ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Hundreds gathered in Barron, Wisconsin Wednesday night in front of a large Christmas tree as a sign of hope for missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs.
As a choir serenaded the crowd, the community dedicated the Tree of Hope to Jayme. The search for the missing teen is closing in on nearly two months.
Family, classmates, law enforcement and members from the Jennie-O team, where Jayme's slain parents worked, turned out for the tree lighting ceremony. Jayme’s uncle said a few words on behalf of the family.
"The support has been overwhelming, our families, like you we just want Jayme home -- we pray everyday and hope for her safe return," said Michael Closs.
Thousands of leads, search parties and federal agents working on this case have turned up nothing since Jayme's parents were murdered in their home in October. Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald revealed some new information about the investigation, saying it took the intruder only four minutes to shoot James and Denise Closs dead and abduct Jayme. He also reveals nothing in the house was touched.
"There was really nothing out of place and nothing missing from the house that we know of,” said Sheriff Fitzgerald. “Again, it's tough when the two parents, the only three people in the house weren't there, but it didn't appear anything was missing from the house. There was a wallet on the table right there, so it didn't appear to be a robbery of any sort."
Sheriff Fitzgerald says there is still a small, dedicated team of finding Jayme and they're hoping with the holidays and new community gatherings like the tree lighting ceremony, new leads could be generated.
In the meantime, neighbors, teachers and Jayme's loved ones held hands and prayed the magic of the holiday season restores hope and faith in making sure she finally comes home.
"I am confident that your messages will be heard as you keep Jayme in your hearts, in your minds and in your prayers," said Jim Snee of Hormel Foods.
In the closing moments of the ceremony, people released lanterns of hope into the sky.
The Closs family has invited the community to another event at the tree on Saturday afternoon, officially marking two months since the teen went missing. Family members are expected to make remarks.