Authorities in Barron in northwestern Wisconsin are planning to provide an update next week on their investigation into the apparent abduction of a 13-year-old girl whose parents were killed.
Jayme Closs has been missing since her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found fatally shot in their home on Oct. 15.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said next week will mark 90 days since authorities believe Jayme was abducted. He plans to update the media on Jan. 15 about new partners and an expanded team that's working to find her.
"At this time this remains an active case and we will provide you as much information as possible at that time without jeopardizing the case," Fitzgerald wrote in an e-mail.
A Wisconsin teenager missing for nearly three months after her parents were killed in the family home was found alive barely an hour's drive away, by a woman who said she was walking her dog along a rural road when a disheveled teenage girl called out to her for help, quickly grabbed her and told her she was lost.
Then the girl revealed her name: Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who vanished three months ago after her parents were fatally shot in the family's home.
Jeanne Nutter, a social worker who spent years working in child protection, told The Associated Press on Friday that the girl approached her Thursday afternoon in a heavily wooded, rural neighborhood near the small town of Gordon, about 60 miles south of where Jayme disappeared on Oct. 15.
Jayme told the woman said she had walked away from a cabin where she'd been held captive, a cabin not far from Nutter's home. "I was terrified, but I didn't want to show her that," Nutter told the AP. "She just yelled please help me I don't know where I am. I'm lost."
Nutter said she didn't want to bring Jayme to her nearby home because it was too close to where she'd been found, and she didn't want them to be alone. She said: "My only thought was to get her to a safe place."
"I honestly still think I'm dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost," Peter Kasinskas told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "My jaw just went to the floor."
Police said Friday they believe 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson killed 13-year-old Jayme Closs' parents in order to abduct her.
Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald said though Patterson, who was being held on homicide and kidnapping charges, went to the home with the intention of abducting Closs, there is no indication he knew or had previous contact with the family.
Investigators are still working to determine any connection between Patterson and Closs.
Fitzgerald said Patterson had taken steps to mask his identity in preparation for the crime, including a haircut so he wouldn't leave behind physical evidence in the family's home.
"I can tell you that the subject planned his actions and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the general public," he said.
Beyond appearing to target Closs, Fittzgerald said investigators were still searching for answers.
Her alleged kidnapper, Jake Patterson, 21, was expected to be charged today [MON]. He is alleged to have broken into her home in Barron, Wisconsin, before murdering her parents and abducting her.
After escaping last week Jayme was found, skinny and disheveled, about 60 miles away.
Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, who led the investigation, said: "The will of a 13-year-old girl is what broke this case. We've actually been able to bring her home to Barron County. That's been the goal of mine for 88 days. And we got to bring her home."
Giving further details of the investigation, he said the 911 call made at the time of the murder and kidnapping was 48 seconds long.
"You can't hear words. You hear yelling or maybe a scream," he said "And it ends by getting hung up. The time from the 911 call until our deputies arrive is less than four minutes. We think this was well planned out."
He said Patterson had fired a shotgun through the family's front door to get in, and had "targeted" Jayme for kidnapping. He left no fingerprints at the scene.
The sheriff said: "He prepared himself to try to beat the forensics. Things like he cut his hair all off so that he wouldn't leave trace evidence. He did other things to cover up forensic and digital evidence."
A lucky escape and rescue Jayme was reported missing on October 15 after her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found fatally shot in their Barron County, Wisconsin, home. She was found on Thursday night, on a street in the small town of Gordon, about 70 miles north of Barron County.
Fitzgerald said that Jayme was taken against her will and was held captive for three months until she escaped on Thursday. Gordon resident Jeanne Nutter was out walking her dog when Closs approached her and asked for help. Nutter brought her to a nearby home, where Kristin and Peter Kasinskas live.
"She said to us that, 'This person killed my parents and took me,'" Kasinskas told CNN. "She said that this person usually hides her or hides her when others are near, or when he has to leave the household. She did not go into detail about how she got out of the house or anything like that."
Patterson was not home when Jayme escaped, and investigators believe he was out looking for her when police picked him up. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Jayme was found at 4:43 p.m. on Thursday, and that a suspect was taken into custody 11 minutes later, according to The Associated Press.