January 11, 2019 06:33 PM
Peter Kasinskas had just returned from a fishing trip and was cleaning fish Thursday afternoon when Jayme Closs suddenly appeared at his door in Gordon, Wisconsin.
The 13-year-old had been missing since Oct. 15, when authorities received a 911 call and responded to her home in Barron - located about 60 miles south of Gordon. There, they found two deceased adults, later identified as Jayme's parents.
Since that time, detectives had pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and spent countless hours searching for her, but their efforts had not yielded a suspect or suspects.
Now, though, Jayme was at Kasinskas' door with a woman she had walked up to while the woman was walking her dog, saying a man had killed her parents and she needed help.
"My wife and kids had just gotten home from school," he told KSTP Friday morning. "And our dogs started going crazy like somebody was at the door. It was the neighbor knocking at the door. She opened the door and her dog kind of ran into the kitchen. And as I look up, she's helping Jayme into my kitchen. She said 'This is Jayme Closs. Call 911.'"
Jeanne Nutter, the woman Jayme first approached, said she was wearing slacks and shoes that didn't appear to be hers, as well as a baggy sweatshirt.
Kasinskas said Jayme was able to provide the man's name and the color of the car he drove, which they passed on to authorities when they called 911.
"She was pretty quiet," he said. "I'm sure it was shock or relief. I don't know. Her head had to be going a million miles an hour faster than even ours were."
Kasinskas said he recognized Jayme immediately from the photos that have circulated since her disappearance.
"When she walked in the door, I thought I was dreaming and seeing a ghost for real," he said. "I mean it was unbelievable to see her looking at me."
Kasinskas said Jayme told him she had come from a nearby house.
The fact that she may have been in the area was stunning news to other local residents.
"She got out, that's the main thing," one of them said Friday morning. "She's alive. But it's kind of strange. You live here all this time and she's right here so to speak. But I'm just glad everything turned out great."
Kasinskas said Jayme did not seem to know about all the news coverage that followed in the wake of her disappearance, nor of the massive search that had been underway.
He also said that Jayme told them she did not know 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, the suspect arrested a short time later Thursday based on the description she provided, before the whole ordeal began in October.
Kasinskas' wife Kristin is a teacher, who said she briefly had Patterson as a student, but did not remember much about him other than that he was quiet.
Her husband said Jayme told them Patterson would sometimes have people over and hide her so they wouldn't see her.
Updated: January 11, 2019 06:33 PM
Created: January 11, 2019 09:52 AM
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