Police praise Jayme Closs’ bravery for escaping after 88 days of allegedly being kidnapped

Mary Scott
Jan 14, 2019
04:07 P.M.
Share this pen

The police have praised the bravery of Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old girl who recently escaped from her abductor after being in captivity for 88 days.


Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, who addressed a press briefing on Friday, told “48 Hours: ”

“The will of a 13-year-old girl is what broke this case.”

According to, FBI Special Agent Justin Tolomeo also credited Jayme for the case’s progress:

“In cases like this we often need a big break, and it was Jayme herself who gave us that break."



Jayme was found on January 10 after escaping from her abductor’s hideout in Eau Claire Acres near the town of Gordon in rural Wisconsin.

The teenager had been there for close to three months since October 15 when her parents were killed, and Jake Thomas Patterson, 21 kidnaped her.

James and Denise Closs were shot dead inside their Barron, Wisconsin home, but when police arrived at the house, Jayme was nowhere to be found.



After months of a widespread search that uncovered no leads, Jayme escaped and ran into Jeanne Nutter, a social worker who happened to be walking her dog in the neighborhood.


Jeanne recalled her interaction with the distressed teen:

“I went to her and she just sort of grabbed onto me and she told me who she was. She's a traumatized child. I believe she was just maybe in shock. I'm just happy that she's safe. I feel like it's sort of a miracle that she's still alive. I'm glad my dog wanted to go for a walk and we did and there she was. My goal was to get her to a safe place and I did. The police were amazing.”


Jeanne took Jayme to a neighbor’s house. Kristin Kasinskas, a science teacher, and her husband, Peter were shocked to see Jeanne at their door with “a skinny, dirty girl with matted hair, wearing shoes several sizes too big for her feet.”


Jeanne did not waste any time. "This is Jayme Closs! Call 911 right now!" she told the couple before they all rushed inside and called 911.

Jayme’s description of her abductor and the car he was driving led police to arrest Jake shortly after she escaped.



It turned out Kristin taught him science in middle school but only remembers that he was “just a quiet, very smart kid.” One of his former classmates also described him as:


“One of those guys in school that wanted to fit in but couldn't because he lacked social skills… (He) never really made an impact in any way.”

The 21-year-old suspect, who police believes killed Jayme’s parents just so he could abduct her, is now being held in jail and charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.



Jayme has now been reunited with her surviving family members who are beyond grateful to have her back with them.


The young girl has been pictured all-smiles with some of her aunts, and one of them, Jennifer Smith, said:

“She had a good night's sleep. It's been just wonderful and it's just wonderful to have her back. God is good! He answered our prayers he certainly did and we've just been overwhelmed by everyone's support."