Missing Wisconsin Girl Found Alive Months After Parents’ Deaths

The 13-year-old disappeared from a small town in October at the same time her parents were killed. She was found 65 miles away by a woman walking her dog, witnesses said.

Comments: 79

  1. So were they together? And how is the killing and her presence where the supposed killer (innocent until proven guilty) was taken into custody related? More answers on this one needed. I do not wish to be harsh, but sadly in the age of teenagers killing people one cannot help but wonder what the connection is.

  2. @JHM months ago LEOs said she "Was Not Suspected in the murder of her parents."

  3. @Nb I have looked on line for confirmation that Jayme has been arrested, and I've found nothing. Where did you hear/see this?

  4. @Nb There are no news reports saying that she was arrested. It was her captor who was arrested.

  5. I hope that she's completely innocent but perhaps she's not. It will be very interesting to hear the full story and whether she knew the murderer before the crime was committed.

  6. @Steven So what if she “knew” him? She’s 13! What are you suggesting?

  7. @Steven All children are innocent.

  8. @Steven: The police, FBI etc have looked at online records and saw no evidence of this unwarranted and nasty theory.

  9. I simply cannot believe the comments made on this article so far. How can your first response when hearing about a child whose parents were murdered, who was kidnapped - in all likelihood so some man could fulfill his disgusting sexual fantasies without ANY regard for the human being he was harming - be to suspect HER? This is misogynistic victim-blaming at its finest. It is wonderful news that she has been found alive, and I wish her all the strength in the world for her recovery from this horrible ordeal.

  10. @Laura I'm with you, Laura, 100%. The idea that a 13 year old girl would be complicit in the murder of her parents to run away with an adult killer, without OVERWHELMING evidence can only be the product of warped thinking. This poor child is clearly, to the killer an abductor, nothing but a sex toy, or commodity to be sold. Where's the outrage against HIM?

  11. @Laura It's a very sad, but common, state of affairs that everyone feels compelled to judge, or offer an opinion - one way or another - before all the facts are in and when all we know is what has been reported in the media, a source that is often wrong (at least to begin with).

  12. @Laura This is misandrist assumption-making at its worst.

  13. It is good she was found, & alive. Even with our presumption of innocence until proven guilty, I bet Fox News will figure out a way to make her the person with the most likely motive behind her parent's deaths. Statistically, the closest family member(s) usually are guilty. This noted, many are not guilty, and I really hope she isn't.

  14. What a wonderful outcome! At least the daughter is still alive. She will obviously require physical and psychological help but there is little doubt that it will be generously provided.provided.

  15. So wonderful to hear that Jayme Closs is alive. I will never understand why there are so many men out there who are psychopaths / sociopaths and stone-cold killers. Her abductor, Jake Thomas Patterson, is believed to have planned her parents' murders in order to kidnap Jayme and keep her a prisoner. Jayme, stay strong and may the love of your friends and family help you navigate the heartbreak and torment of this horrible trauma.

  16. Incels have a new hero.

  17. @Heather Agreed. Our society needs to focus on mental health and societal issues instead of xenophobia.

  18. Why do people believe they have a right to know more about events like this? The comments here mostly are demanding more information, as if the police have some kind of obligation to release facts of the case. The girl has been found. That's all anyone, except her family, has any right to know.

  19. This girl is a 13 year old, a minor, a child! Whatever has occurred, even if she was a participant, I find it hard to believe she wasn't coerced, manipulated or in fear for her life. I wish her well.

  20. What a sad commentary on modern life in America. No, I'm not referring to the kidnapping and double murder, horrific crimes. I'm talking about the rush to condemn this innocent child, "...it was the daughter who was arrested." Wow.

  21. @Lorri what? There is nothing in this article that indicates she was arrested. What are you quoting?

  22. @Lorri What do you mean? I don't see that quote in the article.

  23. @Dannie Dannie ... read the comments. One of the commenters said that she had been arrested. My point is, of course, that she WAS NOT ARRESTED.

  24. I love Elizabeth Smart's comment---to focus on the fact and strength of Jayme's survival. It reveals how much recovery from trauma that Elizabeth Smart has, and the power she's taking to influence how these atrocious stories are perceived and reported.

  25. @Lizzie Simon I love Elizabeth Smart. Period, the end.

  26. @Laura, what comments? Please list. I don’t see anything in this article that implies Jayme is a suspect or is nefariously connected in any way. From my vantage point, everyone is extremely happy to see her alive.

  27. I love Elizabeth Smart and her joyous advocacy and celebration. Miss Closs survived. That is enough.

  28. Judging by the reports describing her condition when found, one must presume her total innocence as a probable captive of her abductor. The doubters posting their opposing opinions herein are likely reminded of past stories of teenage girls with a romantic crush on an older man who, as a psychotic individual might be willing to kill the parents objecting to a nefarious "romance." Perhaps it is also a case of watching too many crime programs on TV. That said, again, her condition suggests she was was likely kidnapped by a pediphile during the course of a robbery-gone-wrong. Or, she went voluntarily with a man who betrayed her trust. We will have to wait for all facts. I would suggest her innocence is presumed. The suspect is in custody. One can only hope he confesses to kidnapping charges.

  29. @David Ohman The doubters blah, blah, blah watch too many crime programs on TV and where psychotic individual "might be willing to kill the parents objection to a nefarious romance. And then, you TV addict follow up with saying, that "she went voluntarily with a man who betrayed her trust". Oh Lordy, yet you "suggest" her innocence? You can't have it both ways.

  30. Nice to have some good news for a change!

  31. Sheriff Fitzgerald: “We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfill that promise.” The police had nothing to do with Jayme's rescue. She escaped on her own.

  32. @Chris-zzz - Perhaps they mean that they put her in one of their cars at some point after interviewing her and drove her a mile or so to her grandmother's house.

  33. What caught my attention in this article, besides Jayme Closs being found alive, was that a town of just over 3400 people has a local police force of 78. I grew up in a town of 2200 people, and we had a police force of 6. Why so many? I know this is off-tangent, but still it begs the question of why so many police for this small town?

  34. @Charlie Fieselman a quick look at the City of Barron police department website indicates a force of around 10 officers. The 78 person figure likely includes county sheriffs and state troopers stationed in the area (Barron is the county seat). It may also be including non-officer personnel--community officers, etc.

  35. County sheriff’s department and all the local law enforcement agencies, including wardens, might come to 78...

  36. @Charlie Fieselman About 40 years ago, I visited Stone Mountain, GA. They had 1 police car and two full time police officers. Returning to Stone Mountain recently, I found that they now have over 40 police cars and God knows how many police officers. I was told that there was an armed robbery at the local Food Lion. The teen perps shot the clerk in the head over $15. If we were a civilized society, we wouldn't need so many police.

  37. Too many commenters here have been binge-watching Women Who Kill or Nancy Grace. This victim is a CHILD. She looks like my own child. She has the same hair and crooked part. The same self-conscious posture. Support her. She has met with some sort of monster and survived!

  38. CNN just aired a press conference with law enforcement. Comments like the comment from nb from Texas is not factual. This young lady was not arrested. Glad she was found alive.

  39. May this child completely recover from her ordeal.

  40. Such wonderful news for all.

  41. I wish the Times' reporting of this wonderful news reflected the fact that Jayme managed to escape and approached the woman walking the dog. She wasn't "found." She saved herself.

  42. @Susan An eminently fair point, but what stood out even more to me was the statement from local law enforcement: "We promised to bring Jayme home, and tonight we get to fulfill that promise. " Nonsense. She escaped her captor, then was noticed by a pedestrian out walking his or her dog, at which point she was brought to the Kasinskas' home. Of course, local and regional law enforcement was no doubt tireless in its efforts on this child's behalf, and that's commendable. But without the help of local communities, without the eyes and ears of the people they are meant to protect and serve, the police can do only so much--a truism worth remembering in a time when the killings of innocent and frequently unarmed citizens has done grave damage to the public's trust in law enforcement.

  43. To those who jump to conclusions: a man has been arrested in connection to the kidnapping of Ms Closs and the murder of her parents. A 21 years old man. Life is not a game of Clue, folks.

  44. The tiniest detail moved me to tears: The puppy. No matter how far into the girl's mental ordeal you and I think we can follow, we cannot even glimpse it's entirety. But I could not imagine a more perfect first step in her return than the heedless, innocent playfulness of a puppy, who knows nothing of our evil ways, and was just glad to have a new human (more its size, too!) to play with. In the pharmacopeia of emergency mental health treatments for enduring unfathomable horror and fear, there is no peer. I am so grateful that it was that home she was brought to.

  45. Glad the girl is safe, but all Wisconsin law enforcement taking a victory lap? NOT deserved. She escaped on her own. She named the perp. After three months, law enforcement had nothing to do with her safe return or arrest of the kidnap/murder suspect. If WI law enforcement really wants some praise, how about some justice for Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery?

  46. @Alan D I completely agree about the long overdue justice for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.

  47. @Alan D Excuse me! The law enforcement personnel working on the Jayme Closs case for the last 3 months have no more responsibility for miscarriages of justice portrayed on "Making a Murderer" than I assume you have for failing to get a conviction in the Nicole Brown Simpson / Ronald Goldman murders, even though you live in L.A. Isn't it enough to praise this kid for her courageous escape? Why do you have to ridicule local law enforcement? I watched the entire press conference, and I just think they were elated she was found alive.

  48. How is law enforcement is taking credit for finding her?? They didn't find her -- she saved herself by escaping from her captor and finding someone to help her.

  49. A social worker who works in child protective services stumbled across her three months after the kidnapping. What are the odds?

  50. Go social worker! Perhaps the public will come to value the challenging work they do and finally start compensating them better. And bravo to young Jayme for keeping her hope, her self-worth, and her wits! Know that many, many people, all around, wish you well and pray for your and your family's healing.

  51. @JSBNoWI Truth is stranger than Fiction.

  52. @JSBNoWI It's not a rare profession. The odds are about the same as of any other job.

  53. The cops could not locate her for almost three months. She escaped her captor without the cops' help, and now they are holding a press conference, grandstanding and congratulating one another for their outstanding work in "bringing Jayme home." I've seen less revolting spectacles in Academy Awards thank-you speeches. Real heroes don't hold press conferences. Jayme freed herself without the help of law enforcement. She's the hero, not them.

  54. @Ed L. I watched the press conference, and all I saw were people elated that she was found alive. These members of law enforcement have worked long hours for three straight months. I assure you, most of the agony they felt was self-imposed at not being able to find decent clues or any trace of Jayme. Read some of the ignorant comments in this relatively thoughtful forum, and you might get some sense of what leaders of this investigation faced -- false leads, bad information, and wild speculation piled on them daily. I was quite impressed with the local sheriff and his statements. He doesn't seem as cynical as you, Ed. BTW, I'll also add that I own property in Baron Co., and I've spent a lot of time in that area. It's not surprising to me at all that a determined and criminal 21 year old man could keep a 13 year old female as a prisoner in this heavily forested, relatively remote place, especially in the cold season. She almost certainly saw him shoot and kill her parents in cold blood, and I bet he reminded her often how he would kill again at the least provocation! Can't we give her credit for her courageous escape without ridiculing law enforcement?

  55. An unusual number of odd, speculative and misinformed comments here! As some have said, I’m just glad this youngster had the wherewithal to escape, and that she encountered a caring neighbor right away. I’ve driven right past the circle drive where she apparently was held captive for 3 months, and it’s a remote and heavily forested area. Even though there is a fair number of houses around, it feels pretty desolate in the cold seasons. Since it’s being reported that she had no idea where she was, her escape is especially courageous in freezing weather (less than 25F yesterday). I look forward to more facts when they become available, and the report that she was able to even interact with the neighbor’s puppy is heartening.

  56. @Tim Some of these comments are truly disturbing.

  57. Praise God!

  58. I don't expect this horrific story to get much play in the news because her kidnapper and probable murderer of her parents is a white U.S. male. I am glad Ms. Closs was able to escape and quickly find safety and care. Her grandparents or whomever becomes her guardian will need a lot of support helping her through this trauma.

  59. I'm watching a remarkable presser in which officers and personnel from a number of law enforcement agencies and several other institutions are volubly congratulating themselves for the wonderful collaborative work they've achieved in Wisconsin on this case. All collegial smiles and backslapping. And throughout this somewhat appalling exercise in self-promotion, I couldn't help thinking, Nevertheless, even with all your hard and oh-so-collegial labors, this kid saved herself!

  60. @jrsherrard I almost gagged when that presser came on. I was actually yelling at the TV. It's just sickening how the assorted law enforcement agencies took credit, one after another, for finding and freeing that young girl when they had absolutely nothing to do with it.

  61. @jrsherrard While I do not disagree with the disgust and disdain so many share by this comment, I can't help but think these law enforcement officers are simply grateful and relieved that Jayme Closs is alive. The notion of her body being discovered, that she was murdered and then having to notify her family members is a scenario NO law enforcement officer ever wants to perform. Everyone of those 78 Barron police officers as well as federal and state law enforcement officers and volunteers worked many, many long hours, days and nights as well as following up on over 2000 tips. As Chris Fitzgerald, the Barron County sheriff, said, “The suspect planned his actions, and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement.” And they did fulfill their promise to Jayme's family that they would bring her home to them. I'd rather point my anger and disgust towards the slimy and sleazy piece of garbage that kidnapped Jayme. I'm happy that Jayme is alive and is with her family tonight. But I am equally grateful and appreciative to every law enforcement officer who helped and assisted in this case.

  62. I am a Wisconsinite. A 13 year old girl has been found after being gone for 3 months. Her parents were murdered and according to the police news conference today, in her presence. This has been tortuous. She was probably wearing the suspects shoes to even escape in this Wisconsin up north winter! Imagine! A 21 year old male has been charged. Please stop jumping to ANY conclusions. This is a 13 year old. Before you accuse or make untoward comments here, or anywhere, please remember your scope of life at thirteen years old! She is alive. Let her family rejoice at that for now. Please!

  63. The instant analysis begins before anyone has the facts. Let's let the police/DA do their job and see where this goes. I always discount the first several news reports for these kind of stories as the rate of errors and misunderstanding is really high. At the very least a child is alive and that is something good. The family who have worried about her can now move forward with what comes next - that's better than where they were.

  64. Am I imagining it? Where are all those nasty comments people are complaining about? They must be referring to others articles from different publications, because I did not see any here.

  65. This is a miracle. Now the healing has to start. Best of luck Jayme.

  66. Of all the articles to not offer comments, this one should qualify. While it is great to celebrate this 13 yo victim is found, it is painful and disgusting to read hater comments hypothesizing ideas that blame the victim, based on no facts. Freedom of speech, yes, absolutely. Promoting misinformed speculation, hate speech and victim blaming, no, absolutely.

  67. Jayme Closs is a child Be kind. Let the authorities do their job Wish all of the Closses well

  68. Presently, there are more questions than answers regarding the disappearance of Jayme Closs. What I care about right now is that she is alive, she is safe, and she is back with family members. That lingering dread and fear of worst case scenario regarding Jayme no longer exists. She is alive. Shouldn't that be enough for today at least?

  69. So happy for welcome news that Jayme is free and safe at last! Posting her photo everywhere helped her be identified immediately! Thank goodness she met up with good people who helped her return. Now her healing begins. It is good she appears to have a loving extended family and a good community to support her in this difficult journey. For a better future, let us each redouble our efforts to build a kinder gentler safer nation of common sense and humanity.

  70. @BLB My sentiments exactly - This is joyful news -

  71. Wow. Brave, brave, brave girl. My heart goes out to her.

  72. Jayme: I'm so happy you're found. I offer my gratitude to all those who worked so hard on your behalf. This is a great day, and you are loved. Period.

  73. At the press conference today law enforcement said that they when coming to the house from where the 911 call came, "took control of her, took possession of". The word arrest is thrown around here by some, and contradicted by other. Yet the words of law enforcement really startled me, because they sounded inhuman and eerily like an arrest. One doesn't "take possession" of a suffering child.

  74. This "skinny girl, who had matted hair and was wearing shoes too big for her feet" escapes from her kidnapper, and is united with family members but yet so comments are filled with hate, doubt, and accusations. I am so glad to read of Elizabeth Smart 's reaction for if anyone would know first hand of such an ordeal and abduction, it is her. Her opinion matters greatly. Jayme Closs is alive and home with family members. That's the news story today. That's what is paramount and important.

  75. Is Jayme really a "hero" though? It simply does not make sense that a stranger bent on killing would leave a living witness and take her with him. I suspect there is more to this story and I hope the police are continuing to investigate instead of wrapping it up and saying a skinny girl wearing shoes too big for her feet could not kill her parents.

  76. Soeculating ... Murder motive: to kidnap, imprison and enslave girl. The Perp’s neighbors will say: he seemed like a quiet, nice, normal guy. Kept to himself most of the time.

  77. Why the questions? The police said that the suspect was not someone the family knew, nor someone that Jayme knew. Period. So, he targeted her from a distance, and took her. There are no questions, other than why - and which incel group he belongs to (OK, that's a reach, but their notion that they deserve the girl of their choice, and how it's reasonable to take it if you don't get given it make it sound likely).