A 21-year-old man is jailed in the deaths of a Wisconsin couple he killed because he wanted to kidnap their teenage daughter, investigators said Friday, a day after the girl approached a stranger…
Jake Thomas Patterson was taken into custody shortly after 13-year-old Jayme Closs sought help from a woman walking her dog in a rural, heavily wooded neighborhood near the small town of Gordon, about 60 miles (96.5 kilometers) north of Barron. Jayme disappeared from her family’s home in Barron when her parents were killed Oct. 15.
During a news conference Friday, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Jayme was taken against her will. The sheriff also said investigators don’t believe Patterson had any contact with the family.
Fitzgerald said investigators believe Patterson killed Jayme’s parents because he wanted to abduct her, and that Patterson “planned his actions and took many steps to hide his identity.”
Fitzgerald said investigators believe the girl was “the only target.”
A woman said she was walking her dog along a rural road Thursday afternoon when a disheveled teenage girl called out to her for help, quickly grabbed her and told her she was lost. Only then did the girl reveal her name.
Jeanne Nutter said Friday that Jayme told her she had walked away from a cabin where she’d been held captive, a cabin not far from Nutter’s home.
“I was terrified, but I didn’t want to show her that,” Nutter, a social worker who spent years working in child protection, told The Associated Press on Friday. “She just yelled please help me I don’t know where I am. I’m lost.”
Nutter said she didn’t want to bring Jayme to her nearby home because it was too close to where she’d been found, and she didn’t want them to be alone. She said: “My only thought was to get her to a safe place.”
The two went elsewhere in the neighborhood, to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas. Jayme was skinny and dirty, wearing shoes too big for her feet, but appeared outwardly OK, the neighbors said.
“I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” Peter Kasinskas told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “My jaw just went to the floor.”
Jayme went missing after police discovered someone had broken into the family’s home outside Barron and fatally shot her parents, James and Denise Closs. Jayme was nowhere to be found. The Barron County Sheriff’s Department said the girl had likely been abducted.
Detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme.

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