Jeanne Nutter was walking her golden retriever with her husband Forrest on Jan. 10 when they came across Jayme Closs—the 13-year-old from Wisconsin who was abducted in October 2018. To Closs’s luck, Jeanne had experience for the situation: she is a retired social worker.
The 13-year-old’s parents—Denise Closs, 46, and James Closs, 56—were found murdered in their Wisconsin home on Oct. 15. Jayme was believed to be home during the incident but was nowhere to be found during the investigation.
Jeanne knew of Jayme’s abduction and immediately recognized Jayme when the girl approached them, Forrest told MPR.
After Jayme confirmed her identity to the couple, she explained to them that she escaped from her kidnapper’s home nearby and was afraid that he may come looking for her.
“I went to her and she just sort of grabbed onto me and she told me who she was.
“I’ve been a social worker my whole life,” Jeanne told USA Today. Her child protective instincts took charge and she brought the girl to the home of Kristen Kasinskas, a neighbor of the Nutters.
When they arrived, Kasinskas fed Jayme while they waited around half an hour for the police to arrive, Kasinskas told MPR. Once the police arrived and confirmed her identity, they left with Jayme. Later that night, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department (BCSD) notified the public of the good news.
Giving Thanks to the Dog
Jeanne said her golden retriever Henry wanted to go out on a walk and for that, she gives thanks to her goofy dog, she told USA Today.
“I’m just happy that she’s safe. I feel like it’s sort of a miracle that she’s still alive. I’m glad my dog wanted to go for a walk and we did and there she was.”
On Jan. 11, a news conference was held by the BCSD where Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald gave a briefing on the case. In the conference uploaded by WEAU, the Fitzgerald said that Jayme was reunited with her aunt at the hospital and was also reunited later that evening with the rest of her family.
Another photo from this morning that’s been approved for repostingAunt Jennifer reports Jayme is full of big smiles…
Withholding Evidence to Save the Case
The information given at the conference was limited because the sheriff did not want to put any more pressure on the girl, as well as to not jeopardize the case.
“We have recovered a gun consistent with what was used at the scene of the initial homicide,” said the sheriff. “However, we will have to wait for confirmation that it was indeed the same weapon after examination by Wisconsin State Crime Lab.”
A shotgun was used to murder Denise and James, and used to break through the door to their home. In order to not leave behind any evidence, the suspect, Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, changed his physical appearance, shaving his head.
The sheriff also said that Patterson worked in the same Jennie-O turkey plant as Jayme’s parents for less than two days over three years ago.
“On Monday, Jan. 14 … at 3:30 p.m., the suspect will make his initial appearance in Barron County Circuit Court to be formally charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide, and one count of kidnapping,” he said.
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