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Kidnapped American teen found alive months after parents´ murder

13 Janvier 2019

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

Authorities say Jayme managed to escape Thursday from a remote home near Gordon, which is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Barron.

Minutes later, police arrested the man she identified as her captor, Jake Thomas Patterson, and have charged him with abducting Closs and fatally shooting her parents.

"It was literally like we were seeing a ghost, because we have seen the billboards and the commercials and all that stuff, and there she is in my kitchen, you know", Kasinskas told CBS News. They heard a disturbance in the background, but no-one spoke to them directly.

James and Denise Closs were found shot dead on October 15 in the family's home. Investigators say they've found no evidence of any online conversations between the two.

The Closses' deaths were ruled as homicide by a medical examiner.

"I don't know her but I have been praying for her".

Nutter said, "This is Jayme Closs!"

For months, thousands of people joined search parties as investigators received thousands of tips.

In a town of only about 3,400 residents, the murders and disappearance gripped the local community.

Police believe the 13-year-old was the suspect's "only target".

A photo provided by the Barron County, Wis., Sheriff's Department show Jake Patterson, who has been jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges.

"I'm lost and I don't know where I am, and I need help", Jayme told Nutter, the woman told CNN affiliate WCCO.

Kasinskas called 911 to report the girl had been found after another neighbor out walking her dog encountered Jayme and brought her to Kasinskas' house.

The image was taken just a day after rescuers described her as dirty and wearing shoes too big for her.

Mr Fitzgerald noted police information was "limited" and Jayme was still being interviewed, but she had been medically cleared and released from hospital.

Jayme will soon be reunited with her family, officials said during a news conference on Friday.

The investigation suggested that the suspect did not know any family members at the Closs home nor had he been in touch with them, but allegedly went there with the objective of kidnapping the teen, Fitzgerald said.

The search stretched across cornfields and wooded areas and drew 1,500 volunteers - almost half as many people as the entire 3400-person population of Barron, which sits about 145km northeast of Minneapolis.

Late on Thursday, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald announced that Jayme had been found in Gordon, but he had few other details.

Patterson took measures to avoid leaving evidence at the scene, including shaving his head beforehand, and a shotgun was recovered from the home where Jayme was believed held, Fitzgerald said.

The 21-year-old suspect has been arrested and will appear in court on Monday. "Did she go with him to the store?"

"We want her to feel comfortable and then after a while, she probably won't want the attention so it'll probably come down but it'll be up for a while because we're thrilled", Seelig said. "I mean, it's sad when you hear a story that your child is deceased, I don't want to hear that".

Kidnapped American teen found alive months after parents´ murder