United States teen found alive 3 months after parents shot dead

Geraldine Edwards
January 12, 2019

Police have now charged Jake Patterson with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping.

Fitzgerald said 13-year-old Jayme Closs was able to escape on Thursday from her captor, who he identified as 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson.

On Oct. 15, 2018, a frantic 911 call led police to the Closs home in Barron.

The Kasinskas said Jayme showed up to their home "skinny, dirty and wearing shoes too big for her feet".

Fitzgerald said investigators believe the girl was "the only target" and don't believe Patterson had any contact with the family. It was a tip that Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald had to publicly dispute earlier in the day.

Witnesses told United States media that Closs had approached a neighbor of the suspect for help while the neighbor was walking her dog at approximately 4:00 pm Thursday.

Authorities said a suspect was quickly apprehended, though no details have been released.

In a phone interview with the newspaper, the unidentified neighbour said that Closs "came up to me and said she wanted help".

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The woman who was the first to encounter a missing Wisconsin girl who vanished after her parents were killed says the teen called out to her for help, said she was lost and grabbed onto her before telling her who she was.

Nutter added: "My only thought was to get her to a safe place".

A 21-year-old man shot a Wisconsin couple to death in a scheme to kidnap their teenage daughter, then held the girl captive for three months in an isolated north woods town before she managed to escape, authorities said Friday.

"She said to us: 'This person killed my parents and took me, '" Kasinskas said. "She did not talk about why or how. She said she did not know him".

"She didn't give us a ton of detail".

Jen Smith tells ABC's "Good Morning America" that investigators told her that her niece, 13-year-old Jayme Closs, had escaped and was being treated at a hospital Thursday.

Jayme disappeared without a trace from her family's home near Barron after someone broke in and killed her parents, James and Denise Closs, on October 15.

Jayme's grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told the AP that he had been praying for months for the call he received about his granddaughter being found alive. Smart said the girl's family should be given "space and privacy on their road to finding a new sense of normal and moving forward". An initial ground search yielded no clues, but a second search by more than 2,000 people turned up several items of interest to investigators, the AP reports.

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The sheriff said Closs was inside the home when her parents were killed.

During the 20 minutes Jayme was in their home, Peter and Kristin Kasinskas said they tried to make her feel more comfortable.

Patterson lived just three doors down from Kasinskas, but Kasinskas said she didn't realize it until police identified him as the suspect.

Mrs Kasinskas said she did not see Patterson during the months Jayme was missing. She refused offers of food and drink from the couple, but took a blanket.

Jayme appeared to be "very calm", according to Kasinskas.

Jayme reportedly was found in a small forested area of cabin-like homes about 6 miles east of Gordon. She says she and her husband once caught them siphoning gas. Jayme was nowhere to be found, with the Barron County Sheriff's Department describing her as likely abducted. That woman alerted a nearby neighbor, who called 911.

"I'm going to hug her. Squeeze her", Naiberg told the Star-Tribune.

"And I just shut myself totally down".

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