A 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed has been found alive, and a suspect was taken into custody.
Jayme Closs had been missing since her parents were found shot to death in October in the family’s home near Barron, Wisconsin. Investigators said Jayme was quickly ruled out as a suspect.
Authorities said at a news conference Friday that Jayme was found near the town of Gordon located about 65 miles north of her hometown.
She had walked away from the cabin in which she was being held captive and approached a woman out walking her dog in a neighborhood, who notified a neighbor and called 911.
Authorities say 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson was arrested in the case based on a description of his vehicle that Jayme was able to provide.
“Eighty-eight days ago we stood before you speaking about the unthinkable tragedy, and asked you to help us find 13-year-old Jayme Closs,” said Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald of Barron County, Wisconsin. “For 88 days, you called in tips brought us food, searched arm in arm with us, wrote us notes and never gave up hope.”
Sue Allard, Jayme’s aunt, told a local news outlet that she could barely express her joy after learning the news Thursday night.
“Praise the Lord,” Allard said. “It’s the news we’ve been waiting on for three months. I can’t wait to get my arms around her. I just can’t wait.”
“There was a lot of discouragement because this took quite a while to play out,” Barron Mayor Ron Fladten said. “A lot of people have been praying daily, as I have. It’s just a great result we got tonight. It’s unbelievable. It’s like taking a big black cloud in the sky and getting rid of it and the sun comes out again.”
“A lot of people were very concerned, did a lot of praying,” said town chairman Denny Kline. “Prayers were answered, for finding her, anyway.”