Jayme Closs' grandfather says family had no connection to kidnapping suspect

Geneva Stokes
January 14, 2019

Someone blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs' home in north-western Wisconsin in October, gunned the couple down and made off with their 13-year-old daughter, Jayme Closs.

"Everybody has been praying for her and I think no matter where you go it's always a little chatter", said Jim Helman, who works at Tru Value.

Jayme will soon be reunited with her family, officials said during a news conference on Friday.

The authorities have released few details about Patterson, who has no previous criminal record in Wisconsin.

According to a neighbor, Patterson's parents moved away but the two sons continued to use the home.

In a yearbook from Patterson's senior year, he said his post-school plans were to join the Marine Corps and his senior quote was, "Finally done with school". Investigators are trying to determine whether he worked at another job in the area.

The girl had been missing since her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot to death on October 15 at the family's home near Barron.

The area where Jayme was eventually found is a remote community with around 30 homes near the Eau Claire River, the Star Tribune reported. Their bodies were discovered on Oct 15. A 911 call was placed from Denise Closs's cell phone.

The girl's name rose to the top of the FBI's missing persons list, and authorities offered a US$50,000 reward for information leading to her recovery.

The search for Jayme shows the power of collaboration between law enforcement, media and the public. "I mean, it's sad when you hear a story that your child is deceased, I don't want to hear that".

It had been almost three months since she went missing from her home in Barron, where her parents were found dead.

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Jayme told one of the neighbors in Gordon who took her in that she had walked away from a cabin where she had been held captive.

"We're running on Jayme's time right now", he said.

"I'm lost and I don't know where I am, and I need help", Jayme told Nutter, the woman told the station.

They sought refuse with husband and wife Kristin and Peter Kasinskas while the police turned up. We don't know if he was stalking her or what.

"Lo and behold, she's home", Tremblay said.

When deputies arrested him, he was out looking for Jayme, Fitzgerald said. Her abduction led to an intense search that ended Thursday when she was found alive - and Patterson arrested - about 70 miles from her home.

"This is going to be a process, it's not just come home, go back to school on Monday this is a process for her and all of our family is supportive", Jayme's Aunt Kelly Engelhardt said Friday. He is also charged with 2 counts of first degree homicide for the murder of Jayme's parents, per Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec.

Detectives believe Closs was held by suspected abductor, Jake Thomas Petterson, 21, in a rural cabin near where she was spotted, and about 60 miles from her family home in Barron.

Another Aunt, Sue Allard, said she could barely express her joy after learning the news. Jeanne Nutter, the woman who first spotted Closs, told the Associated Press she "was terrified" but wanted to "get her to a safe place".

Knight recalled feeling similarly in the days and weeks after she escaped Castro.

Kate Raddatz spoke with a victim specialist at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center to find out why Jayme's case is so meaningful. "Jayme was the champion that finally said enough is enough", Fitzgerald said.

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