A 'Glorious Day' in Jayme Closs' Hometown, a Suspect Named

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, has been charged with kidnapping Wisconsin teen, killing her parents
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2019 11:21 AM CST
A 'Glorious Day' in Jayme Closs' Hometown, a Suspect Named
A booking photo of suspect Jake Thomas Patterson.   (Barron County Sheriff's Office, via Fox News)

Jayme Closs is alive, and new details are emerging. The 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, who went missing in October from her Barron home, where her parents were found shot dead, turned up about 60 miles away near Gordon Thursday after fleeing her captor. In what Barron Area School District Superintendent Diane Tremblay called "a glorious day," Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald led a Friday morning press conference aired live on Channel3000.com, revealing that Jayme was now in the "comforting embrace of law enforcement" and that a suspect has been named: 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson. Details:

  • Arrest: Fitzgerald said Jayme had been Patterson's target and was taken "against her will" on Oct. 15. After she escaped from her abductor, she gave police a description of the suspect's vehicle, and he was pulled over shortly after. Patterson has been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Jayme's parents, as well as one count of kidnapping.
  • Recuperating: Fitzgerald adds that Jayme was examined at a local hospital and was doing "good," and that she was being prepped for "reunification" with family. She's expected to be back in Barron sometime Friday.

  • Timeline: CNN offers a timeline from the past 87 days of "questions, numerous searches, and thousands of tips," including an odd break-in at Jayme's home at the end of October that led to an arrest, but not one related to her disappearance.
  • Dog-walker: One of the women who helped Jayme, Kristin Kasinskas, told CNN's Poppy Harlow that, after escaping, Jayme had first encountered a different woman walking a dog, who rushed Jayme to Kasinskas' home nearby. "She said to us that, 'This person killed my parents and took me,'" Kasinskas said. "She said that this person usually hides her or hides her when others are near, or when he has to leave the household. She did not go into detail about how she got out of the house or anything like that."
  • 'She wanted help': The dog-walking woman who first found Jayme, who doesn't want to be IDed and isn't talking much, tells the Star Tribune that Jayme simply "came up to me and said she wanted help." Kasinskas' husband, Peter, says the teen was quiet and her emotions "pretty flat." Whose emotions weren't as subdued: those in the Barron community and in Jayme's family, including her aunt, Sue Allard, who tells the paper, "It's the news we've been waiting on for three months. I can't wait to get my arms around her. I just can't wait."
  • Elizabeth Smart: Another person who's happy to hear Jayme is headed home: Elizabeth Smart, who herself was kidnapped in 2002 and held for nine months, per USA Today. "What a miracle!!!" Smart posted on Instagram. " What a brave, strong, and powerful survivor!!!! No matter what may unfold in her story let's all try to remember that this young woman has SURVIVED and whatever other details may surface the most important will still remain that she is alive."
(More Jayme Closs stories.)

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