USA girl who escaped captor a hero: sheriff

Officials say Closs is doing well after having been missing from the Barron area since October 15.

Patterson was being held in the Barron County jail, and it was not yet clear whether he had a lawyer. The 13-year-old was missing when police arrived, leading to an intense manhunt that ended when she was found alive Thursday about 70 miles from her home.

"Jayme was the hero in the case".

Authorities have said they don't believe Patterson crossed paths with Jayme's parents there.

The family sent the photo to the "Healing for Jayme Closs" Facebook Group after it was taken early Friday afternoon.

Closs was speaking to investigators on Friday after spending a night in the hospital for evaluation.

Patterson, an unemployed resident of Gordon, was charged on Friday with kidnapping and with murdering James and Denise Closs with a shotgun.

Closs was found alive almost three months to the day she was abducted from her western Wisconsin home where her parents were found shot and killed.

Police are still investigating how the suspect allegedly "became aware of Jayme", Fitzgerald said, adding, "I do not have that answer in complete form to release". "That's the million-dollar question, is why".

"She is doing as well as circumstances will allow", Fitzgerald said.

Jayme Closs, 13, had been missing for almost three months when she approached a stranger near the small Wisconsin town of Gordon on Thursday and pleaded for help.

"The fact that Jayme did what she did and got out is unbelievably awesome", said the woman at the cafe.


Jeanne Nutter, who has a cabin in the Gordon area, was walking her dog on an isolated road around 4 p.m. when she saw Jayme out in the cold around dusk. Kristin Kasinskas told CNN that Jayme told them that she had been held captive not far away.

He said the girl had been found in the town of Gordon, about 100 kilometres north of Barron, where she had lived with her parents.

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

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said investigators are trying to figure out what happened to Jayme 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.

"These funds are going to go towards the journey with the family as they help Jayme through whatever it may be...driving to take care of her, taking her to the clinic, medical costs or anything", said De Andriano. He surrendered peacefully, authorities said.

It's unclear exactly what Jayme experienced - including whether she was coerced with threats or physically abused - so people must be careful how they interact with her, said Duane Bowers, a trauma therapist who works with families of missing and exploited children and adults.

He worked for a day in 2016 for the Jennie-O turkey plant in Barron before he quit, saying he was moving out of the area, according to Jennie-O President Steve Lykken.

He had no criminal record, according to the sheriff.

"We have recovered a gun consistent with what was used at the scene of the initial homicide", said the sheriff.

Nutter knew of the girl's disappearance, which was reported nationally, and intensely so in the state.

Little is known about the 21-year-old man accused of kidnapping Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs as the investigation is underway.

  • Tracy Klein