Wis­con­sin teen in ‘good spir­its’

Al­leged killer-kid­nap­per, 21, ex­pected to be charged Mon­day

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - NATION/WORLD -

The grand­fa­ther of a 13-yearold north­west­ern Wis­con­sin girl who au­thor­i­ties say es­caped a man who killed her par­ents and held her cap­tive for three months said Sun­day she’s in “ex­cep­tion­ally good spir­its.”

Jayme Closs on Thurs­day fled the cabin near the small town of Gor­don where she said she had been im­pris­oned. She ap­proached a woman walk­ing a dog and asked for her help.

Po­lice of­fi­cers ar­rested 21-yearold Jake Thomas Pat­ter­son min­utes later based on Jayme’s de­scrip­tion of his ve­hi­cle. Au­thor­i­ties are hold­ing Pat­ter­son on sus­pi­cion of kid­nap­ping and homi­cide.

Lit­tle has been re­vealed about Jayme’s ordeal since her ab­duc­tion in mid-Oc­to­ber, al­though more de­tails could come Mon­day when Pat­ter­son is ex­pected to be charged and make his first ap­pear­ance in court.

Jayme’s grand­fa­ther, Robert Naiberg, said Sun­day that, con­sid­er­ing the cir­cum­stances, the teen is hold­ing up .

“She’s do­ing ex­cep­tion­ally well for what she went through,” Naiberg told The As­so­ci­ated Press by phone. “She’s in ex­cep­tion­ally good spir­its.”

On Sun­day, area church­go­ers said their prayers were an­swered by Jayme’s safe re­turn.

“We are over­joyed and we couldn’t be hap­pier. It’s a mir­a­cle and it’s won­der­ful,” Mary Haas told the Min­neapo­lis Star Tri­bune while tak­ing down Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions af­ter Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bar­ron. “We prayed and prayed and prayed.”

Jayme has been stay­ing with an aunt in Bar­ron since she es­caped.

“It’s a great day up in our area,” said Larry Leff at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in nearby Cameron. “God an­swered all our prayers.”

An in­truder blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs’ home near Bar­ron with a shot­gun Oct. 15, gunned the cou­ple down and made off with Jayme.

While in­ves­ti­ga­tors have said Pat­ter­son’s goal was to kid­nap Jayme, he has no ap­par­ent prior con­nec­tion to the fam­ily. Naiberg told the AP on Satur­day that Jayme told FBI agents she did not know Pat­ter­son.

Pat­ter­son at­tor­neys Charles Glynn and Richard Jones said in a state­ment that they con­sider the sit­u­a­tion “very tragic” and that they are re­ly­ing on the court sys­tem to treat their client fairly.

Bar­ron County Sher­iff Chris Fitzger­ald told re­porters on Fri­day that Pat­ter­son took mea­sures to avoid leav­ing ev­i­dence at the Closs fam­ily’s home, in­clud­ing shav­ing his head be­fore break­ing in.

A shot­gun was re­cov­ered from the cabin, which Pat­ter­son’s fa­ther owned.

Richard Tsong-Taatarii / As­so­ci­ated Press

At the St. Joseph Par­ish in Bar­ron, Minn., par­ish­ioners hold their hands to­gether in an of­fer­ing of peace dur­ing ser­vice Sun­day. Three prayers were ded­i­cated to Jayme Closs, friends, fam­ily, and all those who helped search for her. Church­go­ers say their prayers were an­swered by the safe re­turn of Closs, a 13-year-old girl nearly three months af­ter au­thor­i­ties say she was ab­ducted dur­ing a home in­va­sion that left her par­ents dead.

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