Sheriff: Description provided by Jayme Closs helped lead to suspect's arrest

January 11, 2019 04:25 PM

Authorities say a 21-year-old man is the suspect arrested in connection to the disappearance of 13-year-old Jayme Closs and the murder of her parents. 

Closs was discovered safely Thursday afternoon in Douglas County, about 60 miles north of the residence in Barron County at which her parents James and Denise were found dead on Oct. 15 of last year. Jayme had not been seen since.

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RELATED: Jayme Closs, found alive, to return home to Barron, Wis. Friday

At a press conference Friday morning in Barron County, Douglas County sheriff Tom Dalbec said the man - identified as Jake Thomas Patterson - was arrested after he was pulled over based on a description Closs had provided to authorities.

He has been transported to Barron County where he is being held on suspicion of two counts of first-degree homicide and one count of kidnapping.

"Jayme was taken against her will and escaped from a residence at which she was being held and found help," Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said.

RELATED: 'This is Jayme Closs. Call 911': Man recalls scene when missing Wis. teen arrived at his door

At Friday's press conference, Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright said he hopes to have a criminal complaint filed by next week.

"Our job in prosecuting this case is to obtain justice for James, Denise and Jayme Closs," he said. "And we will do so."

Fitzgerald said it is believed the suspect did not have contact with the family, and that Jayme was the target.

He also said he is alleged to have planned his efforts.

"He took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and from the general public," he said.

Fitzgerald said Closs is believed to be doing well under the circumstances. It was hoped she would be back with family members by later Friday.

"She is good," he said. "She's been cleared from the hospital. There is a reunification process in place that is going on right now. It includes medical, mental evaluation, questioning by detectives ... Then finally reunification with her family."

Fitzgerald said the suspect does have a tie to Barron County. And he said the investigation remains ongoing.

"We are serving search warrants right at this moment in Gordon and other areas," he said. "For vehicles looking for evidence."

He said authorities expected to provide more information Friday afternoon.

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