Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Jayme Closs' aunt gives positive update

Jake Thomas Patterson Jake Thomas Patterson
Patty Aguilar | 14 January, 2019, 16:10

Investigators believe the man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs killed her parents to clear the way for him to abduct her, a sheriff said on Saturday.

It was October 15 last year when 13-year-old Jayme was allegedly kidnapped by an intruder who had just shot her parents Denise and James Closs. That led to an intense search that ended on Thursday when she was found alive 70 miles from her home.

Chris Fitzgerald is the Barron County Sheriff and said Patterson had "specific intentions to take Jayme, but how he became aware of and chose her will be part of the criminal charges".

Nutter said she's glad that Patterson was quickly apprehended, and that Jayme is already safely back with her family.

"I'm so glad they believed us", Nutter said. The call came in from Denise Closs' cell phone.

"This family has always had this incredible strength, they've always been there for each other long before this happened", she said.

For the past couple of months the community of Barron and beyond has been praying for a safe return of 13-year-old Jayme Closs.

Then, on Thursday, a woman walking her dog in the town of Gordon, about an hour north of Barron, spotted Jayme on the street.

Photos show the space beneath alleged abductor Patterson's tumbledown forest cabin in rural Gordon, Wisconsin, strewn with soft toys, filthy bedding and women's clothes. And her alleged kidnaper was still out there, likely hunting for her. It appeared Patterson hid her from his friends and other people, the sheriff said without elaborating.

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Detectives will keep talking to Jayme, but at her own pace, to get more details to help in their investigation.

Jayme was alone, without a coat or gloves in the Midwestern chill, Nutter said.

"I'm lost and I don't know where I am, and I need help", Jayme told Nutter.

Police arrived to find the door kicked in, Jayme missing and her parents dead.

"I think he was my student", she recalled saying.

Jayme has been staying with an aunt in Barron since she escaped. "She did not go into detail about how she got out of the house or anything like that".

Prosecutors are set to formally charge Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, with two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping before the court begins. Patterson is expected to make his initial court appearance on the charges on Monday.

When deputies arrested him, he was out looking for Jayme, Fitzgerald said. "What a great feeling to have her home".

Although Jayme had disappeared, investigators said they initially "keyed in" on the parents because the daughter was an innocent child who they didn't believe could be targeted.

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