Nearly three months after police discovered Jayme Closs’ parents murdered in their Wisconsin home — and no sign of Jayme — the teen was found alive Thursday, about 70 miles from where she vanished.
A suspect was arrested shortly after a Douglas County, WI resident found the teen. Not much else is known about the suspect or what Closs has been through since Oct. 15, the day her parents’ bodies were found murdered, but police plan to hold a press conference Friday at 10 a.m. CST (11 a.m. ET).
UPDATE: A 4 PM media update has been scheduled with more information to be released.
“For 88 days I have said we would work tirelessly to bring Jayme Closs home. We have done just that,”
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald announced.
Rewatch the full press conference from 11:00 AM ET below:
There are a lot of details about Jayme’s disappearance and discovery we don’t know. Here are some questions that could be answered today at the news conference:
- Who is the suspect? Police said a suspect, Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, of Gordon, WI was taken into custody about 10 minutes after authorities found Jayme.
- Where has Jayme been for the past 87 days? Jayme was found in Gordon, Wisconsin, a town about 66 miles north of where she was last seen (and 87 days after she vanished). We’re not sure how she got there.
- Who found Jayme? A woman told the Star Tribune in Minneapolis that Jayme approached her for help while the woman was walking her dog. Authorities didn’t immediately release more details.
- Was Jayme hurt? Jayme was taken to the hospital after she was found, her aunt Sue Allard said.
- Is there more information about the killing of her parents? Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs, were found shot dead in their home the same night the teen went missing.
- Who was behind that 911 call? Investigators say a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover Jayme’s parents’ bodies. When the dispatcher called the number back, a voice mail greeting indicated the phone belonged to Denise Closs. The log does not say who made the 911 call — but the dispatcher heard yelling in the background.
- What happened to Kyle Jaenke? About two weeks after Jayme went missing, investigators saw a man in a skull cap break into Jayme’s home. Kyle Jaenke was charged with breaking into the home and stealing girls’ underwear, but he was cleared of involvement in her disappearance.
Here’s a timeline of the events that occurred around Jayme Closs’ disappearance and the massive search to find her:
- October 15: Authorities are called to the Closs home in Barron, Wisconsin, 90 miles east of Minneapolis. There, they find Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs, shot dead — but the teen is missing.
- October 22: A week after Jayme’s disappearance, a local sheriff seeks 2,000 volunteers to help search for her, the equivalent of two-thirds of the population of Barron.
- October 24: The FBI offers $25,000 for information leading to Jayme’s location.
- October 27: Jayme’s parents are laid to rest in a funeral attended by loved ones and strangers.
- October 28: Wisconsin investigators see via motion-activated cameras a man in a skull cap break into Jayme’s home through a patio door, according to a criminal complaint. The man is identified as Kyle Jaenke, 32.
- October 30: Jaenke is charged with breaking into the home and stealing girls’ underwear and other clothing, but he’s cleared of involvement in her disappearance.
- November 17: Wisconsin authorities urge hunters to be on the lookout for clues on the missing teen. Deputies said they’ve not given up on finding the teen, and the cases remains a top priority for them.
- December 4: The Barron County Clerk of Courts’ Office dedicates its Christmas tree to Jayme.
- January 10: Jayme is found alive.
This post will be updated with new information shortly.
All Charges Against Jussie Smollett Dropped
CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett say charges alleging he lied to police about an attack have been dropped.
Smollett’s attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a Tuesday morning statement that Smollett’s record “has been wiped clean.” Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs.
A spokeswoman for Cook County prosecutors didn’t immediately respond to messages requesting comment.
Police and prosecutors have said the black and gay actor falsely reported to authorities that he was attacked Jan. 29 in downtown Chicago because he was unhappy with his pay on the Fox show and to promote his career.
The prosecutor who made the surprise decision to drop charges against Empire star Jussie Smollett for allegedly making false assault claims said the dropped and expunged charges are not an indication of the actor’s innocence.
“We didn’t exonerate him,” Joe Magats, the top assistant to Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx, said in a statement tweeted out by New York Times correspondent Julie Bosman.
The prosecutor said he “saw no problems with the police investigation or the evidence against Smollett,” Bosman tweeted, adding that the actor’s charges were dropped “in return for his agreement to do community service” and for the forfeiture of “his bond to the city of Chicago.”
“We work to prioritize violent crime and the drivers of violent crime,” Magats said. “Public safety is our number one priority. I don’t see Jussie Smollett as a threat to public safety.”
“We stand behind the investigation, we stand behind the decision to charge him and we stand behind the charges in the case,” the prosecutor said. “The mere fact that it was disposed of in an alternative manner does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities in the case or the evidence.”
Magats’ statement contrasts claims made by Smollett’s lawyers, who said the dropped and expunged charges were not part of a deal and that the actor would not be doing any additional community service.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
US Chief Justice John Roberts Rejects Bid To Halt Trump Bump Stock Ban
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday rejected a bid by gun rights activists to put on hold President Donald Trump’s administration’s ban on “bump stock” gun attachments that enable semi-automatic weapons to be fired rapidly.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor has not yet acted on another similar request.
The ban goes into effect on Tuesday but lower courts have yet to rule on an appeals brought by gun rights activists. An appeals court in Washington already has said that the ban will not go into effect in relation to the specific people and groups involved in that case.
Gun Rights Groups Ask Supreme Court To Halt Trump Bump Stock Ban
WASHINGTON (AP) — Gun rights groups are asking the Supreme Court to stop the Trump administration from beginning to enforce its ban on bump stock devices, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns.
The groups asked the court Monday to get involved in the issue and keep the government from beginning to enforce the ban for now. The ban set to go into effect Tuesday has put the Trump administration in the unusual position of arguing against gun rights groups. It’s unclear how quickly the court will act.
President Donald Trump said last year that the government would move to ban bump stocks. The action followed a 2017 shooting in Las Vegas in which a gunman attached bump stocks to assault-style rifles he used to shoot concertgoers. Fifty-eight people were killed.
Developing…this will be updated.
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