Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

U.S. teen found alive 3 months after parents shot dead

Barron residents others celebrate safe return of Jayme Closs Missing teen whose parents were shot is found alive, suspect in custody
Andrew Cummings | 12 January, 2019, 01:58

During a news conference Friday, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Jayme was taken against her will.

Closs is the 13-year-old girl who vanished October 15 after her parents were fatally shot at their home about 60 miles to the south in Douglas County.

Patterson is being held on two counts of first degree intentional homicide for the murder of Jayme's parents and one count of kidnapping. As of 4 p.m. Friday, she had been reunited with some of her family, with more reunions to follow.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper, citing witnesses, described Closs's appearance as gaunt, with matted hair and shoes too big for her feet. The girl said she'd been abducted and had escaped from a house where she had been left alone, Peter Kasinskas told the NPR member station.

Fitzgerald said the suspect has ties to the Barron area and that he believes he targeted Jayme Closs.

Special Agent R Justin Tolomeo of the Milwaukee FBI said "it is an incredible day", and spoke about how challenging the case was "given the steps the suspect took" to hide both himself and Closs.

A woman who helped a Wisconsin girl who'd been missing for three months following her parents' deaths says the girl told her she'd been held against her will. He said investigators believe Patterson killed Jayme's parents because he wanted to abduct her.

Police believe he murdered the teenager's parents in order to abduct her.

Detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme. She said: "My only thought was to get her to a safe place".

Kasinskas tells NBC's "Today Show" that Jayme talked about being locked up or hidden when the person had to leave, but that the girl didn't detail how she got away.

Jayme told the couple she didn't know where she was or anything about Gordon. "She just yelled, 'Please help me!"

Barron residents others celebrate safe return of Jayme Closs

"I'm going to hug her. Squeeze her", Naiberg told the Star-Tribune. "She said she did not know him".

Gordon, the area in which Jayme was found, was apparently not on investigators' radar, police said.

Her grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told the AP that his daughter told him that Jayme had been held by "a guy in the woods" but had managed to flee.

Jayme was reported missing on October 15, after her parents were found fatally shot in their home near Barron, about an hour's drive south of Gordon.

Jayme's aunt, Sue Allard, told WCCO of a rollercoaster day Thursday - the family earlier in the day had heard rumors, which authorities knocked down, that the teen might have been found in a different part of the state.

Elizabeth Smart says it is a "miracle" that a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl missing for almost three months has been found safe.

A woman said she was walking her dog along a rural road when a disheveled teenage girl called out to her for help, quickly grabbed her and told her she was lost.

Jayme had been missing since October 15.

Authorities say 13-year-old Jayme Closs was found Thursday afternoon in the Town of Gordon in Douglas County, Wisconsin. Jayme was taken to a hospital for an evaluation. Only then did Jayme reveal her name.

The notification that Jayme had been found came just four hours after Fitzgerald had taken to Twitter to debunk a report that she had been found alive near Walworth County.

Closs disappeared after police received a 911 call from a cellphone inside her home where James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, were found shot dead.

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