Kidnapped American teen found alive months after parents' murder

Kidnapped American teen found alive months after parents' murder

- Authorities said Friday they have arrested 21-year-old Jake Patterson of Gordon, Wisconsin for the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs and the murders of her parents. Jayme was nowhere to be found, with the Barron County Sheriff's Department describing her as likely abducted.

The woman, who asked the newspaper not to use her name, said she was almost certain it was Jayme, having seen her photo on the news and posters around Wisconsin.

"She kind of flung the door open and said, 'Call 911, this is Jayme Closs!'" Kristin recalled her neighbor telling her.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department says Jayme Closs, 13, has been found alive by the Douglas County Sheriff's Department in the northwest corner of Wisconsin. "[Patterson] planned his actions and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the general public". Sheriff Fitzgerald said Jayme did not have any contact with Mr Patterson on social media. "The lady that was walking her dog had seen the poster and that's how she knew who Jayme was right away, by her face", Smith said.

Fitzgerald said authorities in Douglas County, about 104km (65 miles) north of Barron County, found the girl. Jayme's grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Jayme was taken to hospital.

She was due to be reunited with her extended family later Friday.

The phone at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office rang unanswered on Thursday night and Sheriff Thomas Dalbec did not immediately respond to an email. Only then did the girl reveal her name.

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Sue Allard, Jayme's aunt, told the Star Tribune she could barely express her joy after learning the news on Thursday night.

We are planning a press briefing approximately 10 am tomorrow at the Sheriff's Department in Barron.

Elizabeth Smart says it is a "miracle" that a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl missing for almost three months has been found safe. "And I just shut myself totally down".

The girl's disappearance in October made national news and stunned her hometown of Barron, Wisconsin, population 3,400, about 144km east of Minneapolis and sparked massive searches with 1,500 volunteers scouring woods and fields in suburban Minneapolis.

It is believed the young girl escaped from her captor in a remote community in Wisconsin, USA.

Jayme went missing on October 15, when authorities found her parents shot to death at the family's home near Barron, a town about 75 miles northeast of Minneapolis. An initial ground search yielded no clues, but a second search by more than 2,000 people turned up several items of interest to investigators, the AP reports. She was rescued nine months later. "A lot of people have been praying daily, as I have". As they waited for authorities, Jayme declined food and water, and instead met the family's puppy.

Fitzgerald said Jayme escaped from the residence and was the only target. 88 days of holding onto the faith that our authorities would never give up, and they certainly did not, 88 days with the same goal in mind: "that was to bring Jayme home and back into our arms", Barron Area School District Administrator Diane Tremblay said.

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