Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Jayme Closs' family says she is 'full of big smiles' Saturday

Jayme Closs, who went missing in October has been found alive Jayme Closs, who went missing in October has been found alive
Pablo Mccormick | 13 January, 2019, 04:11

Authorities say a Wisconsin teen who was abducted during an October home invasion in which her parents were killed has been reunited with an aunt and will see the rest of her relatives within hours.

Authorities said Jayme escaped Thursday from a cabin where she was being held by a man who allegedly kidnapped her in October, according to officials at the Barron County Sheriff's Department, who spearheaded the search for her.

A 21-year-old man, identified as Jake Thomas Patterson, was arrested shortly after Closs was found Thursday. He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.

Fitzgerald also said Jayme was Patterson's apparent target and that he killed her parents in order to abduct the girl.

Jayme's grandfather Robert Naiberg reiterated Saturday that the family had no connection with Patterson and didn't know him.

Owner Karen Beeler said she's run the place for 22 years and had never heard of the family before Jake Patterson was arrested.

Naiberg said his daughter called him with the news, saying Jayme reported having been held by "a guy in the woods" but was able to escape.

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"We're gonna be together and we're gonna get her through it", she said. His initial court hearing is scheduled for Monday and records show he doesn't have an attorney yet.

The news that Jayme was safe set off joy and relief in Barron, which has a population of 3300.

Jayme's aunt, Jennifer Smith, posted the photos on Facebook.

The Kasinskas said Jayme's emotions were "pretty flat" while they waited for the police and she refused offers of food and water.

"There is a reunification process in place going on right now that includes medical mental evaluation, questioning by detectives and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, and then reunification with family". Smith wrote that the family faces a long road to recover from the ordeal.

Jayme told the woman she had escaped from a cabin where she was being held, not far from Ms Nutter's home. Police are still investigating and say 'she is doing as well as circumstances allow'.

"When our neighbor Jeanne came in with Jayme, she said: 'Get a gun".

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"I don't understand it yet myself", Fitzgerald said. "We don't believe he ... talked with them, had any digital footprint with them".

Jayme has been described as "medically cleared", although Sheriff Fitzgerald was unable to comment on whether the youngster had endured any abuse while being held captive.

Patterson grew up in Gordon, a sprawling township of 645 people tucked into the snowy evergreen forests about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Lake Superior. No one pressed her to talk, he said, adding that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and doctors advised them to let her speak when she's ready.

"He seemed like a quiet kid", she said.

He had no criminal record, according to the sheriff. He worked for one day in 2016 at the same Jennie-O turkey plant in Barron as Jayme's parents. The sheriff said it appeared Patterson had no previous social media contact with the teen, Fitzgerald said.

Detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme. Closs was found alive Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in the Town of Gordon. Smart was rescued nine months later after witnesses recognized her abductors on an "America's Most Wanted" episode.

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