zero calls to the home in the past. [2]
    • If you spent time with members of the Closs family recently, or if you have ever had a misunderstanding with members of the Closs family, or know someone who has, please call the tipline. [3]
    • People may act differently shortly after committing a violent act. You may have observed such behaviors and not realized it at the time. We are asking you to think back to earlier this week and let us know if you’ve noticed any of the following:
      • Changes in Routine:
        • They will miss work. The absence will be sudden and unplanned. They may either be a “no show” or they may offer a reasonable excuse such as illness, death in the family, car trouble, etc.
        • They may miss scheduled appointments. These appointments or commitments may include medical appointments, a regular responsibility to a friend or family member, like caring for an elderly relative.
        • They may suddenly leave town, either with no explanation or with some reasonable explanation.
      • Changes in Normal Behavior:
        • There may be changes in their usual consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. This could be an increase or a decrease in drinking or drug use.
        • They may make a change in how they look or make it difficult to identify them, such as changing the look of their vehicle or selling or getting rid of their vehicle.
        • They may pay too much or too little attention to the progress of this investigation that seems out of the ordinary. They may try to find new information about the investigation or, they may quickly turn off the news and social media or try to redirect conversations about the victims or their families.
        • They may be anxious, nervous, or irritable. They may withdraw from normal activities. [3]
    • The search for Jayme Closs has continued to intensify and serious unrelated criminal activity was uncovered in the Barron area and law enforcement action was deemed necessary [3]
    • "We've searched the area around the residence […] we've used drones, we've used infrared […] we've searched the school, we've met with her friends, we're working closely with the Barron Riverview Middle School where she attends school" [13]
    • "To say the public's not in danger, I can't say that, but I want the public to be aware we know of no immediate danger, we know of no other threats in the area but everyone should be aware of their surroundings all the time" [13]
    • "We don't have a suspect or a vehicle, and those are two requirements needed for an Amber Alert, so we can't produce an Amber Alert." [13]
    • The sheriff says […] investigators have been talking with Jayme’s friends, but so far have no leads on a possible suspect. [5]
    • he dismissed a tip placing Jayme's whereabouts in Miami as "not credible." [12]
    • Jayme was last seen at a family gathering Sunday afternoon, Fitzgerald said. [12]
    • Sheriff Fitzgerald is asking that same community for help. “Walk your properties,” he says. “There will be many hunters in the area in the upcoming weekend and daily. Check your cabins, walk your land and report you feel anything you think is important to us.” [15]
    • "Is it a random attack or a targeted attack? I don't know that answer," Fitzgerald told reporters. [17]
    • “We believe Jayme was home based on the evidence in our case. Some of it from that 911 call and some of it is part of the active investigation, and we’re not able to comment on why we believe that.” [18]
    • He asked the public to continue providing tips, and to report anyone changing their behavior, such as changes to appearance or suddenly going out of town. [18]
    • He said police “redid” the crime scene with the state crime lab to make sure they didn’t miss anything. [18]
    • Jayme attended a Cameron School but transferred to Riverview Middle School in Barron because her family caretaker moved to that area, said Fitzgerald. [23]
    • "After more discussion with Fitzgerald on Saturday morning, Fitzgerald said he was not releasing any information about how the door got opened. He said when the deputies arrived at the house, James was found dead at the door." [24]
    Other Resources
    Sources - Click the button to expand
    {unsponsored plug} If you've never tried OneNote to manage your sleuthing notes I highly recommend it

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  4. liltexans

    liltexans Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Please continue the discussion here. I would also encourage everyone to think before you post. Remember that you alone own your words and thoughts that you post in any case. If Jayme turns up alive (hopefully) or not, she and/or her family may one day read your posts. Be sure that you are comfortable with that thought. As @Tricia frequently reminds us, words have power. Be willing to stand behind what you post with the full knowledge that a 13 year old child is missing and her parents have been brutally murdered.
  5. liltexans

    liltexans Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    We are getting a lot of alerts that some posters are blaming the victim. While it is NOT okay at all to state that Jayme is definitely responsible for any part of this crime or her disappearance, we are allowing members to state their opinion that Jayme could be involved in her own disappearance. This does NOT include blaming members of Jayme's family, such as her aunts or grandparents.

    I would also add that you must own your opinions one way or the other in this or any other case. If you are of the opinion that Jayme could have been involved somehow and another poster disagrees with you, DO NOT complain to the moderators that others are bullying you because they disagree. Remember that Jayme is a 13 year old child and she will hopefully be found alive and may one day read your posts. Would you be comfortable telling a child that you believe she is a criminal if it turns out she had nothing to do with this heinous crime?
  6. Whiskers16

    Whiskers16 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Posting or discussing anything from the social media pages of family members is not allowed. You know that episode of Oprah where she tells everyone "You get a car!" ? That's me with warning points for anyone who discusses stuff from family social media.
  7. sillybilly

    sillybilly WS Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Please stop with all the off-topic posts. Stick to discussing the case and leave rumors, gun laws, etc out of the discussion.

    If there is nothing new to contribute, perhaps members could consider helping out in other threads where new eyes might shed some light on things.
  8. JRW

    JRW Well-Known Member

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    looking back through previous posts tonight and several thoughts come to mind.. the question how could all 3 Closs's end up in the front room? one opinion I have is that it was someone they all knew at the door... it wouldn't be odd for all 3 to come out to see why someone they knew was there so late...Denise and James walk out to see who it is then Jayme hears a familiar voice and comes out to say hello or see what is happening. Also the perp being someone familiar may make it easier for Jayme to leave the house with them without a struggle...example if the family often had late visitors James and Denise may not think twice about allowing Jayme to go out to the car of a family friend with the friends wife to "see a new puppy they just bought" or some other lure to have her go to the car. Once Jayme is outside at the car the carnage inside could have taken place.... just one opinion that comes to mind
  9. Jax49

    Jax49 Florida Native

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    If I may try to poke a couple of holes - it was almost 1 AM on a school night. And if I understand correctly, LE believes Jayme was in the house when her parents were murdered. moo
  10. mom2chloe

    mom2chloe Well-Known Member

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    Unlikely that James or anyone would open the door at this late hour. Imo
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  11. Caylee Advocate

    Caylee Advocate Well-Known Member

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  12. 1987

    1987 Well-Known Member

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    what if the family home had a security system that was a audio alarm but not monitored. that could give LE the tight time line and if a audio alarm was going off it could get everyone awake and in the same room.
  13. JEMB135

    JEMB135 Well-Known Member

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    Full disclosure, I have not read the previous 30k+ posts word for word, but I’ve been following since the beginning.

    I understand that authorities stated the perpetrator was in the house for ~5 minutes. Is it possible that they entered earlier, fired the 12:30ish shots heard by the Smrekars, and then had already left by the time of the 911 call? Could the call have been made after the perp’s departure, perhaps by a dying Denise struggling to make that call?

    I’m trying to reconcile how the police could have arrived so quickly and yet not run into the perpetrator(s). I don’t recall where the cell phone was found in relation to Denise.

    Please note, I’m not questioning anything in the dispatch log, just if the timeline could have begun a bit earlier than just before the 911 call.
  14. kc1023

    kc1023 Well-Known Member

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    Aqua, kirkassoc, lonetraveler and 8 others like this.
  15. The Dude

    The Dude Tying the room together

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  16. Rubiconbob

    Rubiconbob Well-Known Member

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    They said death was instant... likely two headshots ... or significant heart damage from high velocity bullets/pellets/slugs..
    If your missing portion of brain likely not gonna make a call 20 min later....
    They likely show dormant phones and then activity on phone just before 911 call.

    Everyone keeps thinking smerkar timeline somehow will bring intrigue or help solving Crime.... close to 100 police and FBI... 24 hours a day for month... they didn’t dispute 1253/1257 time..... they disputed who was the target... James/Denise/jayme or wrong house... that’s what to solve... The Who/ the why/the when already solved... shooting 2 people in head and getting somebody in car is not time consuming... especially if 2 people are shot before 911 call goes through..
    Damarna, Via Marple, human and 4 others like this.
  17. JnRyan

    JnRyan Well-Known Member

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    We've kicked that around. However, the sheriff stated in the Daily Mail article that the shots killed both parents instantly. That doesn't mean the killer(s) wasn't there earlier though as maybe Jayme may have picked up the first phone she could get to and it was her mother's phone.
    daisy6441, LadyNada, Damarna and 3 others like this.
  18. DetJoseyWales

    DetJoseyWales Well-Known Member

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    No. Sheriff is quoted in a news story saying both James and Denise were shot and died instantly. No one lingered to make a call. The 12:30 timeline is not accepted by police because the neighbors supplying it have had A LOT of issues with accuracy and consistency in their answers.
  19. Confusion

    Confusion Creative Spelling Expert

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  20. JenniD

    JenniD Well-Known Member

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    Could you explain. I am no techy for sure but curious how you know what type of device took the picture?
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