When 13-year-old Jayme Closs escaped from a remote Wisconsin cabin Thursday after being held captive for 88 days, she apparently came across the right people. After a former social services worker found her asking for help along a rural, secluded road in Gordon, she took her to the home of a family armed and ready to do what it took to keep the young girl safe.
Pioneer Press reports that Peter Kasinkas, an avid sportsman, was in his kitchen cleaning dishes Thursday afternoon when he heard loud pounding on his door. He said his wife, Kristin, and their two young children had just arrived home and their two dogs “started going crazy” because a neighbor, former social services worker, Jeanne Nutter, was knocking on the door while standing with her large dog and Jayme.
“And then the neighbor lady was pounding on our door in the kitchen. She opened the door, her dog ran in, and then she helped this girl into the kitchen. She said: ‘It’s Jayme Closs! Call 911.’ My jaw hit the floor.”
Kristin Kasinkas added that she immediately knew who Jayme was when she looked at her. Nutter asked the couple to get a gun ready in case the suspect was after them.
“When our neighbor Jeanne came in with Jayme, she said: ‘Get a gun. We don’t know if he’s after us,’ Kasinskas said. ‘So we were armed and ready in case this person showed up.’”
Kristin and her children ran downstairs while Peter guarded the door, but within minutes of arriving and interviewing Jayme, authorities had the suspect, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson in custody. He was arrested in his car without incident.
The Kasinkas told CBS that Jayme appeared dirty and unkempt, wearing leggings, oversized men’s shoes and a sweatshirt.
“She looked the same as in all the photos and little thinner. Her hair was still the same color and length. She just looked a little unkempt like she hadn’t been able to take care of herself or something,” Peter said.
The Bemidji Pioneer reports that prior to police arriving, Jayme reportedly told Nutter that the man who abducted her was once in the military, killed her parents, and “turns the radio up and sometimes has people come over while he is gone.”
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said during a press conference on Friday that he wasn’t sure if Jayme was restrained in the home or how she managed to escape. The suspect was not in the home when she ran for help.
Police took Jayme to the Essentia Health-St. Mary’s hospital in Superior shortly after her rescue. She was held overnight for observation, then reunited with her aunt in her hometown of Barron.
“Jayme had a pretty good night sleep. It was great to know she was next to me all night. What a great feeling to have her home,” Smith wrote Saturday morning on social media, after the girl’s first night back home. “As a family we will get through all of the healing process Jayme has.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jayme disappeared from her Barron home after two adults, identified as her parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, were found dead a little after 1 a.m. on October 15. Both victims were shot to death. According to Fitzgerald, a 911 call from the home had noises in the background, but no one specifically spoke to the dispatcher.
The 911 dispatch log released on October 18 indicated the call to 911 came from the cellphone of Denise at close to 1 a.m. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald indicated no one could make out the words of the caller.
“It was on a cell phone and there was no comment made — no one communicated with the dispatcher,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t know if the word ‘help’ was said, but there was some sort of disturbance going on, which is why officers were sent to the house.”
According to the call log, the 911 dispatcher called the cell phone number back numerous times but didn’t receive an answer. Within four minutes from the time the initial call was made, officers arrived at the home, but Jayme was already gone.
Three different officers were dispatched to the family’s home, around 45 miles northwest of Eau Claire.
The first officer arrived at the family’s Barron home by 1 a.m., and 56-year-old James Closs was found by the front door. At 1:03 a.m., the officer noted that a male was down and “multiple rounds” had been spent. The incident was initially thought to be a suicide before the officer knew Denise had also been shot. At 1:06 a.m., the officer stated that the front door had apparently been kicked in.
“…ADVISED THE DOOR HAS BEEN KICKED IN. ADVISED THAT THE MALE WHO IS DOWN HAD ANSWERED THE DOOR. UNKNOWN IF ANYONE IS MISSING.” (1:06 a.m.)
At 1:11 a.m., an officer reported that both James and Denise “were down” and unresponsive. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald later confirmed that both victims had been shot and killed. Their deaths were listed as homicides.
Over two hours later, at 3:57 a.m., officers entered Jayme into the system as a “missing juvenile.” They combed the house and area thoroughly for the teen first, noting that they couldn’t find her nor any clues to her whereabouts. At 5:13 am, dispatchers sent out a “Missing Endangered Child” notification, indicating Jayme was likely abducted from the residence. Authorities later said she was likely taken by gunpoint.
Authorities previously stated they didn’t have a description of a suspect. There was nothing amiss in her home or school life on surface, and family and friends said Jayme did not have a boyfriend. Investigators reportedly searched her social media accounts and didn’t find anything unusual.
Fitzgerald reiterated that there is no evidence to suggest the suspect ever knew Jayme or her parents. Although Patterson did work at Jennie-O a few years back, the same place Jayme’s parents worked, there is no indication that he ever met or crossed paths with them. Patterson, according to Fitzgerald, only worked there one day before quitting.
Check back with CrimeOnline for additional details.
[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs, Handout/Jake Patterson, Police Handout]