13-year-old American escapes after 88 days at killer's hands

She took advantage of her abductor's absence to escape. Arrested soon after, the suspect will be presented Monday to a judge for his charge.

Barron County Sheriff's Press Conference, Chris Fitzgerald, following the disappearance of Jayme Closs, October 17, 2018. Jerry Holt / AP

A 13-year-old girl, Jayme Closs, was hailed as a "heroine" on Friday in the United States, after her 88-day escape at the hands of a 21-year-old man who is believed to have killed her parents for remove.

His alleged abductor, Jake Thomas Patterson, arrested just after the escape, will be presented Monday to a judge for his charge of kidnapping and double murder, the police said.

"The suspect had the specific intent to kidnap Jayme" and he had carefully "planned" the kidnapping, said at a press conference Chris Fitzgerald, the sheriff of Barron, a small town in the Great Lakes region. The girl was "his only target," he added. But, "we do not know how he spotted it . " "We believe he had never been in contact with the family" before October 15, 2018, he said earlier.

That day, 56-year-old James Closs and his 46-year-old wife, Denise, an unrequited couple, were shot dead in their home in Barron, whose door had been smashed. Their daughter Jayme was gone. The police and residents of Wisconsin, shocked by the tragedy, immediately went after him, but their efforts were unsuccessful. And the hope of finding her alive had dwindled over the days.

" A ghost "

On Thursday afternoon, the teenager took advantage of her abductor's absence to escape from the house where she was captive, located in a secluded area near the town of Gordon, about 100 kilometers north of Barron. .

Dirty, thin, her hair tangled and wearing too big shoes, she asked for help from a woman walking her dog. She took her to neighbors, who alerted the police. "It was like seeing a ghost," Peter Kasinskas told the local press, where she waited for the arrival of the authorities, adding that the teenager "probably in shock" had not shown much talkative.

She still gave them the name of his alleged abductor, the color and the mark of his car. She assured that she did not know him until the death of his parents.

With this information, the police quickly apprehended the suspect who was driving his car. He was apparently trying to find the girl. Unknown to the police, the young man has no known job. During searches at his home, the police found several weapons, including a rifle corresponding to the weapon used to kill the Closs parents.

" Survival instinct "

Jayme Closs, who spent the night in the hospital, was heard Friday by investigators, who did not reveal whether she had suffered abuse during her detention. "She's fine in the circumstances," Sheriff Fitzgerald assured. She was entrusted to her aunt in the afternoon and must find the rest of her family in the evening.

"I'm going to kiss her, hold her tight," her grandfather Robert Naiberg told the local press. "We thought it would end otherwise, so we're happy it's OK," his uncle Jeff Closs added on a radio.

The double homicide of parents Closs, an apparently peaceful couple who worked in a local poultry company, had puzzled the Wisconsin authorities. In the absence of a weapon and obvious motive, the mystery had thickened with the enduring disappearance of the child, despite research conducted day and night and beatings bringing together thousands of volunteers. The authorities had also offered a $ 50,000 reward for any information that could help locate it.

The investigation was complicated by the lack of clues to the crime scene. The suspect "went very far in his preparations," including shaving his head so as not to leave hair, said Sheriff Fitzgerald.

This "file was difficult" and it was finally "Jayme who offered us the solution," noted an FBI official, Justin Tolomeo. "The survival instinct that drives this kid is incredible," said Sheriff Fitzgerald. "Jayme is the heroine of this case, without a doubt . "

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REF: https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/01/12/une-americaine-de-13-ans-s-evade-apres-88-jours-aux-mains-du-tueur-de-ses-parents_5408086_3210.html