Publish date:

Jayme Closs: The girl who saved herself

The 13-year-old escaped on Thursday, after the trail had seemingly gone cold.
Author:

"Jayme is the hero in this case, there's no question about it."

The words were spoken by Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald on Friday afternoon, 24 hours after the 13-year-old was found in dramatic fashion in rural Douglas County.

Fitzgerald, who has been the driving force behind and the face of the almost three-month search for Jayme, then added that "she's the one that helped us break the case."

That is an understatement to say the least, given the circumstances of Thursday afternoon.

From what we know, Jayme was being held in a house in Gordon, Wisconsin, by her alleged abductor, Jake Patterson.

At some point on Thursday, Patterson left the house and Jayme seized her chance, escaping her confines in a manner that has not yet been determined by authorities.

Even after escaping she faced another challenge, namely that she'd been brought to Gordon, an unfamiliar location some 65 miles from her hometown of Barron.

But the young teen showed the wherewithal to find help in the form of Jeanne Nutter, who was walking her dog near a housing estate 9 miles east of Gordon.

"I’m lost, and I don’t know where I am, and I need help," Jayme told Nutter as she approached, according to CNN, and as she got closer, added: "I'm Jayme."

While in a bedraggled state, wearing shoes that were too big for her, Jayme was then able to give the police a detailed description of her captor, who was picked up just 11 minutes later while out looking for her.

For a 13-year-old to show the guts to survive and escape, and then show the composure to lead police to her captor after the horror she's had to endure is, as Sheriff Fitzgerald put it, "amazing."

That's not in any way to understate the effort of law enforcement in the search, with the Barron County Sheriff's Office and the FBI at the forefront of the operation to bring Jayme home.

Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard for the latest stories

They chased thousands of tips, utilized the power of the media to spread the word, and mobilized thousands of volunteers to assist with the search.

But after almost three months, and in spite of the unrelenting effort of investigators, there were still no solid leads as of Thursday morning, which we now know was because the suspect had allegedly taken painstaking measures to cover his tracks.

Nonetheless, thanks to the groundwork laid by law enforcement, everybody knew the name Jayme Closs.

This would prove to be vital when she presented herself to Jeanne Nutter on Thursday afternoon.

"We needed a break in this case," said FBI Milwaukee special agent in charge Justin Tolomeo on Friday afternoon. "It was Jayme herself who gave us that break."

Next Up

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook won't play against the Lions

The Vikings have made their star running back inactive for Sunday's game.

Seventh Street Truck Park shooting, St. Paul

'Devastated': St. Paul leaders react to deadly shootout at downtown bar

One person died and 14 others were injured in the attack.

1024px-Shop_window_Pelikaanstraat_jewelry_store

Three men sentenced for violent robbery of Minneapolis jewelry store in 2019

Demilo Demontez Martin, Dierre Jameson Martin and Corey Roscell Chester robbed Joyeria Ecuador in May 2019.

duluth police department

Woman found crashed in ditch arrested for her 10th DWI

Police say she was three times over the limit.

Screen Shot 2021-10-10 at 8.27.35 AM

Hopkins collectibles shop hit by burglary again, high-value goods stolen

It's the second major burglary to happen there in the last few years.

Screen Shot 2021-10-10 at 7.07.37 AM

Shootout at downtown St. Paul bar leaves one dead, 14 injured

Police say the woman who died was 20 years old.

Adam Thielen

Coller: Oh good, it's Detroit

Matthew Coller's work can be found daily at Purple Insider.

Flickr - child teenager school mask covid - Jill Carlson

Minnesota school district sued by parents who oppose mask mandate

The school district has asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Ben Simmons

Timberwolves still reportedly 'bullish' on Ben Simmons

Portland and Indiana have made offers for the Sixers star.

Danielle Hunter

Vikings-Lions: 5 things you can count on happening

Can the Vikings get a win over the depleted Lions?

Related

Timeline: The disappearance of Jayme Closs

The 13 year old had been missing for nearly 3 months.

Man, 21, held for kidnapping of Jayme Closs, murder of her parents

The 13 year old was found on Thursday having escaped her captor.

Reports: Jayme Closs fled her captor, found by dog walker

The 13 year old's family have expressed huge joy and relief that she's been found.

Screen Shot 2019-08-07 at 7.27.32 AM

Jayme Closs' family home is torn down in Barron

The 13-year-old had said she didn't want to go back there.

Couple who called 911 says Jayme Closs deserves $50K reward

The reward for information was offered by the FBI and Jennie-O.

Jayme Closs: Here's what happened at Jake Patterson's court hearing

The suspect had his second hearing since being charged with the abduction of the 13 year old.

Jayme Closs releases statement thanking everyone for their support

It's the first official statement to be released from the 13 year old.

Wisconsin hunters are given another target: clues about Jayme Closs

The 13 year old has been missing for more than a month now.