Jayme Closs found safe news conference

Credit: WISC
Published on January 11, 2019 -
WISC-TV covers news conference updating Jayme Closs case.

Jayme Closs found safe news conference

The barron county sheriff is about to hold a news briefing to fill us in on detials on how jayme closs was found on thursday.

Closs, the 13- year-old girl who vanished after her parents were found shot to death in their barron,home nearly three months ago, was found alive after she flagged down a woman >> today i can report we have done just that.

At this moment jamie is being in the comforting embrace of law enforcement asked the investigation into a three month ordeal ensues.

Eight days ago we stood before you speaking about the unthinkable tragedy and ask you to help us find 13-year-old jayme closs.

For 88 days you called and tips and brought us food, searched arm in arm with us and wrote us notes and never gave up hope.

As the days and weeks more on you still continued to call and law enforcement locally and across the country continued to calm through over 3500 tips and the families never gave up hope.

Last night our collective promise was fulfilled with jamie's safe recovery.

Thank you to all.

Joining me today, fbi agent justin paul mayo and josh call wisconsin attorney general, ryan okie from wisconsin department of criminal investigation.

Barrett county district attorney d.a.

Brian wright.

Douglas county sheriff tom dall-leighton captain nick blahnik from the wisconsin state and giant friendly superintendent of the baron school district.

Jayme is safe and the family is requesting a respect her privacy as this extrely emotional time.

Also in a few minutes you will hear from superintendent diane trembley on a message from the school and freeze respect the respect of note media on school property today place.

This case remains a team effort from the beginning.

And they will never be able to thank all the agencies and businesses and individuals that helped of this case.

With the singular focus to bring jamie home.

Yesterday there was a lot of confusion with an erroneous social media post about 4:30 p.m.

In walworth county.

This was an incident in walworth county but in no way had connection to the case as reported in facebook.

Shortly after i posted that jayme was now not involved in the walworth county incident my detectives were alerted on 911 call out being given out in douglas county.

Responding to a person claiming they had found jayme.

I will now bring up sheriff tom doll back the douglas county sheriff and he will address this part of the incident.


>> thanks chris.

My agency received a 911 call about 4:30 yesterday afternoon from the individual out walking her dog.

That she was approached by a young female claiming to be jayme closs.

This lady immediately went to a nearby house.

Notified that neighbor.

Of the claim.

And this neighbor called 911 and my deputies responded in mosques immediately.

And identified jayme as the person that approached the neighbor.

Took control of her and possession of her and put her in safekeeping.

And a short time later, one of my patrol sergeants happened to find a vehicle that matched the description that she gave my deputies of the suspect and pulled the vehicle over and took the suspect in custody at that time.

Beyond that, jayme was taken to a local hospital up in the superior area.

Where she was looked over and examined and she was held overnight for observatio and the suspect was interviewed and subsequently brought back down to barron county.

That is all i have right now.

>> thank you sheriff and thank you deputies for the work that they did in this case.

Thsuspect arrested, was arrested and is currently being held in the barron county jail.

That suspect is jake thomas patterson.

Patt er som.

He is 21 years old fm gordon, wisconsin and currently being held on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the murder of her parents and one count of kidnapping.

Barron county district attorney ryan white will give a brief comment next.

>> thank you sheriff fitzgerald.

First of all, i want to thank everyone with law enforcement for the tremendous work that they did you bring jamie home.

That starts with sheriff fitzgerald and the barron county sheriff's department and includes the fbi, the division of criminal investigation, and the hundreds of officers who came to barron county to assist in this investigation.

I saw firsthand how brave, determined and dedicated these men and women are.

It is truly an honor to see the work that they have performed community.servants.

It was only a few months ago, that we as a community gathered to pray for jamie's safe return.

At baron high school.

God has answered those prayers.

The case will now be referred to the district attorney's office.

Our office will review the reports and then make a charging decision.

It is my intent to have a criminal complaint filed by next week.

It is our job in prosecuting this case to obtain justice for james, denise, and jayme closs.

We will do so.

Thank you.

>> thank you.

This case remains active in fluid as we stand before you today.

We have fbi, dci, state patrol, douglas county, investigators and barron county detectives actively working the scene and conducting interviews so details will be sparse right now.

We plan out 4:00 p.m.

Media update with more details to be released at this time right here.

As you heard the charges of the suspect, the suspect is being charged with kidnapping.

Jayme was taken against her will and escape from the residence at which she was being held and found help.

We also did not believe at this timehat the suspect had any contact with the family.

We do believe jamie was the only target.

I can tell you that the subject plan his action and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the general public.

Next i want to invite some of our partners to take a few comments.

Make a few comments.

Again these agencies stepped forward and coming here never give up hope and became part of our community.

I can never thank them enough.

First i will bring up special agent in charge of the fbi justin paul mayo.

>> thank you sheriff.

Again, i am justin and i am the fbi for special agent in charge of the milwaukee division which covers all of wisconsin.

We are so pleased to stand here today with our fellow officers and partners to celebrate jayme's recovery.

It is an incredible day.

As the sheriff said, this case was challenging given the proactive steps subject took to avoid detection.

In cases like this we often need a big break and it was jayme herself who gave us this break.

We would like to thank the citizens who came forward quickly to help save jayme and the fast action of the douglas county sheriff's office to bring her home safely.

I also want to recognize the tireless efforts of agents, deputies, officers, and staff who spent the past three months never giving up on this is all the outcome would like to have when a child goes missing.

And it happened in this case.

Thanks again to jayme family and the entire community of jayme.

Today we can finally say jayme closs is home.

A key.

>> thank you.

>> next i want to bring up wisconsin attorney general josh call.

>> thank you sheriff.

First let me say thank sheriff fitzgerald for his incredible leadership throughout this process.

Sheriff, people across wisconsin and i expect across the country are overjoyed that jayme is finally safe.

This was an effort that involved numerous law enforcement agencies.

More than i have time to name and i want to thank everybody who participated in this everybody in the community who volunteered and who played a role in this investigation and who supported law enforcement.

And with that i am incredibly proud of the work of the department of justice played in assisting with the investigation.

The department of justice will continue to assist as needed with the investigation and with the prosecution of this case.

I thank you again.

>> thank you.

>> next we will bring up wisconsin department of criminal investigation administrator brian o'keefe.

>> thank you sheriff.

Good morning.

A lot of thank yous today.

For everybody.

I want to say first thank you to the media for also helping out.

You guys have been present here but you have also been a great resource to law enforcement getting the message out regarding jayme so that is incredible.

Thank you.

We also want to say thank you to all of our agents, the deputies and we talked about if aspects that were very echnical challenging for law enforcement.

And everybody never blinked about putting aside their personal lives to bring a little girl home.

And the work that got done is really, i don't think i have seen this much work done in any one case i have been involved in in my entire career.

And friendships and the professionalism of all agencies at the local, state and federal level have just been beyond what anybody could really expect if the fbi brought in resources from all over the country.

Doj had our resources and were here on ground today, trying to help the community recover the victim witness people are appear, along with those with local and federal level.

There is a lot of people that are very emotional about the recovery of jamie.

It is a happy thing but now we have to work on the recovery process and we have reached out to a lot of professionals.

To help this young lady and her family here reunited.

And she goes through a new healing process so we ask that you just please respect the family today as we try to get this work through.

There will be time for questions and interviews later.

Thank you again for e.

>> the last thing i want to bring up baron superintendent john trembley to talk about school plans.

>> hello, my name is diane trembley and i have the honor to serve as superintendent of the baron area school district in barron county.

What a glorious day.

This will certainly never be love and hugs and i just our district today, just insurmountable.

Jayme has been found safe.

And she has been reunited with her family and friends.

There is truly nothing in the world better than that.

Now, i would like to take time to address a few of the common questions that have come our way last night.

And this morning.

From all of you.

In the what has been like in the baron area school district in the past month?

It has been 88 days of hope for her safe return.

88 days of prayers.

Or jamie.

Her family, friends, student staff and community and 88 days of holding onto the face our authorities would never give u and they certainly did not give up on .

Finally 88 days of our close knit community with the same goal in mind and that was to bring jamie home and back into our arms. i would like to thank everyone for overflow of support that continues to come to us from local, state, federal agencies and businesses, family along with incredible small town connections that we have.

They are truly a beautiful family.

Most importantly, we want to think jayme for being so courageous and for achieving an opportunity to find her way back to us.

What an extraordinary young lady.

What is the support like in our district was another question that was quite common.

The support for our baron area school districts have been nothing less than exceptional.

The teamwork from administration, are sro, supervisors, counselors, school psychologists and partners from our district as well as other neighboring districts had and continues to successfully address the distinguished needs of our students, teachers, bus drivers, support staff as well as our entire community.

The department of justice, school safety team.

Was the second call i received last evening.

It came to me minutes after i received the miraculous call.

From sheriff fitzgerald.

Who was immediately assessing our needs in the district.

After he gave me this news.

The doj office of school safety has partnered with us to ensure that our students, staff and larger school community receive the support we need to feel safe during this investigation.

Has provided on-site support to a barren school district in the form of school psychologists, trned in crisis response, therapy doctor martha police department, additional school resource officers and emergency management guidance.

The office of school safety has also contacted their partners safe and sound schools to help us deliver training and provide support for our community regarding crisis response, trauma, as well as recovery.

In addition to the doj office of school safety, we are also grateful to the wausau police department, eau claire police department, national association of school psychologists and a safe and sound schools.

One last question.

That has been asked.

I would like to address.

Will our district be holding a celebration or ceremony in the community of any sort?

All i can say to that at this time is you better believe it.

[laughter] >> you better believe it.


We missed you.

And we are so grateful you are home.

Thank you.

>> before i take questions and i will have to really with all of you, we will get to them.



Again my thank yous will never be enough.

Thank you to jayme for having the will to survive.

Her family for her patients and keeping their faith in us and the people who rescued jayme yesterday.

The douglas county sheriff's office and their work yesterday.

All of the law enforcement agencies locally and across the nation that helped us with the tips.

General public for their support of jayme and jayme facebook groups and businesses that fed us to the posters that went up on semi trailers, around town and everywhere you guys put up posters.

The school, superintendent, teachers and all the students for notes and beautiful tree lighting.

The fbi, dci, state patrol and all the other agencies that helped us.

For the members of my team and my command staff.

The dispatcher that took all the tips.

Patrol officers for following up on all the tips and detectives as they continued to work in the field today.

Lastly my family for all support and understanding.

Over the past three months.

This has been an awesome day.

And i can't thank you guys in the media enough either.

I got a lot of tips and texts last night, tips of support and not looking for information, just saying, our newsroom is trying with you.

That was pretty awesome.

It has been a tremendous day.

We will be posting pictures and handing out pictures very shortly of the suspect.

And we also email this out.

This is the suspect currently owes from the spi will be passing these out and we will also email this to our press and put it on her facebook page.

So, with that, many of us are here available to answer questions.

Again, let's try to do it in somewhat -- >> do you or the other sheriff talk about jayme's petition [inaudible] when she found that neighborhood, when did she look like?

And where is she right now [inaudible] >> i can talk about now.

She is good, she has been cleared from the hospital as sheriff toback said and there is a reunification process in place going on right now.

And that includes medical, mental evaluations.

Questioning by a detective and fbi and dci agents and then reunification of family.

We are working on the process that is in place and we hope to have her back here in barron county this morning or early afternoon.

[crosstalk] >> what happened to her over the last --?

>> we do not know that.

This group behind me does not have that information.

This is a very active and fluid case.

We are serving search warrants right at this moment.

In gordon, for vehicles, looking for evidence.

And again we hope to release a lot more that information at 4:00.

[crosstalk] >> sir, you said that jayme was not [inaudible] so what interaction did the suspect have with --?

>> that's what we are trying to know now what we believe there was really none.

No contact.

>> do you know if they knew each other prior?

>> i don't know that.

We are waiting for that again.

We think at 4:00 we will release more information about that.

>> do they have any connection to law enforcement or criminal history?

Criminal history lally and in the state of wisconsin.

>> [crosstalk] >> we are not looking for any additional suspects.

>> was he on your radar?

>> was gordon on our radar?

Gordon was not on our radar.

[inaudible] >> first court appearance.

>> we don't have that, and we will be set after he filed a criminal complaint.

>> next week, we will believe it will be next week sometime.

>> can you explain how she was able to get away yesterday?

>> she is currently doing that with detectives now.

I do not have that.

I know that she did escape from the home and she did find help.

>> on that note, you been to escape by herself, what is that like?

>> that is the will of the kid to survive.

The am thankful.

I mean, it is just -- you guys know, understand the "fake news" that is out there.

And you guys get bombarded with it and we just d it prior to this.

I wasn't done with the first tip about she is not in walworth county and she is in douglas county.

How can that be?

My head spins.

As you guys have seen for the last 88 days.

It is amazing the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape and that comes from the hope and prayers of this community and what everybody did.

I think what is very interesting is she was recognized immediately by both the female walking the dog and the people at the house.

Because of the work that we di , the public did and the media did.

I think that can't go on talked about here and that was remarkable that people recognized her.

Just what we wanted to happen happened.

>> sheriff -- [inaudible] [inaudible] >> she left by foot, the scene and the suspect had several vehicles currently evaluating the vehicles.

>> how can you say a target of the alleged suspect?

>> wwere just brief, by detectives and that's what they are trying to figure right now.

Both interviews of the person we have arrested, mr. patterson and the interviews of jayme.

>> does she have ties to baron?

Does he have a tie to baron?

>> he does have a tidy barron county.

>> [inaudible] any kind of physical abuse?

>> i do not know the answer to that but all i know is she is medically cleared at this time so she is available for detective to start the reunification, the second part of the reunification process which is the interview that they will conduct at this time >> we can bring her home.

[inaudible] >> we can't comment on that because one, we haven't been brief, and we know that he has taken some measures to avoid detection from both law enforcement and the public.

[inaudible] >> we don't know that and it appears that way but we don't know we can't confirm that completely.

>> there was a 911 call me from the home.

We know who made that call?

>> at this time i haven't been told who made the 911 call.

>> there's a very emotional day and [inaudible] >> i mean, it was -- [laughter] >> first unreal and is it true?

When we confirm with the sheriff's team that it was confirmed it was her, my legs started to shake, man.

It was awesome.

It was just the stress and relief.

It was just awesome.

I don't have a different word.

It was fabulous.

It was just great.

>> [inaudible] >> i don't know.

My wife and kids are here so i have to be careful.

[laughter] >> but it was pretty, it ranks right up there i will tell you diane and tell the d.a.

To talk to these guys that have been, they are just not common.

They are part of this community and special agent justin said we are part of this community and brian o'keefe says they have been part of this community and they have been part of it for 80 days, didn't come here monday until noon and come back on friday.

They worked every single day of the week of this case.

It was tremendous effort.

By this people behind me.

This is a team.

You guys are part of it so >> sir, was there anyone else when you guys wenyesterday?

>> there was no one else in the home.

>> he was arrested and i will let incident.

>> where did mr. patterson get arrested?

>> he was just down the road from the residence.


>> was he looking for her?

>> no, i don't believe so.

>> at this point has he >> he is being interviewed and i don't know the answer to that.

>> had they identified the suspect in the hospital or wherever identified [inaudible] >> i don't know the answer to that question.

>> [inaudible] >> i don't know the answer to that question.

They owned the house and i don't know the answer to that.

>> [inaudible] when her parents were killed.

I don't know that answer.

That is what the search warrant is for right noand as we speak.

>> [inaudible] of a phone call?

>> good question.

My chief deputy.

[laughter] because i had to remember.

>> the family's reaction we were able to coordinate efforts on that because we had a reunification plan in place.

Excuse me.

And we were able to do the family in ladysmith so that family was at a basketball game in baron and we sent three teams out and i got to tell jennifer smith that we had the county sheriff and detective tell the family in ladysmith and my chief deputy and the family at the basketball game here and they broke down.

It was because they had heard about "fake news" so they talked about and they thought that they were coming to confirm that so when they said she was found safe and alive tears and a lot of hugs.

>> sheriff, why do you think she was a target?

>> based on some limited information i have, i believe she was a target.

From our detective, i don't know how they got the information.

>> [inaudible] from the media?

>> there doesn't appear to be.

>> sheriff, [inaudible] >> expand on that.

What did the suspect do?

>> you said they didn't make contact -- >> i don't know what he did right afterward.

It was immediatewhat he did with jamie immediately after and i don't know where they went or if there was a secondary location .

That's again are detectives.

Have we recovered a weapon?

I don't know that.

>> sheriff, why did you never lose hope of her alive?

>> she is a 13-year-old girl.

And i am the sheriff of the county and i am to make sure everyone is safe and as these guys take the same oath and there's no reason to give up hope.

We didn't have any evidence to show she was injured.

Or she was hurt at the scene and there was no reason to give up hope that tree lighting ceremony at the school.

The kids will even when kids believe it easy for adults to believe.

>> anything that said that patterson had mental health issues?

>> no idea on the question.

>> an area that they combed in the home?

>> a home in the remote area outside of gordon wisconsin.

>> we don't know that answer.

>> >> i don't have an answer of how long.

Thank you.

>> how did he know jayme in the first place?

>> i don't know the answer.

Detectives are figuring that out.

>> [inaudible] >> we don't believe there was contact there.

>> contact, does that mean physical contact?

>> it doesn't appear to be.

>> we believe he went there with the intention of abducting her?

>> it appears that way.

>> does that on one while call peer pick up any audio?

>> two more questions.

>> what do you think this investigation was [inaudible] >> i think because of the steps he took what we have been briefed on again, i can't comment until we confirm a lot of that so i want to tell you something and i have to change my story.

But it's a remote area and there isn't a lot of houses in the area.

You know, he not only conceal his identity, he concealed it appears he concealed her from other people.

His friends.

I don't know the answer to that.

That's a question i want answered.

[crosstalk] >> was he inflated what did he do?

>> he was not employed in the springtime.

>> how hard you have to walk from the hills to -- >> you know how far she had to walk?

>> i don't.

>> we don't have the answer.

>> any connection to jennie-o?

>> is a brave little girl but can you tell us anything about [inaudible] three months what they have been like for her was there fear in her eyes?

>> i have not seen her talk to her and i will be back at 4:00.

Thank you guys.

>> anchor: a very emotional baron county sheriff chris fitzgerald.

On the findings jayme closs safe after 88 days.

The will of a 13-year-old girl explained why she survived.

>> i think that's o of the most incredible things is the resilience she had to survive this and escape, the sheriff did not provide any details on how she escaped but it brings back memories of elizabeth smart.

And daisy do guard in california and the news everyone has waited 80 days to hear and justin from the fda called the an incredible day and it's really an understatement.

>> in custody 21-year-old jake thomas patterson.

Of gordon, wisconsin.

Where he apparently kept jayme captive for the last 88 days but >> right, sheriff fitzgerald said they investigators believe patterson killed jamie's parents because he wanted to abductor.

And patterson took many steps throw offinvestigators .

>> they said there appear to be no connection to the families so no social media connection.

While he was targeting her still unknown.

>> many questions still to come.

For what he is charged with two counts of murder and kidnapping and he is in baron county jail.

This morning.

>> this all unfolded yesterday and escape from captivity and someone walking their dog at 4:00 in the afternoon she approached this woman, and said i need help.

And she went to a neighbor and the neighbor, kristin open the front door and the woman said call 911, this is jayme closs.

>> she said i believe, thought i was looking at a disheveled.

But appears to be in good health.

She has been cleared from the medical examination.

And still looking at her mental condition before she gets you reunited with her family.

>> danica lewis has been in baron overnight in joins us now.

Danica, hard to imagine how the community there must be feeling this morning.

>> susan and mark, we were just walking around in the neighborhood and we had to set a place where this was what we are talking about and they were very ecause of a happy ending i think so wanted to let you know we are right near the barron county jail where this man right here, this is jake thomas patterson, 21 years old.

Is now in custody in barron county for first to be intentional homicide in two counts for allegedly killing jamie's parents and one count of kidnapping.

As you heard the sheriff to say there, we will get an update again at 4:00.

Some of the things i took away here.

First and foremost, just how thankful these people are to this community and everyone who called in, more than 3500 tips into this case and while only one really deals with the evidence and the results that they needed, those were appreciated as sheriff fitzgerald put out there very much and we did stop by the school districas well and asked them kind of the share same questions as the superintendent was referred to and answered and if they are getting support this is at the administrator of jamie school, a little more low-key today as the kids can process and you heard about therapy dogs and counselors and doj representatives.

And also a very different looking day, noextension indication of whether she might return to class but an unbelievable thing to swallow and i will share with administrators and what they said, they said it's a good day here so i can relate and i think everybody here can relate.

88 to the investigation has been going on.

And remarkable i think.

We are all surprised and pleasantly in the press conference here, we have the picture of the suspect may hope to have that online for you little later.

One thing about the suspect in particular, mr. patterson is he did not have a criminal record leading up to this.

According to the sheriff, not barron county or douglas county where he was arrested.

No were really in the state so that's really interesting thing about all this and the object interesting part is the fact that right now we don't know how everyone is connected.

This is premeditated and planned and even spoke out as it seemed and he was going to do whatever he needed to do to abductor jayme and that may have included according to the charges killing her parents.

And we don't know how the two were connected and if they knew each other in the first place.

Working to hear and we will hear more hopefully at 4:00 as jayme and some individuals are interviewed detectives as well.

Cleared from the hospital.

That was good news and here and she is still in the hospital overnight in the family reunification process can begin to a lot of information coming in mark and susan but the moral of the story i think today is that she is safe.

She is alive.

And she is going to be back with her family later on today.

>> it s an emotional day of celebration especially.

>> unbelievable.

Danica lewis in baron, we will see you at noon.

Again recapping jake thomas patterson 21 years old has been charged with two counts of murder and kidnapping in the deaths of the classes and it hurt kidnapping for the last 88 days paid >> we will see you for the list of elements at noon and another briefing from sheriff fitzgerald this

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