GIRL SAFE, VILE SLAY SUSP HELD

Teen flees kid­nap­per in killing of her par­ents

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY JES­SICA SCHLADEBECK AND LEONARD GREENE

Sev­eral weapons, in­clud­ing a shot­gun like the one used to kill Jayme Closs' par­ents, were found in the Wis­con­sin home from which the di­sheveled girl mirac­u­lously es­caped months af­ter she was kid­napped by the man who killed her mom and dad, au­thor­i­ties said Fri­day.

Cops piec­ing to­gether the de­tails of the mur­der and ab­duc­tion drama said 13year-old Jayme was the tar­get of sus­pect Jake Pat­ter­son, 21, who is ac­cused of killing 56-year-old James Closs and his wife Denise, 46, in Oc­to­ber, 70 miles away from where their kid­napped daugh­ter was found.

Jayme, who had been miss­ing for months from her Bar­ron, Wisc., home, sur­faced in the ru­ral town of Gor­don Thurs­day af­ter she es­caped from Pat­ter­son's house and flagged down a woman walk­ing her dog for help.

Au­thor­i­ties do not yet know the sus­pect's con­nec­tion to Jayme, but be­lieve she was his in­tended tar­get — not her par­ents.

But Bar­ron County Sher­iff Chris Fitzger­ald said of­fi­cials were more im­me­di­ately con­cerned with re­unit­ing Jayme and her fam­ily than they were with solv­ing the mys­tery.

“I'm not look­ing to put pres­sure on Jayme on her fam­ily,” Fitzger­ald told re­porters. “We want to re­unite her. Some of that can wait.”

Even so, be­tween 30 and 40 in­ves­ti­ga­tors were on the scene in the wooded Gor­don area try­ing to de­ter­mine how the sus­pect kept Jayme hid­den for weeks.

Fitzger­ald noted that Pat­ter­son was “not on our radar” and has no crim­i­nal his­tory. He added that in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve the al­leged kid­nap­per killed Jayme's par­ents be­cause he wanted to abduct the teen, and that Pat­ter­son “planned his ac­tions and took many steps to hide his iden­tity.”

Kristin and Peter Kasin­skas were enjoying a quiet evening at their Gor­don home Thurs­day when they heard a fran­tic pound­ing on their door, the Star Tri­bune re­ported. Peter said he felt like he “was see­ing a ghost” when they opened it to see their neigh­bor, Jeanne Nut­ter, stand­ing next to a thin girl, wear­ing shoes too big for her feet.

“This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” she or­dered.

Nut­ter, who has been a so­cial worker in child pro­tec­tion for years, said Jayme grabbed onto her be­fore ex­plain­ing who she was.

“I was ter­ri­fied, but I didn't want to show her that. She just yelled please help me I don't know where I am,” she said. “My only thought was to get her to a safe place.”

Fitzger­ald told re­porters Jayme was able to es­cape from a cabin in the area on foot and im­me­di­ately sought out as­sis­tance.

“It's amaz­ing, the will of that girl to sur­vive,” he added.

The Kasin­skases said Jayme was quiet and showed lit­tle emo­tion in the 20 min­utes or so she spent in their home. She told them she'd been ab­ducted and that she didn't know where she was or any­thing about Gor­don, a heav­ily forested town with a pop­u­la­tion of about 645.

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

The mid­dle-schooler had been miss­ing since Oct. 15, the same day her par­ents were dis­cov­ered fa­tally shot in­side their home

Fitzger­ald said Jayme, who had been cleared by the hos­pi­tal, is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a re­uni­fi­ca­tion process, which in­cludes men­tal eval­u­a­tions as well as ques­tion­ing by the FBI and lo­cal de­tec­tives.

A Dou­glas County pa­trol sergeant took the sus­pect into cus­tody af­ter spot­ting a ve­hi­cle match­ing a de­scrip­tion Jayme had given to au­thor­i­ties.

“This case was chal­leng­ing given the proac­tive steps the sus­pect took to avoid de­tec­tion,” said Justin Tolomeo, spe­cial-agent-in­charge of the FBI's Mil­wau­kee di­vi­sion. “In cases like this, we often need a big break and it was Jayme her­self who gave us that break.”

Pat­ter­son was be­ing held Fri­day at the Bar­ron County Jail on a kid­nap­ping charge and two counts of first-de­gree in­ten­tional homi­cide in the deaths of Jayme's par­ents

Jake Pat­ter­son (above) is charged with killing par­ents of Jayme Closs, 13, (below) whom he al­legedly held for months in ru­ral Wis­con­sin.

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