BARRON, Wisc. (CBS12) — A 21-year-old man from Wisconsin is being held for the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, and for the murders of her parents.
Jayme vanished 88 days ago after a 911 call led deputies to the bodies of her parents at their home in Barron County, some 90 miles east of Minneapolis, on Oct. 15, 2018.
The big break in the case came Thursday night when the sheriff's office said Jayme escaped.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said a girl claiming to be Jayme approached a woman walking her dog in Gordon, a town about 66 miles north of Jayme's home.
In an interview with CBS affiliate WCCO, Jeanne Nutter, the dog walker, revealed Jayme's first words.
"She just said, 'I am lost and I don't know where I am and I need help.' When she got near me and I could see who she was she told me. 'I'm Jayme.' She was scared, but then when I stayed calm, she stayed calm."
Nutter said she held onto Jayme and told her that they'd find someone who is home where they could call police.
The woman went to a neighbor's house and called 911.
"They have a warm and comforting home," Nutter said. "They (Peter and Kristin) have two kids and two dogs and we wrapped her in a blanket and the cops were great, law enforcement was amazing."
Deputies took Jayme to a hospital. A short time later, deputies found a car based on a description given to them by Jayme.
"Today we can finally say Jayme Closs is home," an FBI spokesman said.
Authorities took 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, of Gordon, into custody. He faces kidnapping and intentional homicide charges.
Jayme has been cleared from the hospital, but now she's going through a reunification process which includes evaluations and questioning.
The Barron County Sheriff's Office said Jayme, not her parents, was the target of the suspect. Investigators said Patterson did not have a criminal past in Wisconsin.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said its overjoyed with the news.
“People assume that when children are missing for a long time that they will not be recovered alive,” says John F. Clark, NCMEC’s president and CEO. “But that’s not true. This is why we do what we do. Hope is why we’re here.”
Closs has since been reunited with her family. Healing for Jayme Closs posted this on its Facebook page:
Oct. 15, 2018 -- James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, are found shot to death in their home in Barron, a town in western Wisconsin. Authorities issue an Amber Alert for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, and the search for her begins.
Oct. 16, 2018 -- Investigators say they don't consider Jayme a suspect in her parents' deaths. Authorities also dismiss a tip placing Jayme's whereabouts in Miami as "not credible," and say they believe the girl is in danger.
Oct. 17, 2018 -- Authorities announce that investigators believe Jayme was in her family's home when her parents were fatally shot.
Oct. 18, 2018 -- About 100 people join a ground search for Jayme after Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald requests the help of volunteers. The search turns up nothing useful. The Wisconsin Department of Justice announces it is sending therapists, comfort dogs and school resource officers to help students at the school Jayme attended.
Oct. 23, 2018 -- About 2,000 volunteers from as far as Minneapolis help with another ground search . Several items are found and taken for assessment.
Oct. 24, 2018 -- The FBI offers a $25,000 reward for information leading to Jayme's location. The amount is later doubled to $50,000 by the Jennie-O Turkey Store, where James and Denise Closs worked.
Oct. 27, 2018 -- Funerals are held for James and Denise Closs in Cameron, a village next to Barron.
Oct. 29, 2018 -- Prosecutors announce they have charged a man with burglarizing the Closs home but say he's not a suspect in the case.
Dec. 12, 2018 -- Hundreds of people attend a "tree of hope" lighting ceremony in honor of Jayme in Barron.
Jan. 10, 2019 -- Jayme is found alive in the Town of Gordon, a rural community about an hour from her home. A suspect is taken into custody.
Jan. 11, 2019 -- Investigators say the suspect, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, is jailed on homicide and kidnapping charges.