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

The 13 year old was found on Thursday having escaped her captor.
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A 21-year-old man is being held in Barron County Jail on suspicion of the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs and the murder of her parents.

Jayme was reported missing after her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot dead in their Barron, Wisconsin home in the early hours of Oct. 15.

She was found on Thursday evening near a housing estate outside of Gordon, Wisconsin, and taken into police care, being kept overnight in a hospital in the Duluth-Superior area for observation.

The teen was being held in a residence in Gordon, but managed to escape by foot and raised the alarm by approaching a woman walking her dog.

Douglas County Sheriff's deputies a short-time later found a vehicle matching a description given by Jayme, and took a man into custody. He was found close to the house Jayme was being held in.

He has been identified by Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald as Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, of Gordon, who is being held in Barron County Jail and facing charges for the kidnapping of Jayme, and the murders of her parents.

Fitzgerald said that Jayme appears to have been targeted for abduction. Patterson allegedly planned and took "proactive steps" to hide his identity from law enforcement, and also made efforts to conceal Jayme from other people.

Despite this, Fitzgerald said Patterson doesn't appear to have had any contact with Jayme prior to her kidnapping, but did say he has a connection to Barron.

"The will of that 13 year old girl to survive and escape ... is unbelievable," Fitzgerald added.

Patterson is expected to be formally charged with 1st-degree kidnapping and 2 counts of 1st-degree intentional homicide early next week, according to Barron County Attorney Brian Wright.

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Jayme has been released from the hospital, and is undergoing interviews with investigators, ahead of being reunited with her family.

Fitzgerald said they don't have any information right now about what has happened to her over the past 3 months. He also said that Patterson had no prior criminal history in Barron or Douglas counties.

Sheriff thanks public for their help

An Amber Alert was issued hours after Jayme went missing, with her disappearance sparking a major operation that saw thousands of tips submitted to the Barron County Sheriff's Office and the FBI, and several hundred volunteers joining search efforts in rural Wisconsin.

A full timeline of the search for Jayme can be found here.

Sheriff Fitzgerald thanked all those who assisted with the search during the Friday press conference.

"For 88 days you have brought us tips, gave us food ... and never gave up hope," he said.

Barron School District Administrator Diane Tremblay said: "Jayme has been found safe ... there is truly nothing better in the world than that.

"It has been 88 days of hope for her safe return, 88 days of prayers ... and holding on to the faith that our authorities would never give up and they certainly did not.

"Jayme, we missed you, and we are so grateful you are home."

Bring Me The News does not normally name suspects who have been arrested until they have been formally charged, but have done so in this case given the intense public interest in this case and based on the comments made by law enforcement at the Friday press conference.

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