Jayme Closs Case: What to Know About Wisconsin Teen Discovered on Road 3 Months After Parents Found Dead
Jayme Closs, 13, was believed to have been abducted after her parents, James Closs and Denis Closs, were found shot to death in their home in Barron County.
The search is over for a 13-year-old girl whose parents were found dead, following a mysterious 911 call that drew investigators to their Wisconsin home.
Jayme Closs was found alive Thursday, three months after she was believed to have been abducted by the person who killed her mother and father on Oct. 15, authorities said.
Jayme, a “sweet, quiet” teen with strawberry blond hair and green eyes, walked up to a stranger around 65 miles from where she went missing and asked for help. Authorities had spent months searching for her and received thousands of tips, to no avail.
After Jayme was found, Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, was arrested, based on Jayme's description to police.
Below is a timeline of the investigation.
Monday, Oct. 15
The Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call at 12:58 a.m. No one on the line spoke back to dispatchers, but deputies traveled to the home where the call was made, 1268 U.S. 8.
There, they discovered James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, shot dead, and their daughter, Jayme, missing.
Investigators from Barron County, the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children then began working on the case. A drone and infrared camera were used to search the area around the Closs home, but Jayme was not found.
Authorities canvassed the town and Jayme’s school for information, and a nationwide Amber Alert was sent out for Jayme.
At 11 p.m., the Miami Police Department in Florida posted on Twitter about a tip they received from someone who believed they spotted Jayme at a gas station. The tipster said the girl they saw was riding in the back of a black Ford Explorer with a Wisconsin license plate. Two well-dressed men with beards were also in the vehicle, the tipster told police. The men were believed to be in their 30s, standing between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9, between 200 and 250 pounds.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
Tips continued to stream in, but authorities had not yet been able to identify any suspects, Sheriff Fitzgerald said at a press conference.
Fitzgerald urged residents in Barron to be on the lookout for anyone acting differently, missing work or school, missing appointments, suddenly going out of town or changing their behavior in another way.
More details about Monday’s 911 call were made available, including the fact that it was made from a cellphone. During a second press conference, Fitzgerald noted the tip Miami Police received was not credible, and said any important information in the case would be made through him.
Though no information could clearly show that Jayme was abducted, it was clear that the teen is missing and in danger, Fitzgerald said.
Wednesday, Oct. 17
Autopsies on James and Denise Closs concluded the couple died from the gunshot wounds they sustained, Fitzgerald said. Investigators believe Jayme was home at the time of her parents’ deaths, which have been ruled as homicides.
Anyone with tips or information was asked to call 855-744-3879.
Thursday, Oct. 18
Law enforcement officials were seen searching the side of a highway in Wisconsin, looking for evidence of Jayme's disappearance, but the search turned up nothing of value, according to Sheriff Fitzgerald.
While there haven't been any credible sightings of the teen, Fitzgerald said he nonetheless has a "100 percent expectation that she's alive."
Friday, Oct. 19
New details about the 911 call placed Oct. 15 were released and published by CNN.
According to the log, the dispatcher could hear "a lot of yelling." The call was traced back to the Closs home, and when the dispatcher called back are the call dropped, a voicemail greeting stated the phone belonged to Denise Closs.
When deputies arrived at the home, the teen's dog, Molly, was inside alone. The door had been kicked in.
Tuesday, Oct. 23
Thousands more joined the search for Jayme, coming from as far away as Wisconsin and Minnesota, after Sheriff Fitzgerald pleaded for more volunteers.
Among them were twins Claudia Beckman and Colleen Jefferson.
"I know her parents are up in heaven watching and going, 'Thank you, thank you. Keep looking. Keep looking,'" Beckman said, according to CBS News.
Wednesday, Oct. 24
Jayme's family vowed they would never stop looking for the missing girl in an emotional news conference.
Two of Jayme's aunts stood holding the teen's dog, Molly, as they addressed assembled reporters.
“Your family and friends miss you so much,” aunt Jennifer Smith said. “Your sparkling eyes, your bright smile. ... Your dog Molly is waiting for you. ... Jayme, we need you here to fill the hole in our hearts. We all love you to the moon and back, and we will never stop looking for you.”
At the same news conference, authorities announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the teen.
Friday, Oct. 26
The reward for information in Jayme's case doubled to $50,000, officials said.
Saturday, Oct. 27
Hundreds of mourners gathered to say goodbye to James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, at a joint funeral for the slain couple at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Cameron.
Loved ones, friends and members of communities near and far traveled to pay their respects to the husband and wife, who were married in 2003 and worked together at Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron for 27 years.
"I just hope they're at peace," their co-worker, Missy Ruffin, said between sobs to The Star Tribune, after the service. "They didn't hurt nobody. They didn't bother nobody. Why?"
A private family burial was scheduled to occur at a later date, their obituary said.
That same day, police arrested a 32-year-old man who they said burglarized the Closs home, where he stole several clothing items belonging to Jayme.
Kyle Jaenke-Annis allegedly slipped into the family's home through a patio door he said was unlocked about 2:30 a.m., CBS Minnesota reported.
Motion-activated cameras set up on the property after the murders of James and Denise Closs and the disappearance of Jayme alerted officers to a disturbance at the home, officials said. There, they ordered Jaenke-Annis out of the home and found on him two tank tops, a dress and underwear belonging to the missing 13-year-old girl, CBS reported.
Police said Jaenke-Annis told them he stole those items because he believed "people wouldn't miss" them and that he was "curious what size Jayme was."
Jaenke-Annis was charged with burglary and felony bail jumping for allegedly committing a new crime in violation of a bond set after he was jailed for a separate burglary charge. That case remains open. He is due in court for a competency hearing on Jan. 23.
The Barron County Sheriff's office noted Jaenke-Annis is not considered a suspect in Jayme's disappearance, but did not elaborate on how they came to that conclusion.
Monday, Oct. 29
The Barron County Sheriff's office announced it had closed 1,875 of the more than 2,000 tips they had received since the murders and Jayme's disappearance, but urged anyone who believed they had information about the case to continue to come forward.
"There is a tip out there that will break this case, keep them coming," Sheriff Fitzgerald said.
Thursday, Jan. 10
Jayme Closs was found alive, three months after she vanished.
Police were called after the 13-year-old walked up to a stranger around 65 miles from where she went missing and asked for help on Thursday afternoon, according to reports.
Peter Kasinskas, a resident of Gordon, told CBS News he opened the door to his neighbor saying, “This is Jayme Closs,” and asking him to call authorities.
Kasinskas said Jayme looked thinner, “unkempt” and was wearing men’s shoes. He said she was silent until authorities arrived 15 minutes afterward.
“She saw this girl screaming 'help me, help me,'" Kasinskas told the station of his neighbor. "It was literally like we were seeing a ghost, because we have seen the billboards and the commercials and all that stuff, and there she is in my kitchen, you know."
Jayme told police she escaped from her captor's home, which was in a remote area outside Gordon. It was not clear how far she walked before running into the woman who brought her for help.
"That is the will of a kid to survive," Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a press conference Friday. "It's amazing, the will of that 13-year-old girl to escape."
Jayme was able to provide a description of a car driven by her alleged captor. Police pulled him over minutes later.
Jake Patterson, 21, was arrested and after he was pulled over, he surrendered peacefully, Fitzgerald said.
Patterson had shaved his head and taken other preventive measures to avoid leaving forensic evidence at the Closs home, Fitzgerald said Friday. He had also worked at the same turkey processing plant as Jayme's parents, but for less than two days, Fitzgerald said.
Jayme "is doing as well as circumstances allow," he said. "We're going to let her settle in and reconnect with her loved ones."
Patterson will be charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping, Fitzgerald said. After he was pulled over, he surrendered peacefully, Fitzgerald said.
A shotgun similar to one used to shoot down the front door at the Closs home was retrieved Friday, Fitzgerald said, though he did not reveal its exact location. Investigators have so far found no evidence that Patterson had ever been in contact with Jayme or her parents, including on social media, Fitzgerald said.
He is believed to have "taken some measures" to avoid detection and conceal Jayme from those who knew him. He has no known criminal history. He has several vehicles, which police are searching.
Gordon, the area in which Jayme was found, was apparently not on investigators' radar, police said. Patterson, who police said is unemployed, is believed to have ties to Barron County.
On Friday, Jayme underwent medical and mental evaluations, spoke to law enforcement and was scheduled to be reunited with her family.
"It has been 88 days of hope for her safe return, 88 days of prayers for Jayme ... 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.
"Jayme, we missed you, and we are so grateful you are home."
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