Family: Wisconsin teen in 'good spirits' post-kidnap, escape

 aol.com  01/14/2019 02:08:07  2  AOL Staff

The grandfather of a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who authorities say escaped a man who killed her parents and held her captive for three months said Sunday she's in "exceptionally good spirits."

Jayme Closs on Thursday fled the cabin near the small town of Gordon where she said she had been imprisoned. She approached a woman walking a dog and asked for her help.

Police officers arrested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson minutes later based on Jayme's description of his vehicle. Authorities are holding Patterson on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.

Little has been revealed about Jayme's ordeal since her abduction in mid-October, although more details could come Monday when Patterson is expected to be charged and make his first appearance in court.

Jayme's grandfather, Robert Naiberg, said Sunday that, considering the circumstances, the teen is holding up .

"She's doing exceptionally well for what she went through," Naiberg told The Associated Press by phone. "She's in exceptionally good spirits."

On Sunday, area churchgoers said their prayers were answered by Jayme's safe return.

"We are overjoyed and we couldn't be happier. It's a miracle and it's wonderful," Mary Haas told the Minneapolis Star Tribune while taking down Christmas decorations after Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Barron. "We prayed and prayed and prayed."

Jayme has been staying with an aunt in Barron since she escaped.

"It's a great day up in our area," said Larry Leff at St. Peter's Catholic Church in nearby Cameron. "God answered all our prayers."

Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
This photo provided by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Barron, Wis., shows Jake Thomas Patterson, of the Town of Gordon, Wis., who has been jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges in the October killing of a Wisconsin couple and abduction of their teen daughter, Jayme Closs. Closs was found alive Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in the Town of Gordon. (Barron County Sheriff's Department via AP)
A sign is seen in the small town of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, where 13-year-old Jayme Closs was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. A search was being organized to find the couple's missing daughter. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
A U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) missing person poster shows Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, missing since her parents were discovered fatally shot three months ago, has been located in Gordon, Wisconsin, U.S. as seen in this poster provided January 11, 2019. FBI/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Volunteers search a field along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just north of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald holds up the booking photo of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis. Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Jean Pieri/Pioneer Press via AP)
Greg Niemuth, of Eau Claire, Wis., searches a wooded area along 15th Av. near Highway 25, north of town for missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs in Barron, Wis., Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018. Hundreds of volunteers in rows walked through swamps, cornfields and woods on Tuesday in search of clues that might lead investigators to the Wisconsin girl whose parents were killed and who is believed to have been abducted. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
Louie Lauderdale, of Lake Geneva, Wis. searches near a cornfield along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just North of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis., regarding the arrest of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
A Barron County, Wis., sheriff's vehicle sits Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, outside the home where James Closs and Denise Closs were found fatally shot on Oct. 15. A search was being organized to find the couple's missing 13-year-old daughter, Jayme. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
Hundreds of volunteers gather Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Barron, Wis., to assist in the search for Jayme Closs, a missing teenage Wisconsin girl, whose parents were killed in the family's home. Jayme has been missing since Oct. 15, when deputies responding to a 911 call found that someone had broken into the family's home in Barron and gunned down James and Denise Closs. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Volunteers cross a creek and barbed wire near Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, on their way to a ground search for 13-year-old Jayme Closs who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. The search for Closs was expanded Tuesday, with as many as 2,000 volunteers expected to take part in a search of the area. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
Volunteers line up along Highway 25 just north of Barron, Wis., Oct. 23, 2018, to assist in the search for Jayme Closs, a missing teenage Wisconsin girl, whose parents were killed in the family's home. Jayme has been missing since Oct. 15, when deputies responding to a 911 call found that someone had broken into the family's home in Barron and gunned down James and Denise Closs. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Volunteers gather at a cornfield along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just North of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, as they search for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
People attend a gathering during a moment of silence for Jayme Closs at the Barron High School Football Stadium, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Authorities revealed they're looking for two vehicles in connection with the disappearance of the Wisconsin girl whose parents were gunned down last week, calling on hundreds of volunteers to resume a ground search. State, local and federal investigators have been searching for Closs since early Oct. 15, when deputies discovered someone had broken into the family's rural Barron home and shot her parents to death. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
Chris Kroeze, a contestant from the show The Voice, performs during a vigil for Jayme Closs at the Barron High School Football Stadium in Barron, Wis., Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Authorities revealed they're looking for two vehicles in connection with the disappearance of the Wisconsin girl whose parents were gunned down last week, calling on hundreds of volunteers to resume a ground search. State, local and federal investigators have been searching for Closs since early Oct. 15, when deputies discovered someone had broken into the family's rural Barron home and shot her parents to death. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Steven Fowler of luck Wis., and his dog Cheeka search a cornfield along 15th Ave. near highway 25 just North of Barron, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was discovered missing Oct. 15 after her parents were found fatally shot at their home. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
A group of volunteers searched the ditches along highway 8 Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis., near the home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James, and Denise. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Jayme Closs (Photo: FBI Milwaukee)
People attend a gathering during a moment of silence for Jayme Closs at the Barron High School Football Stadium in Barron, Wis., Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Authorities revealed they're looking for two vehicles in connection with the disappearance of the Wisconsin girl whose parents were gunned down last week, calling on hundreds of volunteers to resume a ground search. State, local and federal investigators have been searching for Closs since early Oct. 15, when deputies discovered someone had broken into the family's rural Barron home and shot her parents to death. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
Wisconsin DNR warden supervisor Russell T Fell selected 100 volunteers to searched the ditches along highway 8 Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis., near the home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James, and Denise. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Wisconsin DNR warden Supervisor Russell T Fell selected 100 volunteers to searched the ditches along highway 8, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis., near the home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James, and Denise. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Joan Smrekar talked about the night that she heard two gunshots at the home were where 13-year-old Jayme Closs parents James, and Denise was killed Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Barron, Wis. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis., regarding the arrest of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald holds up the booking photo of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs, during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis. Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
Community members listened as representatives from various Wisconsin law enforcement agencies speak during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Barron, Wis., regarding the arrest of Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly kidnapped Jayme Closs. Closs, a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed, was found alive in the rural town of Gordon, Wis., about about 60 miles north of her home in Barron. Investigators believe Patterson, who was taken into custody shortly after Closs was found, killed her parents because he wanted to abduct her. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
Kristin Kasinskas, who lives on S. Eau Claire Acres Circle with her husband, Peter, speak with the media Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Gordon, Wis. Kristin Kasinskas called 911 on Thursday, to report that Jayme Closs, 13, had been found after another neighbor out walking her dog encountered her and brought her to Kasinskas' house. Closs went missing in October after her parents were killed. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

An intruder blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs' home near Barron with a shotgun Oct. 15, gunned the couple down and made off with Jayme.

While investigators have said Patterson's goal was to kidnap Jayme, he has no apparent prior connection to the family. Naiberg told the AP on Saturday that Jayme told FBI agents she did not know Patterson.

Patterson attorneys Charles Glynn and Richard Jones said in a statement that they consider the situation "very tragic" and that they are relying on the court system to treat their client fairly.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told reporters on Friday that Patterson took measures to avoid leaving evidence at the Closs family's home, including shaving his head before breaking in. A shotgun was recovered from the cabin, which Patterson's father owned.

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For more stories on Jayme's abduction and her parents' deaths: https://apnews.com/JaymeCloss

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