• 'What a glorious day' - Jayme Closs reunited with family after kidnapping

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Authorities said the Wisconsin 13-year-old kidnapped after her parents were killed has been reunited with her family after being held against her will for 88 days.

    Jayme Closs is safe and a suspect is in custody, the Barron County Sheriff's Department wrote on its Facebook page Thursday night.

    Authorities identified the suspect as 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson.

    Jayme's school superintendent described said the moment as, "what a glorious day."

    "I mean I’m shocked," Jayme's aunt, Kelly Engelhardt, told KARE. "It's what we’ve prayed for every single day."

    “Praise the Lord,” Sue Allard, another of Jayme’s aunts, told the Star Tribune. “It’s the news we’ve been waiting on for three months. I can’t wait to get my arms around her. I just can’t wait.”

    The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Jayme was found in Gordon, Wisconsin, at 4:43 p.m. Thursday and that Patterson was taken into custody 11 minutes later.

    Jayme had been missing since early Oct. 15, when Barron County deputies responding to a 911 call found her parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, shot to death in the family home in Barron, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

    Gordon is located about 65 miles north of Barron. Denny Kline, the board chairman for the Town of Gordon, told KSTP he heard the teen had been found as he listened to a police scanner.

    The woman who found Jayme, who asked that her name not be used, told the Star Tribune the teen, “came up to me and said she wanted help.”

    About 4 p.m. Thursday, Kristin Kasinskas said the woman knocked on the family’s front door.

    “This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” the woman said, Kasinskas told the Star Tribune.

    “I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” Peter Kasinskas told the newspaper. “It was scary and awesome at the same time. My jaw just went to the floor.”


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    Jayme’s cousin, Lacey Naiberg, posted thanks on Facebook, noting “We will forever hold you all close to our hearts.”

    “There are no words to describe how humbling it is to have so many people who don't even know you come together to help our family,” Naiberg wrote.

    The sister of Denise Closs, Jennifer Naiberg Smith, told KSTP that Jayme was being examined at a hospital in Duluth. Smith told the television station she did not believe the middle school student was injured.

    Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, also expressed joy and relief, KSTP reported.

    "Everybody is so happy," Naiberg told the television station. "We can't believe it."

    "A lot of people have been praying daily, as I have. It's just a great result we got tonight. It's unbelievable," Barron Mayor Ron Fladten told WISN. "It's like taking a big black cloud in the sky and getting rid of it and the sun comes out again."

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