Nearly three months after her parents were shot dead in their home, Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs was found alive in Douglas County, Wisconsin.
The teen described by friends as a “sweet and shy” middle schooler was announced being found safe by Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald and is now being reunited with family members.
“We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a statement posted on Facebook .
Here’s what we know so far about the case:
When did Jayme Closs disappear?
Early October 15, 2018, the police received a 911 emergency call from Jaymes mother’s mobile phone.
No one said anything but the dispatcher could hear loud yelling from the other side of the line.
When the police arrived at their house, only four minutes later, they found the front door kicked in and both Jayme’s parents shot dead.
The police didn’t find any gun or suspects in the house and there was no sign of Jayme.
#FBIMilwaukee needs your help, as the search continues to bring home 13 year old Jayme Closs, now missing & endangered after her parents were found dead in their home in Barron, WI early this week. Call the tip line 1-855-744-3879.#FindJayme pic.twitter.com/rNELlQKJb6
— FBI Milwaukee (@FBIMilwaukee) October 17, 2018
Quickly after Jayme’s disappearance, the police reached out for help and sent out a security alert stating that she was taken from her home by “unknown individuals, likely with a gun”.
A funeral was held for her parents on October 27 and Jayme’s school district held a “Gathering of Hope” for their missing student on October 22.
The murderers of Jayme’s parents and her disappearance shook the community of 3,400 people — and many helped search for the teen.
When was Jayme Closs found?
Photo: Barron County Sheriff’s Department
Jayme was found alive Thursday after emerging from the woods in Douglas County, Wisconsin.
Jean Nutter caught the teen while walking her dog and Jayme asked her for help.
“When Jayme walked up to me, I immediately knew who she was,” Nutter, told Star Tribune.
Together they rushed to Nutter’s closest neighbors, Peter and Kristin Kasinskas.
Kasinskas explained to Star Tribune how a Nutter pounded on their door with a skinny, dirty girl with matted hair standing next to her. To get their attention, Nutter shouted: “This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!”
Peter Kasinskas said Jayme was quiet and showed little emotion. She told them that she didn’t know where she was, but she made it clear that she had been taken and that her parents were killed.
While everyone waited for police to arrive, Kristin Kasinskas said they tried to make Jayme feel comfortable. She felt cold so they gave her a blanket, but she refused any food or drink.
“I’m shocked,” Kelly Engelhardt, Jayme’s aunt, told KARE on Thursday night. “It’s what we’ve prayed for every single day.”
“I honestly had faith,” she continued.
“I figured if they hadn’t found her by now that the person that did this didn’t want her dead, so I had hope. Every day there was hope. We had too much love and support around us for us to give up.”
Who is Jake Thomas Patterson?
Only minutes after Jayme was found, a Douglas County Sherrif’s deputy spotted a car described by Jayme and took a suspect into custody.
The suspect, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, has now been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping related to the fatal shootings of James and Denise Closs in October, authorities announced at a press conference Friday.
He was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping related to the fatal shootings of James and Denise Closs in October.
“Jayme was taken against her will and escaped from a residence in which she was being held,” said Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald. “The subject planned his actions and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the general public.”
Fitzgerald said Patterson has no criminal history in the state of Wisconsin and believes the 13-year-old was his only target.
“There is a reunification process in place going on right now that includes medical mental evaluation, questioning by detectives and FBI agents, and then reunification with family,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said Jayme Closs was kept in a home in “a remote area” of Douglas County, Wisconsin.
“There isn’t a lot of houses in that area,” he said.
Fitzgerald explains that Patterson concealed her while she was in the home but didn’t reveal more details about the dwelling.
Where is Jayme Closs now?
Jayme was taken to a hospital Thursday night for examination.
She was cleared from the hospital Friday and is “in the midst of a reunification process that includes mental evaluations, questioning by the FBI and detectives, and reunion with family,” Fitzgerald said.
They hope to have her back in Barron County by Friday afternoon.
Diane Tremblay, the administrator for Wisconsin’s Barron County School District, thanked law enforcement as well as businesses and families that gathered during the search for Jayme Closs.
“Most importantly, we want to thank Jayme for being so courageous and for achieving an opportunity to find her way back to us,” she said.
“Jayme we missed you, and we are so grateful you are home.”