Jayme Closs' grandfather says family had no connection to kidnapping suspect

Jennifer Smith and Jayme Closs are all smiles after the teenager was found on Thursday Jan. 10 2019

Jennifer Smith and Jayme Closs are all smiles after the teenager was found on Thursday Jan. 10 2019

Jayme had been missing for almost three months when, on Thursday, she approached a stranger near the small, isolated town of Gordon and pleaded for help.

Investigators in Wisconsin say they're trying to determine what led the man suspected of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs to the girl. Officers arrested Patterson minutes later.

Authorities say that the Closs family did now know Jake Patterson. "The FBI, DCI and the crime lab and our agents are still on the ground, working it, conducting interviews with neighborhood (residents), friends, family, anybody that might know anything".

For those that didn't even know Jayme, they're even relieved to welcome her home. [But] he knew what he was doing.

For most child kidnapping victims, they have the hope that their parents will find them, "but in this case she knew her folks were dead and couldn't find her", Bowers said. "We see her picture everywhere and we have bracelets that we buy", said the woman at the cafe. Prosecutors anticipate filing homicide and kidnapping charges against him on Monday.

The news that Jayme was safe set off joy and relief in her hometown of Barron, population 3,300 and about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from where she was found.

Jennifer Smith, Jayme's aunt and now legal guardian, posted two photos of Jayme smiling after what she said was a good night's sleep in Smith's home.

"It has been unreal for the community, we've went from extreme fear for both Jayme and her family and for everyone in the community to now just elation".

Jayme's aunt wrote on the teen's return to normalcy saying, "It will be a long road but we are family strong and we love this little girl so much".

Jayme was hospitalized, and later released and reunited with her relatives and dog, Molly, in Barron.

Andy Murray's Former Coach Says Tennis Champion Wants Wimbledon Send Off
The Australian Open gets underway with two big favourites in Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams tipped to take the titles. Open star Maria Sharapova talks about the ups and downs of launching her candy brand ahead of the tournament.

Jayme was taken to a hospital in Minnesota after she was found, her aunt, Sue Allard, said. Patterson took such measures as shaving his head beforehand to avoid leaving evidence at the scene, the sheriff said. "She did not talk about why or how".

"Probably one of the more hard issues is going to be finding that new sense of normalcy in her life", said Smart, a 31-year-old mother of three.

FOX 9 also spoke with a teacher's aid who said she never really saw Patterson apply himself to school, but he consistently aced his tests.

"I know all of you are searching for the answer why any of this happened", Fitzgerald said. "We don't believe he ... talked with them, had any digital footprint with them". Nutter said Jayme did not have a coat or gloves.

Fitzgerald said Friday that authorities do not know how Patterson became aware of Closs, as he reportedly never had contact with her family.

Almost three years ago, Patterson worked for one day at the same meat products facility where Jayme's parents also worked - the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Barron - the company's president said. No one pressed her to talk, he said, adding that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and doctors advised them to let her speak when she's ready.

Smart said she would get defensive when people asked her why she didn't run or scream when her captors sometimes traveled with her out in the open.

Despite Erik Patterson's criminal record, few across the township seem to have heard of his family.

Patterson is unemployed, although worked for one day at the Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron, where the Closs' worked for 27 years. Shortly after the 911 call, a sheriff's patrol sergeant found the vehicle, pulled it over and took Patterson into custody, Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec said.

News that Jayme had been found alive ended an all-out search that gripped the country. Like Closs, she was also found alive, but after nine months of captivity.

Latest News