Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Elisha Fieldstadt

Nearly three months after police discovered Jayme Closs' parents shot to death in their Wisconsin home — and no sign of Jayme — the teen was found alive Thursday, about 70 miles from where she vanished.

A suspect, identified Friday as Jake Patterson, 21, was taken into custody shortly after a Douglas County resident found the teen. He has been charged with kidnapping Jayme and killing her parents.

Here's what else we know:

Closs missing, parents dead

Police in the small city of Barron arrived at the Closs home on Oct. 15, just four minutes after an early morning 911 call to find two adults dead and their 13-year-old daughter missing.

James Closs, 56, and his wife Denise, 46, were shot to death, but no weapons were found at the scene, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at the time. The door of the house had been kicked in.

Jayme wasn't home when law enforcement arrived, and Fitzgerald said investigators were "considering her missing and endangered."

Police said they believed Jayme had been home at the time of the killings, but never said she was considered a suspect in her parents' deaths.

The 911 call appeared to have come from Denise Closs' cellphone, according to dispatch logs. Police described the call as "unusual" because the caller didn't communicate with the dispatcher, but yelling and a cry for help could be heard in the background.

The investigation

Barron County sheriffs weren't the only ones searching for Jayme. The FBI immediately got involved with the case, and law enforcement agencies all over the country were told to look out for a 5-foot, 100-pound teenage girl with green eyes and strawberry blonde hair.

The day after Jayme's disappearance, the Miami Police Department said she may have been spotted in the city with two men. Wisconsin authorities quickly determined that information wasn't "credible."

Investigators in Wisconsin were focused on the area near her home and school, about 45 miles northwest of Eau Claire. They had also interviewed her friends.

About a week after Jayme went missing, Fitzgerald asked for 2,000 volunteers to "walk specific areas in or around the crime scene ... looking for anything and everything that may be of evidentiary value." Investigators said they believed Jayme was still alive, but couldn't say whether the attack on her family was random or targeted.

Calls for tips led to thousands, and police conducted hundreds of interviews in an effort to find Jayme.

At one point, police were specifically asking for tips about a red or orange Dodge Challenger and a black Ford Edge or Acura MDX sport utility vehicle. It's unclear if those vehicles ultimately had any connection to the case.

A suspicious break-in

On the day before Halloween, which was also the day of Jayme's parents' funeral, a Wisconsin man was arrested for allegedly burglarizing their home.

Kyle Jaenke-Annis, 32, admitted taking items from the home, and a search found he had stuffed two tank tops, a girl's dress and two pairs of girl's underwear in his coat pocket. The suspect told deputies that he took the items because he was "curious about what size Jayme was" and they were items no one would miss.

Jaenke-Annis also said he did not know the Closs family, but he did work at the same Jennie-O Turkey Store that James and Denise Closs worked at.

Jaenke-Annis was charged with burglary but cleared of any involvement in the disappearance of Jayme.

Closs found alive

"Call 911, this is Jayme Closs!" a neighbor, Jeanne Nutter, told Kristin Kasinskas just as she was arriving home from work in the town of Gordon around 4 p.m. (5 p.m. ET) on Thursday, 87 days after Jayme went missing.

"I knew it was her the second she walked in the door," Kasinskas told NBC affiliate KARE.

Nutter, who has worked in child protective services, had been walking her dog when "the girl just came out of the woods," her husband, Forrest, told The Daily Beast.

When Nutter and Jayme showed up at her door, Kasinskas immediately called the police and then waited with the teen for about a half hour. Kasinskas said in that time, Jayme indicated to her that she had been taken and kept in a home just a few doors down. Jayme also told Kasinskas that her parents had been killed.

Kasinskas told "Today" on Friday that she "kind of talked about being locked up or hidden when this person had to leave."

But the girl "didn't say that she was afraid this person was coming after her," Kasinskas told KARE.

Kasinskas, a teacher, said the teen looked "slender" and "a little unkempt, but OK overall." She told "Today" that she and her husband gave Jayme a blanket because she was cold, but the girl refused anything to eat or drink.

Jayme was hospitalized overnight, and reunited with her aunt on Friday.

The suspect

Shortly after Jayme was found, a Douglas County officer found a vehicle that matched a description Jayme had relayed to them, and Patterson was arrested.

Patterson was brought to Barron County, where he was being held on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Jayme's parents and one count of kidnapping. Police are not looking for additional suspects.

Fitzgerald said Friday that Patterson had no criminal history in Wisconsin, and when he allegedly committed the killings, "Jayme was the only target." He added that investigators don't believe Patterson ever had contact with the Closs family or knew Jayme, but couldn't say for sure.

Jayme had been "taken against her will," and escaped on foot from the remote area where she was being held, Fitzgerald said.

Patterson, who surrendered peacefully, was found not far from the home she escaped from, said Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec.

A shotgun consistent with the type of gun used to shoot open the door of the Closs family home and kill Jayme's parents was recovered but will require testing by the state's crime lab to determine if it was the same weapon used, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald told reporters Friday that Patterson went to “great efforts to minimize his forensic footprint at the crime scene," including shaving his head so as to not leave hair behind.

Authorities believe Jayme was his intended target, but "nothing in this case shows the suspect knew anyone at the Closs home or at any time had contact with anyone in the Closs family," the sheriff said.

Investigators don’t believe there was any social media connection between Patterson and Jayme, and are still working to find out how he became aware of her.

Doha Madani contributed.