World News

Man arrested after abducted girl, 13, found alive

Barron: A 21-year-old man has been charged with murdering a Wisconsin couple because he wanted to kidnap their teenage daughter, US investigators say.

Jake Thomas Patterson was taken into custody shortly after 13-year-old Jayme Closs sought help from a woman walking her dog in a rural, heavily wooded neighbourhood near the small town of Gordon, about 96.5 kilometres north of Barron.

Barron County Sheriff speaks during a news conference about 13-year-old Jayme Closs.Credit:Star Tribune

Jayme disappeared from her family's home near Barron after her parents were killed on October 15.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said during a news conference on Friday that Jayme was taken against her will. He said investigators believe Patterson killed Jayme's parents because he wanted to abduct her, and that Patterson "planned his actions and took many steps to hide his identity".

The man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old girl found alive after being missing since mid-October, has been named as 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson.

Fitzgerald said investigators believe the girl was "the only target" and don't believe Patterson had any contact with the family.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed on its website that Jayme was found in the town at 4.43pm on Thursday, and that a suspect was taken into custody 11 minutes later.

Jayme Closs found.

The woman who first spotted Jayme on Thursday, Jeanne Nutter, said she was walking her dog when a dishevelled teenage girl called out to her for help and quickly grabbed her. Only then did Jayme reveal her name.

Nutter said Jayme told her she had walked away from a cabin where she'd been held captive.

"I was terrified, but I didn't want to show her that," Nutter, a social worker who spent years working in child protection, told The Associated Press on Friday.

"She just yelled, 'Please help me. I don't know where I am. I'm lost."'

Nutter added: "My only thought was to get her to a safe place."

The two went to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas, who said Jayme was skinny and dirty, wearing shoes too big for her feet, but appeared outwardly OK.

Kristin Kasinskas told the AP on Friday that Jayme had identified the suspect once she was safely inside her home.

The sign outside Barron City Hall.Credit:Star Tribune

"She said that this person's name was Jake Patterson, he killed my parents and took me," Kasinskas said. "She did not talk about why or how. She said she did not know him."

Patterson lived just three doors down from Kasinskas and she taught him science in middle school, but added: "I don't really remember a ton about him."

Jayme went missing after police discovered someone had broken into the family's home outside Barron and fatally shot her parents, James and Denise Closs.

Detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme. Some tips led officials to recruit 2000 volunteers for a massive ground search on October 23, but it yielded no clues.

Fitzgerald said in November that he kept similar cases in the back of his mind as he worked to find Jayme, including the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when she was taken from her Salt Lake City home in 2002.

Smart was rescued nine months later with the help of two witnesses who recognised her abductors from an America's Most Wanted episode.

On Friday, Smart posted on her Instagram account that it was a "miracle" Jayme had been found alive.

Smart said the girl's family should be given "space and privacy on their road to finding a new sense of normal and moving forward.

"Whatever other details may surface, the most important will still remain that she is alive," Smart said.


Source: Read Full Article