News and HeadlinesNational News


21-year-old man charged with kidnapping of Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs

Posted at 6:27 AM, Jan 11, 2019

Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old Wisconsin girl found alive after a three-month disappearance, said she was abducted by a person who killed her parents, a woman who helped her told CNN Friday.

Jayme approached a different woman Thursday afternoon near the remote, far northwestern Wisconsin town of Gordon -- two counties from where she disappeared in October -- and asked for help, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis has reported .</p>

Wisconsin officials announced Friday that 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson of Gordon, Wisconsin had been charged with Closs' kidnapping and the death of her parents.

That woman rushed Jayme to Kristin Kasinskas' home nearby and asked her to call 911, Kasinskas told CNN.

A suspect was taken into custody shortly after Jayme was found, authorities said.

Authorities have released few other details of Jayme's safe recovery, which ends a disappearance that captivated the state, spawning numerous searches and thousands of tips .

But Kasinskas said Jayme told her she had been held in the Gordon area -- near Kasinskas' home -- by someone who killed her parents on the night she disappeared.

"She said to us that, 'This person killed my parents and took me,'" Kasinskas told CNN's Poppy Harlow.

"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."

Still, so much remains a mystery: Who killed Jayme's parents? What happened to Jayme that night, and how did the teenager end up in Gordon, some 66 miles north of her home? And who is the arrested suspect?

Authorities may reveal some of these details during a Friday morning news conference.

Jayme reportedly approached a woman Thursday

Jayme vanished October 15, the day her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found fatally shot in their home near Barron, a town of 3,300 people in northwestern Wisconsin.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Department announced Thursday that it had located Jayme alive late Thursday afternoon and that a suspect was arrested 10 minutes later.

Though authorities didn't immediately release more details, a woman told the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis that Jayme approached her for help Thursday afternoon while the woman was walking her dog.

They rushed to Kasinskas' home, where Kasinskas says 911 was called.

Smith, Jayme's godmother, told CNN affiliate WCCO that Jayme was recovering in a hospital near Duluth, Minnesota, and is expected to be released Friday.

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.

"And I just shut myself totally down. I thought today was going to be the day, and then I find out two hours later that she's found and I just cannot believe this," Allard told WCCO reporter Mary McGuire.

Jayme's relatives are breathing sighs of relief.

"I can't thank everybody enough for not giving up on Jayme," Smith, the godmother, told WCCO.

"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."

Jayme declared missing after parents found dead

Jayme was missing when police discovered her parents dead in their home near Barron on October 15.

Investigators say a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover the bodies . The call was "pinged" to the Closs home. When the dispatcher called the number back, a voicemail greeting indicated the phone belonged to Denise Closs. The log does not indicate who made the 911 call, but the dispatcher heard yelling in the background.

Police arrived to find the door kicked in, but no one was there. Investigators said they believed Jayme was at home during the shooting.

"Finally, we want to especially thank the family for their support and patience while this case was ongoing. 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.

Thousands of people joined search parties for months as investigators received thousands of tips. The FBI offered a cash reward for information on Jayme's whereabouts, and hunters in the area were urged to be on the lookout for clues.

In December, the Barron County Clerk of Courts Office dedicated its Christmas tree to Jayme. The decorations spelled out her name in big, glittery letters, and they included green bulbs and ribbons. The color green is often used to raise awareness of missing children.

In the days after Jayme's disappearance, law enforcement officials assured the public they believed she was alive and in danger.

Barron, a town of less than 3 square miles , has a population of about 3,300, according to US Census figures. It is about a one-hour, 50-minute drive from Minneapolis, and is about 50 minutes from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.