Grand­dad says Wis­con­sin girl has no link to sus­pected kid­nap­per

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - Nation - BY TODD RICH­MOND

MADI­SON, WIS.

The grand­fa­ther of a north­west­ern Wis­con­sin girl who au­thor­i­ties say was ab­ducted dur­ing a home in­va­sion that left her par­ents dead said Satur­day that the fam­ily has no con­nec­tion to the sus­pect and doesn’t un­der­stand why he tar­geted her, deep­en­ing a mys­tery that has cap­ti­vated the state for months.

Some­one blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs’ home near Bar­ron with a shot­gun in Oc­to­ber, gunned the cou­ple down and made off with their daugh­ter, Jayme, 13.

Jayme had been miss­ing for nearly three months Thurs­day when she ap­proached a stranger near the small, iso­lated north woods town of Gor­don and pleaded for help. Of­fi­cers ar­rested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Pat­ter­son min­utes later based on Jayme’s de­scrip­tion of his ve­hi­cle. He was jailed on sus­pi­cion of kid­nap­ping and homi­cide.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have said Pat­ter­son’s goal was to kid­nap Jayme, but he ap­pears to have no con­nec­tion to the fam­ily. Jayme’s grand­fa­ther Robert Naiberg said in a tele­phone in­ter­view Satur­day that the only thing the fam­ily knows for sure is that no one knew Pat­ter­son. He said Jayme told FBI agents she didn’t know him at all.

“He didn’t know Jayme, he didn’t know Denise or Jim,” Naiberg said. “[Jayme] don’t know him from Adam. [But] he knew what he was do­ing. We don’t know if he was stalk­ing her or what.

Did he see her some­where?”

Pat­ter­son at­tor­neys Charles Glynn and Richard Jones said in a state­ment they con­sider the sit­u­a­tion “very tragic” and that they are re­ly­ing on the court sys­tem to treat their client fairly. Charges are ex­pected against Pat­ter­son on Mon­day, when he is ex­pected to make his ini­tial ap­pear­ance in court.

Jayme’s aunt, Jen­nifer Smith, posted on Face­book Satur­day that Jayme was do­ing well.

“Jayme had a pretty good night sleep it was great to know she was next to me all night what a great feel­ing to have her home. As a fam­ily we will get through all of the heal­ing process Jayme has. It will be a long road but we are fam­ily strong and we love this lit­tle girl so much!!”

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. He said there is no ev­i­dence Pat­ter­son knew Jayme or her fam­ily or had been in con­tact with her on so­cial me­dia.

The sher­iff said he didn’t know whether Jayme had been phys­i­cally abused.

Jayme’s grand­fa­ther said he spent a few hours with her on Fri­day. No one pressed her to talk, he said, adding that FBI agents and doc­tors ad­vised them to let her speak when she’s ready.

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