Girl cap­tive a ‘hero’

21yo man charged with mur­der of teen’s par­ents

The Sunday Times - - WORLD - BAR­RON

A 13-YEAR-OLD girl held cap­tive for three months by a 21year-old man charged with mur­der­ing her par­ents should be treated as a hero, the lo­cal sher­iff says.

Jayme Closs’ es­cape from the ru­ral house in Wis­con­sin helped break the case, Bar­ron County Sher­iff Chris Fitzger­ald said.

Jayme was skinny, di­shev­elled and wear­ing shoes too big for her when she ap­proached a stranger and pleaded for help on Thurs­day in the iso­lated town of Gor­don, about 100km north of her home­town of Bar­ron.

“She just yelled, ‘Please help me, I don’t know where I am, I’m lost’,” Jeanne Nut­ter, who had been walk­ing her dog, said.

“I was ter­ri­fied, but I didn’t want to show her that.”

Ms Nut­ter took her to the nearby home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas.

Jayme told the cou­ple she had been held cap­tive in a cabin and didn’t know where she was or any­thing about Gor­don.

“She said that this per­son’s name was Jake Pat­ter­son, ‘he killed my par­ents and took me’,” Ms Kasinskas said.

“She did not talk about why or how. She said she did not know him.”

Thou­sands of vol­un­teers and hun­dreds of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers had been search­ing around the clock for Jayme after her par­ents were found shot dead in their home, the front door open and the girl gone. Both the woman and the neigh­bour recog­nised the teen im­me­di­ately on Thurs­day due to the enor­mous pub­lic cam­paign fol­low­ing her dis­ap­pear­ance, Mr Fitzger­ald said.

Less than 15 min­utes later, Jake Pat­ter­son, 21, was in cus­tody after po­lice pulled over his vehicle, based on Closs’ de­scrip­tion.

“Jayme is the hero in this case. She’s the one who helped us break this case,” Mr Fitzger­ald said.

“The sus­pect was out look­ing for her when law en­force­ment made con­tact with him,” Mr Fitzger­ald told a news con­fer­ence, adding po­lice were not seeking any other sus­pects in the case at this time.

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

Their bod­ies were dis­cov­ered on Oc­to­ber 15.

More than 200 law en­force­ment of­fi­cials were on the ground day and night fol­low­ing Closs’ dis­ap­pear­ance, sift­ing through thou­sands of tips but find­ing lit­tle to go on.

The search stretched across corn­fields and wooded areas and drew 1500 vol­un­teers.

Case over: Jayme Closs and Jake Thomas Pat­ter­son.

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