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Wisconsin sheriff draws Sunday's deadly shooting parallel with Closs case

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Posted at 12:14 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 14:14:29-04

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis — Authorities in Wisconsin say a man suspected of killing four people may have been imitating the abduction last year of teenager Jayme Closs.

Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said Tuesday that investigators may never know exactly what led to the Sunday attacks. He says Ritchie German Jr. killed three of his family members and later killed a 24-year-old woman at another home before killing himself.

Kowalczyk says German used a shotgun to blast his way into the woman's home, and then shot and wounded her parents. Authorities also say German left his car running with items inside that suggested similarities to the Closs case.

They wouldn't elaborate on those items.

Chief Deputy Chad Holum says if abduction was intended, "it did not work out for him."

Jayme Closs was abducted from her parents' home last fall in Barron, just 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the site of the most recent slayings. Jayme's parents were killed, but she eventually escaped from her abductor.