Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Jayme Closs' family says she is 'full of big smiles' Saturday

Jayme Closs' family says she is 'full of big smiles' Saturday

Jennifer Smith, Jayme's aunt and now legal guardian, posted two photos of Jayme smiling after what she said was a good night's sleep in Smith's home.

Patterson went to the Closs home outside Barron, Wisconsin, with the intention of taking Jayme, Fitzgerald said.

Police are now trying to work out why Patterson targeted Closs. She said his parents moved away but the suspect and his brothers continued to use the home. He quit the next day, saying he was moving, Mr Steve Lykken said.

"While I don't know how she escaped at this time, we believe that the suspect was out looking for her when law enforcement made contact with him", Fitzgerald said.

Authorities had been searching for Jayme, 13, ever since October 15, when her parents were found shot dead in their Barron, Wisconsin, home.

The discovery Thursday of Jayme "does provide hope for those who are still looking", said Alison Feigh, director of the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.

"We are still mourning the loss of long-time Jennie-O family members Jim and Denise, but our entire team is celebrating with the community, and the world, that Jayme has been found", Mr Lykken said. James Kuffel, the township's lone constable, said he knows nearly everyone in the area but has never encountered the Pattersons.

Investigators believe Jayme was at the home when her parents were killed, and that Patterson abducted her from there, Fitzgerald said. She told her brother she was going to a job interview with a friend's boss, later identified as a convicted sex offender.

Almost three years ago, Patterson worked for one day at the same meat products facility where Jayme's parents worked - the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Barron.

Shortly before 1 a.m. that night, 911 dispatchers got a call on which they could hear a lot of yelling, but no one talked to the dispatcher.

Jayme had been missing for almost three months when, on Thursday, she approached a stranger near the small, isolated town of Gordon and pleaded for help.

Another aunt, Sue Naiberg Allard, posted that Jayme got "the most awaited hug ever" when she returned home. "I've met him and talked to him when I walked through the neighborhood, but that's about all I know".

Patterson was not at home when Jayme escaped, the sheriff added.

During the intense, nationwide investigation for Jayme, officials from the FBI, state patrol and local law enforcement received thousands of tips.

She said that while she can't speculate on everything Jayme has been through and what she's feeling, "I think it will be safe to say there will be no returning to what her life was like before she was kidnapped".

Patterson, who is unemployed with no criminal record, was scheduled for an initial court appearance on Monday when homicide and kidnapping charges are expected to be filed.

For Michelle Knight, 37, who was one of three women chained in a Cleveland house for years by rapist Ariel Castro - Knight was held for 11 years - Jayme's escape brought back memories of her own first days out of captivity.

The girl told Jeanne Nutter, "I'm lost, and I don't know where I am, and I need help".

Jake Patterson, 21, allegedly shot and killed Jayme's parents. So we're determining, did he even let her go outside?

She was found by a woman walking her dog on Thursday afternoon.

"And I would tell her that this experience might feel like it's defining, it might feel like that's who she is now, but it doesn't have to be", Smart said.

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