Wisconsin: Girl (13) who escaped captor hailed as hero by local sheriff

Charlene Craig
January 14, 2019

Jayme's parents James and Denise Closs were found shot dead on October 15 at their home in Barron, Wisconsin.

Jayme was found on Thursday in the small town of Gordon, some 70 miles (112km) from her home in Barron.

There were no immediate links that explained how or why Patterson allegedly targeted Jayme Closs. He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.

Her discovery led to the arrest of suspect Jake Thomas Patterson, who police said was driving around searching for the girl. Closs was found alive in the Town of Gordon on January 10, 2019.

Investigators have said Patterson's goal was to kidnap Jayme, but he appears to have no connection to the family. She said if she could pass one piece of advice on to Jayme, it would be to take time to heal and have faith that she will be able to process the hard emotions that follow such an experience.

She went on to say she and her family will make sure Jayme is safe forever, and thanked everyone for their support.

The sheriff said he didn't know whether Jayme had been physically abused.

Residents who knew Patterson described him as quiet. (But) he knew what he was doing.

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Elizabeth Smart says she has followed the case since Closs disappeared in October.

Roseanna Marie Forcum last was seen in St. Paul in 1998 when she was 15.

Patterson is due in court on Monday where he'll be formally charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping, the official said.

Jeanne Nutter was walking her dog near the cabin she owns with her husband on 10 January when she encountered Jayme Closs coming out of nearby woods.

She wrote in part - "It was great to know she was next to me all night, what a great feeling to have her home".

Jayme's aunt, Sue Allard, told the Star Tribune: "It's the news we've been waiting on for three months".

Jayme told one of the neighbors in Gordon who took her in that she had walked away from a cabin where she had been held captive.

Teacher Kristin Kasinskas was at her home, in Gordon, Wisconsin, on Friday when a neighbour started frantically knocking on her door.

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"Probably one of the more hard issues is going to be finding that new sense of normalcy in her life", said Smart, a 31-year-old mother of three.

Jayme Closs, 13, is pictured in a photo shared on social media after reuniting with her aunt and godmother, Jennifer Smith, Jan. 11, 2019.

"Everybody has been praying for her and I think no matter where you go it's always a little chatter", said Jim Helman, who works at Tru Value. "We don't believe he ... talked with them, had any digital footprint with them".

Barron County district attorney Brian Right said he planned to file a criminal complaint against Mr Patterson next week.

Patterson was not at home when Jayme escaped, the sheriff added.

"Jayme is talking. She communicated with our team up there", Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said on Friday.

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. Law enforcement barricades blocked the road leading to the property on Saturday.

She said they stole things and spent time in foster care. 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.

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Smart said she would get defensive when people asked her why she didn't run or scream when her captors sometimes traveled with her out in the open.

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