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Jayme Closs: Suspect named in kidnapping and murder case

13 January 2019

Closs was expected to meet with other family members on Friday evening.

"Jayme is the hero in this case".

"I hope that she's in good shape", the Mayor said.

"She is doing great", Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told "Anderson Cooper Full Circle".

The home was transferred on October 23, eight days after Jayme was abducted and her parents slaughtered about 60 miles away in Barron, Wisconsin.

When Jayme Closs showed up at their doorstep, the Kasinskas family sprung into action, taking two steps before most anything else.

They arrested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson on homicide and kidnapping charges.

"I know all of you are searching for the answer why any of this happened", Fitzgerald said.

"The million-dollar question is why", Fitzgerald said Saturday. Authorities suspect he was driving around, trying to find the escaped teen. She had been placed on the FBI's Missing Person's list on October 15 and was considered "endangered".

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.

Police believe he murdered the teenager's parents in order to abduct her.

The girl told Jeanne Nutter, "I'm lost, and I don't know where I am, and I need help".

"I thought, 'Good for her she escaped, '" he said.

The two went elsewhere in the neighborhood, to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas, who immediately recognized her. Neighbour Daphne Ronning told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the parents moved away but that Patterson and his older brother, Erik, continued to stay in the cabin. Sheriff Fitzgerald went on to again state that at this time there is no indication that Patterson had prior contact with Jayme, either through social media or in any other way. It is about a one-hour, 50-minute drive from Minneapolis, and is about 50 minutes from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Patterson was the authorities´ only suspect, described as unemployed and a long-time resident of rural Gordon.

Also unclear is why he allegedly targeted her in the first place. Police said Patterson had ties to Barron but did not elaborate. The only link between them is that Jake worked for a single day at the Jennie-O turkey plant where Jayme's parents were employed for 27 years.

He may have worked at another business in Barron but that hasn't been confirmed, the sheriff said. Patterson was arrested a short time later. A shotgun was recovered from the home where Jayme was believed held, according to Fitzgerald.

Jayme spent Thursday night in hospital but has since been released. Kasinskas told The Star Tribune that she didn't even realize he was her neighbour.

Jayme was pictured smiling alongside her relieved aunt Jennifer Naiberg Smith, who gave permission for the image to be used after their emotional reunion.

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

She said she and her husband once caught them siphoning gas.

"The whole nation loves her and is so proud of her and admires her so much for surviving everything that she's done", Smart said.

Kasinskas said she taught Patterson science in middle school, but added: "I don't really remember a ton about him".

However, neighbors noted they rarely saw Patterson and hadn't seen Jayme around.

Jayme Closs: Suspect named in kidnapping and murder case