NEWS
11/01/2019 08:57 GMT | Updated 11/01/2019 18:23 GMT

Jayme Closs: Teen Who Vanished After Her Parents Were Murdered Is Found Alive

She had been missing for nearly three months.

A 21-year-old man has been charged over the kidnapping of a teenage girl and the murder of her parents.

US authorities said they arrested Jake Thomas Patterson after 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who went missing in October after her parents were fatally shot, was found alive.

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page that Closs, from Wisconsin, has been located and that a suspect was taken into custody shortly after.

Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said the sheriff’s office in Douglas County, about 70 miles north of Barron County, located the girl.

He added that Jayme was taken against her will, and said investigators did not believe Patterson had any contact with the family.

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”.

The sheriff said investigators believe the girl was “the only target”.

Associated Press
Jayme Closs had been missing since 15 October  

A woman said she was walking her dog along a rural road on Thursday afternoon when a dishevelled teenage girl called to her for help, grabbed her and told her she was lost, before telling the woman her name.

The teen had been missing since her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot on 15 October at the family’s home near Barron.

Investigators said Jayme was quickly ruled out as a suspect.

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

Some tips led officials to recruit 2,000 volunteers for a massive ground search on 23 October.

Fitzgerald said in November that he kept similar cases in the back of his mind as he worked to find Jayme, including the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, who was taken from her Salt Lake City home in 2002, when she was 14 years old.

She was rescued nine months later with the help of two witnesses who recognised her abductors from an America’s Most Wanted episode.

“I have a gut feeling she’s (Jayme’s) still alive. I’ve always been a glass half-full kind of guy,” Fitzgerald said at the time.