Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs reunites with aunt after rescue

Leroy Wright
January 14, 2019

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said investigators are trying to figure out what happened to Jayme during her captivity.

Closs was found alive Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in the Town of Gordon.

- In the town of Gordon, Wisconsin, investigators continue to comb through evidence in the home of Jake Patterson Saturday - the same home from which Jayme Closs escaped roughly two days ago. He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.

"Probably one of the more hard issues is going to be finding that new sense of normalcy in her life", said Smart, a 31-year-old mother of three.

With Jayme, the nation knows her, her captor and will learn of any charges. (But) he knew what he was doing. They say she was "the only target".

Roseanna Marie Forcum last was seen in St. Paul in 1998 when she was 15.

The news that Closs was safe set off joy and relief in her hometown of Barron, population 3300 and about 96 kilometres from where she was found.

"My legs started to shake".

Camera IconMissing 13-year-old Jayme Closs was reunited with her family after being held captive by the man who allegedly murdered her parents. "We are just thrilled that she is back", Seelig said. "She did not talk about why or how. Did he take things with her, did she go with him to the store, did he buy clothes for her, did he buy food", he said.

Jayme's aunt says the healing process will be long but they are dedicated to putting her first.

"I don't understand it yet myself", Fitzgerald said. "We don't believe he ... talked with them, had any digital footprint with them".

"The million-dollar question is why", Fitzgerald said Saturday. Their bodies were found October 15 after a mysterious 911 call led deputies to their home in Barron, Wisconsin.

US girl escapes from parents killer three months after abduction
Closs escaped a house in the tiny town of Gordon where she had been held captive about 60 miles north of Barron

A sign outside Barron City Hall celebrates Closs' return. After almost 90 days of being held against her will, Jayme Closs is finally home.

The sheriff said that he did not know whether Closs had been physically abused.

As people nationwide continue to send support online, it's now possible for people to mail in cards, gifts and well wishes for Closs and her family. No one pressed her to talk, he said, adding that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and doctors advised them to let her speak when she's ready.

JWRC staff members say finding Jayme Closs brings up several emotions for the 100 families they work with who are still waiting for answers regarding missing loved ones. His initial court hearing is scheduled for Monday and records showed he does not have an attorney.

Fitzgerald said it's not clear whether Patterson, who is unemployed, owns the home, or how he kept Jayme there.

Despite Erik Patterson's criminal record, few across the township seem to have heard of his family.

Almost three years ago, Patterson worked for one day at the same meat products facility where Jayme's parents worked - the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Barron.

"It appears he concealed her from other people. his friends", Fitzgerald said.

Kasinskas said she taught Patterson science in middle school, but added: "I don't really remember a ton about him". Officials determined Closs was inside the home when her parents were murdered, but then the trail went cold.

Detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme.

"We just prayed she was alive and would be found", said a woman at Season's Cafe.

"Jayme is an example of why we never lose hope and never stop searching", the organisation said on Facebook.

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