The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Kidnapped Wisconsin girl found alive

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/11/19, 12:14 pm

A 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who went missing in October was found alive in a rural town after escaping from the house where she was held, authorities said Thursday. Authorities took suspect Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, into custody shortly after Jayme Closs appeared in Gordon, Wis. “It’s amazing, the will of that 13-year-old girl, to survive and escape,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a news conference. “And that comes from the hope and the prayers of this community.”

Closs disappeared after her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot to death on Oct. 15 in their home near Barron, Wis. Their daughter was quickly ruled out as a suspect, investigators said. Since then, detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos, and recruited volunteers for numerous searches. Gordon resident Kristin Kasinskas told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that a neighbor walking a dog brought Closs to her door Thursday afternoon and told her to call 911.

Patterson is from Gordon and had no prior criminal record in the state. He is being held on two counts of intentional homicide for the murder of Closs’ parents and one count of kidnapping, Fitzgerald said. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Local hospital officials have medically cleared Closs and law enforcement is interviewing her. Authorities are working on reuniting her with surviving members of her family.

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

Read more from this writer


  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 01/11/2019 01:51 pm

    Wow!  Praise God!

  • not silent
    Posted: Fri, 01/11/2019 03:00 pm

    Yes, abslutely. Praise God!  Let us continue to keep Jayme in prayer as she deals with the trauma she's experienced.

  • Mom23Is
    Posted: Fri, 01/11/2019 04:23 pm

    I'm sure people will want to know how this child came to be targeted, as the offiicial report (thus far) is that he had no contact with the family before the abduction--yet that the child was targeted specifically. Not sure how that could happen, but I know parents would want to know if it could be prevented from happening again!  Unlike Elizabeth Smart, this poor child has no parents left to help her cope with the trauma she's endured.