A Wisconsin teenager has been found alive three months after her parents were murdered and she was abducted by a stranger from her home in Wisconsin, the Associated Press reports.
Jayme Closs, 13, was taken from her home near Barron, Wisconsin, on October 15. An extensive search eight days later revealed no clues to either the murder of her parents or her whereabouts.
Now police say a 21-year-old man, Jake Thomas Patterson of Gordon, shot and killed her parents in order to abduct her and hold her captive at his house nearby. Gordon is a community of about 650 people in the north woods.
Friday, when Mr Patterson briefly left the house where Jayme was being held, she managed to escape and plead with a woman walking her dog, Jeanne Nutter. Ms Nutter brought Jayme to the home of another neighbor, identified by police as Kristin Kasinskas, and police were called.
“I was terrified, but I didn’t want to show her that,” the AP quoted Ms Nutter, a social worker who spent years working in child protection, as saying. “She just yelled, ‘Please help me! I don’t know where I am! I’m lost!'”
Doctors examined Jayme but didn’t release the results of their examination, which presumably was conducted to determine if Jayme had been abused in any physical way. Her family is just relieved that she has been found and is now able to return to them and to her life.
Her grandfather said he had been praying for months for the call he received about his granddaughter, the AP noted. “I thought, ‘Good for her she escaped,'” he said.
Although police never give up hope—especially after the discovery of Elizabeth Smart in Utah after almost a year missing—the possibility of finding abducted children alive decreases as time passes. The AP called Ms Smart, who said Jayme’s story is “why we can never give up hope on any missing child.”
And that is true. “It was only a few months ago that we as a community gathered to pray for Jayme’s safe return at Barron High School,” the AP quoted Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright as saying. “God has answered those prayers.”