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Jayme Closs, Wisconsin girl missing since October, has been found alive

The 13-year-old from Barron, Wisconsin, was found in a town about 70 miles north.

The home where Jayme Closs lived with her parents in Barron, Wisconsin, after she went missing and her parents were found dead in October 2018.
The home where Jayme Closs lived with her parents in Barron, Wisconsin.
AP/Jeff Baenen
Emily Stewart covers business and economics for Vox and writes the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

Jayme Closs, the Wisconsin teenager who vanished in October after her parents were found dead in their home, has been found, and a man has been arrested in the case.

Closs, 13, had been missing since October 15, when Barron County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call and found her parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, shot to death. The family’s home is located in Barron, Wisconsin, in the northern part of the state.

Closs was found on Thursday afternoon in Gordon, Wisconsin, which is about 65 miles north of Barron. According to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, she was “bedraggled and malnourished” when she approached a woman walking her dog, who took her to the home of neighbors, Peter and Kristin Kasinkas. “This is Jayme Closs! Called 911!” the woman who Closs approached said, according to the Star Tribune.

Closs’s aunt, Jen Smith, told ABC’s Good Morning America that investigators told her that Closs had escaped from where she was being held, but the details of exactly what happened are still scant.

A 21-year-old man, later identified as Jake Patterson, was arrested shortly after Closs was found. He is in custody in Barron County and, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is being held pending charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder. Officials said he had no criminal history locally or in Wisconsin, and no other suspects are being sought.

Closs’s appearance has sparked joy and relief after she was missing for three months.

“Praise the Lord,” Jayme’s aunt, Sue Allard, told the Star Tribune in a phone interview. “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.”