First picture of Jayme Closs after 88-day kidnap ordeal

Clay Curtis
January 13, 2019

A 13-year-old girl from the USA state of Wisconsin, missing since her parents were discovered fatally shot in October, will be reunited with other family members on Friday, the day after she was found malnourished and dirty after apparently fleeing her captor. Court records don't list an attorney for Patterson and The Associated Press was unable to reach family members to speak on his behalf.

The girl had been missing since her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot to death on October 15 at the family's home near Barron.

On Thursday, after being missing for close to three months, Jayme approached a stranger near the small, isolated north woods town of Gordon, Wisconsin and pleaded for help.

Ownership of that rural cabin was transferred to a credit union by Patterson's father shortly after Jayme was kidnapped.

Patterson is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.

About three years ago, Patterson worked at the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Barron - where Jayme's parents were employed - and then quit, saying he was moving, company President Steve Lykken said.

The few neighbours who know Patterson's family say he grew up in a cabin in a remote development that's a mix of seasonal and year-round homes about 10 miles (16 kilometers) outside Gordon proper. They said there is nothing to indicate that he knew or had contact with the family before the incident, and said they do not know how he came to fixate on Jayme.

The sheriff said Patterson had been keeping Jayme against her will at his home.

"He didn't know Jayme, he didn't know Denise or Jim", Naiberg said. "She said she did not know him". [But] he knew what he was doing. He's being held in Barron County Jail.

There he met up with a 15-year-old girl to have sex with her. The discovery ended an all-out search that gripped the state, with many people fearing the worst.

Jayme's aunt, Jen Smith, said on Saturday on ABC's Good Morning America that when she heard that her niece had been found alive, "I just cried lots of happy tears".

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Investigators have said Patterson's goal was to kidnap Jayme, but he appears to have no connection to the family. "It will be a long road but we are family strong and we love this little girl so much!"

Jayme's aunt Sue Allard told Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune that she could barely express her joy after learning the news.

He added: 'She did not talk about why or how.

They described the 13-year-old as the suspect's "only target" and said Jayme was "taken against her will".

Newly released photos from the family of Jayme Closs say she is "full of big smiles" Saturday. Jayme, officials said, had escaped from a home while Patterson was out.

"I don't understand it yet myself", Fitzgerald said.

"My kids and I - we went downstairs", she said.

Patterson took such measures as shaving his head beforehand to avoid leaving evidence at the scene, the sheriff said.

He wonders whether Patterson was somehow stalking Jayme.

Teacher Kristin Kasinskas was at her home, in Gordon, Wisconsin, on Friday when a neighbour started frantically knocking on her door.

Detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme.

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