Jayme is a hero, Sher­iff says of teenager who es­caped cap­tor

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - W RLD - —Reuters

Washington: A 13-year-old girl’s es­cape from a ru­ral home where she was held cap­tive for three months by a Wis­con­sin man charged with mur­der­ing her par­ents helped break the case and she should be treated as a hero, the lo­cal sher­iff said on Fri­day.

Jayme Closs is with her aunt after her res­cue on Thurs­day and has been re­united with the rest of her fam­ily and her dog, Bar­ron County Sher­iff Chris Fitzger­ald told re­porters.

Thou­sands of vol­un­teers and hun­dreds of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers had searched the small town of Bar­ron after Closs’ par­ents were found shot dead in their home in Oc­to­ber, their front door blown open with a shot­gun, their daugh­ter gone.

Closs was tar­geted by sus­pected kid­nap­per Jake Pat­ter­son, 21, who care­fully planned her par­ents’ mur­der, even shav­ing his head to avoid leav­ing foren­sic ev­i­dence at the crime scene, Fitzger­ald said.

“Jayme was the tar­get,” said Fitzger­ald. “The sus­pect had spe­cific in­ten­tions to kid­nap Jayme and went to great lengths to pre­pare to take her.”

Re­ly­ing on what Fitzger­ald called “the will of a kid to sur­vive,” a di­sheveled Closs es­caped the house in the tiny town of Gor­don where she had been held cap­tive, about 60 miles (100 km) north of her home in Bar­ron. Her cap­tor was not at home when she man­aged to flee, Fitzger­ald said. She was found by a woman walk­ing her dog on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

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

Closs spoke to in­ves­ti­ga­tors on Fri­day after spend­ing a night in the hospi­tal for eval­u­a­tion. Au­thor­i­ties did not of­fer any de­tails about the con­di­tions of her cap­tiv­ity or how she had man­aged to es­cape. Less than 15 min­utes after Closs’ res­cue, Pat­ter­son was taken into cus­tody after po­lice pulled him over, based on Closs’ de­scrip­tion of his vehicle.

—AFP

A ‘Wel­come Home Jayme’ in Bar­ron, Wis­con­sin; (In­set) Jayme Closs (R) with her aunt and god­mother, Jen­nifer Naiberg Smith (L) and Molly the dog after be­ing re­united

—AP

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