As Jayme Closs starts her road to recovery following her kidnapping, investigators are trying to piece together what happened during the nearly three months she was in captivity.
Jake Patterson, 21, is accused of shooting and killing Jayme’s parents before abducting the 13-year-old at her northwestern Wisconsin home on October 15. That led to an intense search that ended Thursday when she was found alive – and Patterson was arrested – about 70 miles from her home.
Patterson went to the Closs home outside Barron, Wisconsin, with the intention of taking Jayme, Fitzgerald said.
“We believe Jayme was the target, and he was getting rid of possible barriers to taking her,” Fitzgerald said.
What’s unclear, however, is how and why Patterson – from the remote community of Gordon, two counties from Barron – allegedly chose Jayme for kidnapping.
The sheriff calls it “a very well-planned out attack.” As an example, Fitzgerald said Patterson shaved his head to avoid leaving any hair as evidence during the assault.
There’s no evidence Patterson knew the Closses or had previous contact with them, the sheriff said.
“There doesn’t seem to be any connection between Mr. Patterson and the Closs family at all,” including by social media, Fitzgerald said Saturday.
Nearly 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. Patterson quit, saying he was moving from the area, according to the company.
Authorities have said they don’t believe Patterson crossed paths with Jayme’s parents there. Investigators are trying to determine whether he worked at another job in the area.
A mysterious call and the search
The same night authorities discovered Jayme missing three months ago, police found her parents James and Denise Closs shot dead in their home.
Shortly before 1 a.m. that night, 911 dispatchers got a call during which they could hear yelling, but no one talked to the dispatcher. When the dispatcher called back, a voicemail greeting indicated the phone belonged to Denise Closs, 46.
Police arrived to find the door kicked in, Jayme missing and her parents dead.
For months, thousands of people joined search parties as investigators received thousands of tips. The FBI offered a cash reward for information on her whereabouts, and authorities urged hunters in the area to be on the lookout for clues.
She told rescuers about time in captivity
Jayme was found Thursday outside the rural community of Gordon, where Patterson was holding her against her will in his home, authorities said.
Jeanne Nutter, who has a cabin in the Gordon area, was walking her dog on an isolated road around 4 p.m. when she saw Jayme out in the cold around dusk. Nutter said Jayme did not have a coat or gloves.
“I’m lost and I don’t know where I am, and I need help,” Jayme told Nutter.
Nutter and Jayme went to the closest house, the home of Kristin and Peter Kasinskas, and they called 911.
“She said to us that, ‘This person killed my parents and took me,’” Kasinskas said. “She said that this person usually hides her or hides her when others are near, or when he has to leave the household. She did not go into detail about how she got out of the house or anything like that.”
Ten minutes after Jayme was found, Patterson was pulled over and arrested. He was being held in Barron County’s jail on preliminary charges of intentional homicide and kidnapping, and will have an initial court appearance Monday.
When deputies arrested him, he was out looking for Jayme, Fitzgerald said.
Patterson was not at home when Jayme escaped, the sheriff added.
Patterson was being held Saturday in Barron County’s jail on preliminary charges of intentional homicide and kidnapping. He is due to have an initial court appearance on Monday.
Reunion and recovery
Jayme was hospitalized, and later released and reunited with her relatives and dog, Molly, in Barron.
She was released from the hospital Friday and reunited with relatives in Barron, Wisconsin, and with her dog, Molly.
Her aunt said Jayme slept well.
“It was great to know she was next to me all night,” and “what a great feeling to have her home,” Smith’s post reads.
What investigators are looking for now
Investigators believe Patterson acted alone, but they have many questions about how Patterson allegedly kept Jayme there, Fitzgerald said Saturday.
Patterson was unemployed, and though he lived at the remote Gordon home, he didn’t own it, Fitzgerald said. The sheriff added that he didn’t know who owned the property.
A document found through a deed search on Douglas County’s website shows a mortgage for the property, held by a different person with Patterson’s last name, was paid off. CNN’s attempts to reach that person for comment weren’t immediately successful.
The sheriff also said Friday that it appeared Patterson “concealed her from other people … his friends.” The sheriff hasn’t elaborated.
Fitzgerald said Saturday that investigators will try to determine, among other things, how Jayme escaped and the conditions in which she was held.
“We’re looking for receipts, and where the suspect may have been (besides the Gordon home) over the last 88 days,” Fitzgerald said. “Did she go with him to the store? Did he buy clothes for her? Did he buy food?”
Fitzgerald has called Jayme a hero.
“Jayme was the champion that finally said enough is enough,” he told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper Full Circle” Friday, “We can’t be more proud of Jayme.”
CNN’s Faith Karimi, Steve Almasy, Sheena Jones and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.