Girl, 13, reunited with family after harrowing 88-day ordeal

Jayme Closs, who was abducted after the suspect allegedly killed both her parents, has been reunited with her aunt and dog; Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks out about the case.
5:16 | 01/12/19

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Transcript for Girl, 13, reunited with family after harrowing 88-day ordeal
brave 13-year-old girl reunited with family after a harrowing 88-day ordeal. Jayme Closs getting hugs from her aunt and love from her dog. She hadn't been seen in three months. And we're learning more about the man suspected of killing her parents and abducting her including how he allegedly tried to avoid leaving any evidence behind. ABC's Alex Perez joins us from Barron, Wisconsin. Alex. Reporter: Hey, good morning, Adrienne. This is the first time in three months that Jayme is waking up next to her family. Her captor is behind bars and authorities now trying to figure out why he targeted her. The sheriff come to my house and he was smiling, and he had the best news ever. Reporter: This morning, 13-year-old Jayme Closs is finally reuniting with her family 88 days after she vanished from her home where her parents were both brutally murdered. Give her that big hug I haven't had for 88 days. Reporter: 70 miles from where she first disappeared Jayme stumbling upon Jeannie nutter Thursday. She was crying and said I need help. I don't know where I am. I'm lost. Please help me. She said I'm Jayme and then I am this close to her so I knew it was Jayme. Reporter: Jayme appearing disheveled, thin with no coat. She had somebody else's shoes on that were too big for her and she was just wearing like black sweats or leggings and a baggy sweatshirt and that was it. Reporter: Nutter rushing to a neighbor's house to call 911. It was like seeing a ghost. I mean it took my breath away, you know. I'm still -- it's kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around it. Reporter: Closs described her kidnapper and his car. Minutes later police taking this man into custody, an unemployed 21-year-old with no criminal record. The suspect taking great efforts to minimize his footprint at the crime scene like shaving his head not to leave hair behind. Reporter: Investigators think Patterson first shot Jayme's parents in their home in the middle of the night then kidnapped her. Her disappearance sparking wall-to-wall coverage, a major manhunt and thousands of leads. Now, Jayme safe at home with family and a furry friend. This is her dog Molly. She's going to be so excited to see her. Reporter: And authorities believe the suspect was trying to find Jayme when he was apprehended. He's facing murder and kidnapping charges and due in court on Monday. Eva. All right. Thanks, Alex. Joining us now also from Wisconsin is Barron county sheriff Chris Fitzgerald. Thanks for being with us. Thank you. First, how is Jayme doing? Well, I haven't been able to see her yet. She was reunited with her family yesterday. We didn't want to bother that reunion, so we're letting that happen today, but I plan on stopping there today and getting a hug myself. At this point as far as the investigation goes, do we know yet why her alleged abductor Jake Patterson targeted Jayme? Is there any connection, any clue as to how he picked her? No, there's no connection at all between Patterson and the Closs family that we can discover at this time. So we don't know -- that's the million dollaruestion that our team behind us is combing through looking at evidence, serving search warrants and we're still at the scene in garden and doing interviews back here in Barron. She was missing for 88 days. That is a very long time. What do we know at this point about how she was able to escape? Can you walk us through how that happened? Yeah, I haven't been briefed by our team because they're still up in Gordon but he left the residence to go do something. We're not -- I've not been briefed on that, but she escaped leaving the house, finding a lady walking the dog who immediately went to the next house and they called 911. And as far as the latest on this investigation, where do you go from here? Are you looking at other people who may have helped her or helped him like how was he able to hide her for 88 days and keep this secret? Yeah, no, he is our only suspect. We're not looking for anybody else. We believe he acted alone on the night of the incident back in October by shooting the parents and kidnapping Jayme and, again, how he was able to do that, we're going through -- going back. Jayme was able to talk with us yesterday or our investigative team, so all we care about right now is she's with her family. The bad guy is in jail and we can move forward with a conviction in this case in the future. Yeah, it is very fortunate that she was able too get out and get home. Thank you souch for joining us, sheriff. Chris Fitzgerald from Barron county, Wisconsin. Such a bizarre story. I mean, you think about this is the best case scenario for her to be found safe but certainly so many questions after almost 90 day captivity. And the community never gave up either. And how brave she had to have been to say this is my moment to be able to escape and get out. That window of opportunity.

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