Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Jayme Closs: authorities search for motive in 'tragic' kidnapping case

Jennifer Smith and Jayme Closs are all smiles after the teenager was found on Thursday Jan. 10 2019 Jennifer Smith and Jayme Closs are all smiles after the teenager was found on Thursday Jan. 10 2019
Jeannette Daniel | 14 January, 2019, 03:39

After the news that 13-year-old Jayme Closs was found safe in Wisconsin after missing for almost three months, there are many emotions being felt by the families of other missing persons.

The man suspected of kidnapping a Wisconsin teenager and killing her parents more than two months ago appears to have led an unremarkable existence until then.

Her alleged captor, 21-year-old Jake Patterson, was soon captured driving nearby.

"Jayme was the champion that finally said enough is enough", Fitzgerald said.

However, authorities believe that Jake Patterson acted alone in kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46.

He has no criminal record, the sheriff said.

Jayme's aunt, Jennifer Smith, posted on Facebook on Saturday, writing: "Jayme had a pretty good night sleep it was great to know she was next to me all night what a great feeling to have her home".

Both the woman and the neighbour recognised the teen immediately on Thursday due to the enormous public campaign following her disappearance, Fitzgerald said.

"I was elected to keep people safe and not having that unknown out there", Fitzgerald said on Fox & Friends. First, to celebrate her homecoming but also realize she will need time and space to adjust to life after what she's been through.

They called 911, and Jayme provided a description of Patterson's vehicle.

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Patterson is unemployed, although worked for one day at the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron, where the Closs' worked for 27 years.

She told the Associated Press that the 13-year-old had shouted "please help me, I don't know where I am, I'm lost".

The sheriff said investigators are trying to figure out what happened to Closs during her captivity and why she was seized, and gave no details on how she escaped except to say Patterson was not home at the time.

"All along, Patty (Wetterling) was saying, 'I knew it, I knew she was OK, '" said Jane Straub, victim assistance specialist at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.

A former classmate, who was not named, said Patterson stayed mostly to himself and was quiet. As a family we will get through all of the healing process Jayme has.

Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald said he does not believe her kidnapper took her across state lines.

Closs was missing for almost three months when she approached a stranger in the small, isolated town of Gordon and pleaded for help. The FBI offered a cash reward for information on her whereabouts, and authorities urged hunters in the area to be on the lookout for clues. "[Jayme] don't know him from Adam".

The woman took her to a neighbor's house where they called police.

"She said that this person's name was Jake Patterson, 'he killed my parents and took me, '" said another neighbour, Kristin Kasinskas. "She said that this person usually hides her or hides her when others are near, or when he has to leave the household". His initial court hearing is scheduled for Monday and records showed he does not have an attorney. "I mean, it's sad when you hear a story that your child is deceased, I don't want to hear that".

Jayme was hospitalized, and later released and reunited with her relatives and dog, Molly, in Barron. "Jayme was the champion that finally said enough is enough", Fitzgerald said.

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