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Family: Wisconsin teen doing 'exceptionally well’ post-kidnap, escape

  • Author: Associated Press
  • Updated: January 13
  • Published January 13

This aerial photo shows the cabin where 13-year-old Jayme Closs was held by Jake Thomas Patterson, is surrounded by law enforcement vehicles, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in the town Gordon, Wis. Jayme had been missing for nearly three months Thursday, Jan. 10, when she approached a stranger near the small, isolated north woods town of Gordon and pleaded for help . Officers arrested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson minutes later based on Jayme's description of his vehicle. He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)/Star Tribune via AP)

BARRON, Wis. — The grandfather of a 13-year-old northwestern Wisconsin girl who authorities say escaped a man who killed her parents and held her captive for three months said Sunday she’s in “exceptionally good spirits.”

Jayme Closs on Thursday fled the cabin near the small town of Gordon where she said she had been imprisoned. She approached a woman walking a dog and asked for her help.

Police officers arrested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson minutes later based on Jayme's description of his vehicle. Authorities are holding Patterson on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.

Little has been revealed about Jayme's ordeal since her abduction in mid-October, although more details could come Monday when Patterson is expected to be charged and make his first appearance in court.

Jayme's grandfather, Robert Naiberg, said Sunday that, considering the circumstances, the teen is holding up .

"She's doing exceptionally well for what she went through," Naiberg told The Associated Press by phone. "She's in exceptionally good spirits."

An intruder blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs' home near Barron with a shotgun Oct. 15, gunned the couple down and made off with Jayme.

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2018, file photo, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference about 13-year-old Jayme Closs who has been missing since her parents were found dead in their home in Barron, Wis. The northwest Wisconsin girl who went missing in October after her parents were killed has been found alive, authorities said Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP, File)
This photo provided by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Barron, Wis., shows Jake Thomas Patterson, of the Town of Gordon, Wis., who has been jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges in the October killing of a Wisconsin couple and abduction of their teen daughter, Jayme Closs. Closs was found alive Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in the Town of Gordon. (Barron County Sheriff's Department via AP)
FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2018, file photo, a Barron County, Wis., sheriff's vehicle is parked outside the home where James Closs and Denise Closs were found fatally shot on Oct. 15. The Barron County Sheriff's Department said on its Facebook page that the missing teenager Jayme Closs has been found alive Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, and that a suspect was taken into custody. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen, File)
Kristin Kasinskas, left, husband, Peter, and Jeanne Nutter and her dog Henry head back to their homes after speaking with the media Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Gordon, Wis. Kristin Kasinskas called 911 on Thursday, to report that Jayme Closs, 13, had been found after Nutter, who was out walking her dog, encountered her and brought her to Kasinskas' house. Closs went missing in October after her parents were killed. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

While investigators have said Patterson’s goal was to kidnap Jayme, he has no apparent prior connection to the family. Naiberg told the AP on Saturday that Jayme told FBI agents she did not know Patterson.

Patterson attorneys Charles Glynn and Richard Jones said in a statement that they consider the situation "very tragic" and that they are relying on the court system to treat their client fairly.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told reporters on Friday that Patterson took measures to avoid leaving evidence at the Closs family’s home, including shaving his head before breaking in. A shotgun was recovered from the cabin, which Patterson’s father owned.

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