Motivated by what he says is a concern for painful memories in the Barron area, a Minnesota resident has started inquiries about buying the former home of James, Denise  and Jayme Closs, and having it demolished.

Todd Sharkey, of Stillwater, Minn., said Friday Jan 18, 2019, that he has extended his offer to the Closs family, and is awaiting word from their legal representative before he proceeds.

If his offer is approved, Sharkey said he would start a fundraising campaign to buy the property for whatever remains on its mortgage.

“I have no connection to the family or the area,” Sharkey said. “But I’ve been following the case and it is heartbreaking.”

Sharkey said part of his concern arises from the assumption that Jayme Closs will continue to live in the area (she is staying with her aunt and uncle, Cameron residents Jennifer and Robert Smith).

“Jayme is a hero – she saved herself,” he said. “But it is as horrible a story as it is remarkable. And it does not seem she’ll be leaving the area, so why have that house around as a reminder?”

To start the process, Sharkey contacted the Closs family’s probate attorney to inquire if the family would be interested in his proposal. He also contacted Barron County officials to find out the fair market value of the property (about $90,000, he said), and the balance that remains on the mortgage.

“The county told me that they’re on board with (the idea), and they’d be willing to waive any (property) transfer fees,” he added.

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