“The suspect was not at home when Jayme escaped. While I don’t know how she escaped at this time we believe that the suspect was out looking for her when law enforcement made contact with him,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a press conference.
Patterson, 21, was nabbed Thursday based on a description Closs gave of his car — not long after she escaped the cabin where she’d been held captive in the small town of Gordon and approached a stranger and pleaded for help.
“Jayme is the hero in this case, there is no question about it,” Fitzgerald said. “She is the one that helped us break the case along with everybody else that worked on it.”
Fitzgerald reiterated that authorities believe the teen — and not her parents — was the suspect’s intended target when he blasted into their home on Oct. 15 with a shotgun, although it’s still unclear if or how he actually knew her.