88 days in captivity: The saga of 13-year-old Jayme Closs from horrific kidnapping to remarkable escape

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88 days in captivity: The saga of 13-year-old Jayme Closs from horrific kidnapping to remarkable escape

The search for her started with a mysterious 911 call from the cellphone of her mother, who was found shot to death with her father in their Wisconsin home. Despite fears that 13-year-old Jayme Closs was snatched by the killer and met a similar fate as her parents, loved ones and sheriff’s investigators never gave up on finding her alive.

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Jennifer Smith
Jayme Closs, 13, is pictured in a photo shared on social media after reuniting with her aunt and godmother, Jennifer Smith, Jan. 11, 2019.

From her horrific abduction to her remarkable escape, here is the timeline of the eighth-grader’s 88 days in captivity:

— Oct. 15, 2018: An Amber Alert is issued and a desperate search for Jayme is launched after sheriff’s deputies go to the Closs family home in Barron, Wisconsin, to investigate a mysterious 911 hangup call from Denise Closs’ cellphone just before 1 a.m. Jayme is nowhere to be found when deputies arrive at the home and find Denise and James Closs shot to death. “We want to bring Jayme home,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzerald says at a news conference. “Every second counts in this case.”

–Oct. 19, 2018: Investigators release details of the 911 call from Denise Closs’ cellphone around the time they suspect she was killed. A dispatcher, according to authorities, heard “a lot of yelling in the call” before it ended with a hangup. When the dispatcher dialed back, the call went directly to Denise Closs’ voicemail. Investigators believe Jayme was home when the call was made.

–Oct. 20, 2018: Authorities say they have received more than 1,000 tips, and have thoroughly investigated more than 800 of them, in the desperate search for Jayme.

PHOTO: Jayme Closs in an undated photo provided by Barron County, Wis., Sheriffs Department.Barron County Sheriffs Department via AP
Jayme Closs in an undated photo provided by Barron County, Wis., Sheriff’s Department.

–Oct. 23, 2018: Two-thousand volunteers comb several miles of rural Barron in the hopes of finding clues that could lead investigators to Jayme. “I’m a dad. I’m a grandpa and this is the right thing to do today,” one of the volunteers, Mike Buraglio, told ABC News.

–Oct. 24, 2018: “Not a moment goes by when we aren’t thinking of you and praying for you,” Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, says at a news conference. In a message to Jayme, Smith says her dog, Molly, is “waiting for you,” adding, “We all love you to the moon and back and we’ll never stop looking for you.” The FBI announces a $25,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of Jayme.

PHOTO: Police declared Jayme Closs, of Wisconsin, missing and endangered after finding her parents dead on Monday, Oct. 16, 2018.National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Police declared Jayme Closs, of Wisconsin, “missing and endangered” after finding her parents dead on Monday, Oct. 16, 2018.

–Oct. 26, 2018: The reward to bring Jayme home grows to $50,000 when the “Jennie-O Turkey Store,” the company that owns a turkey hatchery and processing plant where Jayme’s parents worked in Barron, puts up $25,000 to match the amount offered by the FBI.

–Oct. 27, 2018Funerals held for James and Denise Closs at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Cameron, Wisconsin.

–Nov. 1, 2018: Authorities say they are scaling back operations in the search for Jayme due to a declining number of tips. “Just because the posture of our operations center has transitioned, does not mean the tips should stop,” the Barron County Sheriff’s Department says in a statement.

–Nov. 17, 2018: As deer hunting season in Wisconsin gets underway, the Barron County sheriff’s department sends out an urgent request to the more than 4,000 people granted deer hunting licenses: “We ask that hunters report anything suspicious such as clothing, weapons or anything you think is just not right on your property.”

PHOTO: The family of Jayme Closs held a balloon release for her safe return, Dec. 15, 2018, in Barron, Wis.release, Dec. 15, 2018, in Barron, Wis. WQOW
The family of Jayme Closs held a balloon release for her safe return, Dec. 15, 2018, in Barron, Wis.release, Dec. 15, 2018, in Barron, Wis.

— Dec. 15, 2018: Loved ones and friends of Jayme gather gathered around a 16-foot Christmas tree dubbed the “Tree of Hope” at Jayme’s school in Barron. They commemorate the two-month mark of her disappearance by releasing balloons and reaffirming their pledge to find her alive. “I want nothing more than to get my granddaughter back home to me and her family where she belongs,” Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, says at the event.

–Jan. 10: Jayme escapes from her alleged captor in Gordon, Wisconsin, runs to a woman walking her dog and asks for help.

PHOTO: Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald holds a booking photo of the suspect in the kidnapping of Jayme Closs, that he identified as Jake Thomas Patterson, during a press conference in Barron, Wis., Jan. 11, 2019.WISN
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald holds a booking photo of the suspect in the kidnapping of Jayme Closs, that he identified as Jake Thomas Patterson, during a press conference in Barron, Wis., Jan. 11, 2019.

–Jan. 11: Authorities identify 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson of Gordon — approximately 70 miles north from her home — as the suspect in Jayme’s abduction and the killings of her parents. “It’s amazing, the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape,” Sheriff Fitzergald, speaking at a news conference, says of Jayme. “That comes from the hope and the prayers in this community and what everybody did.”


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