Jake Patterson was frantically searching for Jayme Closs after the teen escaped from her alleged kidnapper following nearly three months in captivity, police in Wisconsin revealed on Friday.
The 13-year-old was found alive this week in a shocking development, and now police have revealed new details about her kidnapping. Jayme went missing following the October 15 murder of her parents, and police said in the months that followed she was being held in a small cabin by the 21-year-old Patterson. As the New York Post reported, Patterson nearly caught Closs again after the teen managed to escape the cabin and run to safety on Thursday.
“The suspect was not at home when Jayme escaped. 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,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a Friday press conference where Patterson was first announced as the suspect.
Fitzgerald added that Patterson was originally targeting Jayme when he broke into the family’s home in October with a shotgun. Investigators did not reveal whether Patterson knew Closs before the alleged kidnapping or what led him to kill the teen’s parents.
Investigators revealed details hinting that Jake Patterson may have but detailed planning into the teen’s kidnapping, saying he went so far as to shave his head so he would not leave any DNA evidence at the scene.
Police also praised Jayme Closs as a hero for managing to escape and then point police back to her kidnapper.
“Jayme is the hero in this case, there is no question about it,” Fitzgerald said. “She is the one that helped us break the case along with everybody else that worked on it.”
Closs is with family after being rescued from captivity, and on Friday a picture was published showing the teen smiling with her aunt and her beloved dog, Molly.
Jennifer Havorson, a friend of the family, told People that Jayme was thrilled to be reunited with her loved ones.
“She is so glad to be home. And she is obviously thrilled to have her dog. Her dog was everything to her,” Havorson said.
Police said they are letting Jayme Closs adjust back to normal life before pressing her too much with questioning about what happened during her time in captivity. Jake Patterson is being held on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.
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