STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Jayme Closs was missing for 3 months. Her hometown never gave up hope

On Friday, the signs changed in Barron, Wisconsin, from "Pray for Jayme" to "Welcome Home Jayme."Peop...

Posted: Jan 13, 2019 12:32 AM
Updated: Jan 13, 2019 12:32 AM

On Friday, the signs changed in Barron, Wisconsin, from "Pray for Jayme" to "Welcome Home Jayme."

People in the town of about 3,400 people celebrated the best news they could imagine: Jayme Closs, 13, had been found, three months after she went missing from a bloody crime scene.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Jayme Closs

Law enforcement

Misc people

Missing persons

Christmas

Holidays and observances

Demographic groups

Families and children

Family members and relatives

Population and demographics

Society

Teenagers

"There's so much love and hugs in our district today," Diane Tremblay, the administrator for Wisconsin's Barron County School District, said Friday at a news conference. "Jayme has been found safe and reunited with her family and friends. There is truly nothing in the world better than that."

"Jayme: Aunt Jen can't wait to give you that big hug and hold you tight," Jennifer Smith, Jayme's aunt and godmother, told CNN affiliate WCCO, "because we're not going to let you go."

In a nightmare scenario, law enforcement authorities received a 911 call October 15 and went to a country home where Jayme lived with her parents.

James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, were found shot to death.

Their daughter, Jayme, was nowhere to be found. She was 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds.

Authorities said they had no idea who killed her parents or what happened to the teen. Two days after the killings, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told reporters, "I'll be honest. I'm struggling with this because I don't have some of those answers that I want to give you."

A small town comes together

Despite the lack of clues, law enforcement kept searching. And the people of Barron never gave up hope, proving that in ways symbolic and practical.

They helped look for Jayme. On October 22, a week after her disappearance, 2,000 volunteers showed up to assist law enforcement in a search of the countryside. That crowd was the equivalent of two-thirds of the population of Barron.

Timeline of Jayme Closs case

They congregated to share their hopes and fears. The same day as the search, people poured into the Barron High School football stadium for "A Gathering of Hope," an event to honor Jayme.

Smith, Jayme's aunt, put out a message to the girl: "Jayme, we need you here with us to fill that hole we have in our hearts. We all love you to the moon and back. And we will never stop looking for you. ... Your dog, Molly, is waiting for you. She's sleeping in one of your sweatshirts."

A reward of $25,000 was offered, and it soon grew to $50,000. Signs popped up with messages of faith and hope: "Bring Jayme Home" and "We Are Praying For Jayme."

As the Christmas season arrived, the missing teen was not forgotten.

A "Tree of Hope" for Jayme was put up at a middle school. The Barron County Clerk of Courts Office dedicated its Christmas tree in the justice center to her. The tree was decorated with green bulbs and ribbons -- green being the color often used to raise awareness for missing children.

'Jayme is safe'

Jayme was discovered walking alone Thursday afternoon two counties to the north, outside the rural community of Gordon, authorities said.

Her accused abductor -- Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, of Gordon -- was arrested shortly afterward, when a law enforcement officer pulled him over in a vehicle after neighbors called 911 to report Jayme's emergence, authorities said.

Investigators now believe Patterson shot Jayme's parents and abducted Jayme, and that it appears he went there with the precise intention of taking the girl, Fitzgerald said.

He'd apparently kept her inside his house for months. Authorities didn't say how she escaped or provide a motive.

Fitzgerald finally was able to deliver a happy message at a news conference Friday,.

"For 88 days I have said we would work tirelessly to bring Jayme Closs home. We have done just that," he said.

"Jayme is safe."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 266598

Reported Deaths: 5852
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17807191
Hinds16967332
Harrison14298204
Rankin11280221
Jackson10976190
Lee9088145
Madison8619169
Jones6782118
Forrest6236124
Lauderdale6128192
Lowndes5564120
Lafayette5229101
Lamar507465
Washington4951125
Bolivar4149109
Oktibbeha409482
Panola388281
Pontotoc378560
Warren3698103
Monroe3693110
Marshall358570
Union357764
Pearl River3508106
Neshoba3499154
Leflore3122109
Lincoln307688
Hancock296362
Sunflower293075
Tate281162
Alcorn273554
Pike271081
Itawamba270063
Scott260849
Yazoo257156
Prentiss254554
Coahoma251555
Copiah250749
Tippah250150
Simpson243872
Leake238467
Marion225973
Grenada224272
Covington222473
Adams215371
Wayne215034
Winston207771
George204839
Newton200046
Attala197464
Tishomingo195661
Chickasaw189644
Jasper182538
Holmes172268
Clay167537
Tallahatchie157535
Stone152925
Clarke148662
Calhoun141822
Smith130726
Yalobusha123835
Walthall115037
Greene114529
Noxubee114126
Montgomery112736
Lawrence107617
Carroll106922
Perry105331
Amite102426
Webster97424
Claiborne89725
Tunica89321
Jefferson Davis88930
Benton86523
Humphreys84824
Kemper81020
Quitman7149
Franklin70717
Choctaw63813
Wilkinson59925
Jefferson57121
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 56°
Columbus
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 56°
Oxford
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather