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Kidnapper was trying to hunt Jayme Closs down after her escape: cops

14 January 2019

As Jayme Closs starts her road to recovery following her kidnapping, investigators are trying to piece together what happened during the almost three months she was in captivity.

A 13-year-old girl's escape from a rural home, where she was held captive for three months by a Wisconsin man charged with murdering her parents, helped break the case and she should be treated as a hero, the local sheriff says.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a news conference that Jayme Closs was taken back to her hometown of Barron on Friday.

Authorities do not know how the suspect allegedly held Jayme captive for close to three months or how he was able to hide his alleged crime.

They found Patterson in his vehicle, "driving around", apparently out looking for her, Fitzgerald said.

"While I don't know how she escaped at this time, we believe that the suspect was out looking for her when law enforcement made contact with him", Fitzgerald said Friday.

Jeanne Nutter, the woman who encountered Jayme, said the girl told her, "I'm lost, and I don't know where I am, and I need help", according to CNN.

Jayme told the woman she had escaped from a cabin where she was being held, not far from Ms Nutter's home. Sheriff Fitzgerald went on to again state that at this time there is no indication that Patterson had prior contact with Jayme, either through social media or in any other way. "She said she did not know him".

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Patterson is unemployed, although worked for one day at the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron, where the Closs' worked for 27 years.

When deputies arrested him, he was out looking for Jayme, Fitzgerald said.

Police had been searching for Jayme Closs since October, when they discovered someone had broken into her family home and fatally shot her parents, but the 13-year-old was nowhere to be seen.

Her grandfather Robert Naiberg said he had been praying for months for the call he received on Thursday.

Patterson has no criminal history in Wisconsin, but his brother has had multiple run-ins with the law, including convictions for marijuana possession, bail jumping and sexual assault, online court records show. As a family we will get through all of the healing process Jayme has.

Jeanne Nutter was walking her golden retriever with her husband Forrest on January 10 when they came came across Jayme Closs-the 13-year-old from Wisconsin who was abducted in October 2018.

Authorities have said they don't believe Patterson crossed paths with Jayme's parents there.

Jayme was found on Thursday in the small town of Gordon, some 70 miles (112km) from her home in Barron.

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Patterson took such measures as shaving his head beforehand to avoid leaving evidence at the scene, the sheriff said.

Mr Fitzgerald noted police information was "limited" and Jayme was still being interviewed, but she had been medically cleared and released from hospital.

Over the past few months, detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches for Jayme, including one that drew 2,000 volunteers but yielded no clues.

Jayme reportedly stayed at the home for about 20 minutes, declining food and water.

The sheriff said investigators believe Jayme was "the only target".

Smart said she would get defensive when people asked her why she didn't run or scream when her captors sometimes traveled with her out in the open.

Jayme's aunt, Jennifer Smith, posted the photos on Facebook.

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Kidnapper was trying to hunt Jayme Closs down after her escape: cops