Some investigative documents from the case involving the October 2018 murders of rural Barron couple James and Denise Closs and the abduction of their daughter, Jayme, are scheduled to be released in the near future, according to state and county sources.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice will conduct meetings this week at Barron to inform school staff members, students and parents regarding a “law enforcement records release” (which is) “anticipated as a result of public records requests made to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies,” according to an email circulated among Barron Area School District staff members.
Two meetings are scheduled today, Dec. 11, 2019, at Riverview Middle School, at which Department of Justice officials will speak with students, and parents and staff from the Barron Area, Cameron and Northwood (Minong) school districts,” according to the message.
Information will be shared with attendees regarding policy, public records requests, information that can be withheld, and safety concerns after a records release.
The Department of Justice will send representatives of its Division of Legal Services, Office of School Safety and Office of Crime Victim Services to the meetings, the information said. The Barron County Health and Human Services Department will have mental health representatives present, as well.
Barron County authorities have been informed about the Department of Justice meetings, according to an email from Corporation Counsel John Muench.
“We are aware that the Department of Justice has scheduled an informational meeting with the school,” he said Dec. 10. “At this time, we are not part of that process.”
The Wisconsin Open Records Law specifies the kinds of investigative records held by the Corporation Counsel’s Office, as well as those retained by the District Attorney and Department of Justice, Muench added.
At this time, it is not yet known when the records will be made available, he said.
The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment by the News-Shield’s deadline Tuesday, Dec. 10. Earlier this year, a DOJ spokesperson told the News-Shield that the state agency would release records in its custody later in the year, in response to requests from credentialed news organizations.