Barron County Sheriff's Department confirms that Jayme Closs has been found alive

Jan 12, 2019, 00:53
Barron County Sheriff's Department confirms that Jayme Closs has been found alive

A 21-year-old man has been charged with kidnapping Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old girl who had been missing for three months, and killing her parents, authorities said.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Jayme Closs was located alive in the Town of Gordon at 4:43 p.m. on Thursday.

Jayme was found by a resident of the town of Gordon, about an hour's drive from the Closs home, after the child, described as skinny and dirty with matted hair and wearing shoes that did not fit, knocked on her door, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said.

The woman began knocking on a neighbour's door shouting: "This is Jayme Closs, call 911!"

She says the parents later moved away but Patterson and his brother continued to use the home.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Friday they believe Jayme was Patterson's only target and that he did not know her parents.

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Without getting specific, authorities said on Friday that James Thomas Patterson took various steps to avoid detection by law enforcement and the public after the October 15 murders.

Fitzgerald said it appears Patterson targeted Jayme and killed her parents in order to abduct her.

Authorities have released few details about Patterson, who has no previous criminal record in Wisconsin, saying they were unsure whether he knew Closs. Patterson, who police said is unemployed, is believed to have ties to Barron County. Jayme's grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Jayme was taken to hospital. She has been reunited with her family and is undergoing questioning by authorities.

"Jayme: Aunt Jen can't wait to give you that big hug and hold you tight", Smith said, "because we're not going to let you go".

The Town of Gordon is home to about 645 people.

CBS Minnesota spoke with Jayme's aunt Sue on Thursday evening who said her niece was now at the hospital.

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Authorities are scheduled to attend a press conference at 10 a.m. Friday in Barron.

'Praise the Lord. It's the news we've been waiting on for three months. She has been missing since October 2018.

Patterson is being held on two counts of first degree intentional homicide for the murder of Jayme's parents and one count of kidnapping.

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.

Some tips led officials to recruit 2,000 volunteers for a massive ground search on October 23 but it yielded no clues.

Both the woman and the neighbor recognized the teen immediately due to the enormous public campaign after her disappearance, Fitzgerald said. "It's awesome, the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape - and that comes from the hopes and the prayers of this community", he shared. Investigators said they believed Jayme was at home during the shooting.

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"For 88 days I have said we would work tirelessly to bring Jayme Closs home. I just can't wait".