GORDON, WI — We’re learning much more about the moments following Jayme Closs’ escape from her alleged captor, and the people who helped rush her to safety.
It all happened in a span of minutes near County Road Y, and South Eau Claire Acres Circle, which is about 10 miles west of Highway 53 in the Town of Gordon.
On Thursday evening, Jeanne Nutter was walking her dog near Eau Claire Acres, when she saw a young girl walking towards her, yelling.
“When she got near me, and I could see who she was, she told me, ‘I’m Jayme,'” said Nutter.
Nutter said Closs was scared and alone.
“She just said ‘I’m lost, I don’t know where I am, and I need help,'” said Nutter.
That’s when her instincts took over.
Nutter said, “I just held onto her and I said, ‘we’re going to find somebody who’s home, we’re going to call the police, you’re going to be okay, you’re going to be safe.'”
Nutter took her to the neighbor’s house, owned by Peter and Kristin Kasinskas.
“Jeanne walked in and said, ‘this is Jayme Closs, Call 911,’ said Peter, “I was in absolute shock. I mean, to see her, in front of me, in my kitchen, it was kind of like a dream. It still kind of is. I don’t know how to wrap my head around this,” he said.
“She looked exactly like she did in her picture. Maybe a little thinner and really, really tired, like she had been fighting a battle for weeks,” said Kristin.
The trio got Patterson’s name and a description of his vehicle. Within about ten minutes, authorities had the alleged captor, Jake Patterson in custody, marking the end to a 3-month nightmare.
“I’m just really happy that she’s home, that’s all that really matters. This is really about her, and her family, and hope for healing for her,” said Nutter.
These same neighbors say Closs did not say anything about her time with her captor. They said they didn’t even ask as they just wanted to make sure Closs felt safe.
Meanwhile, neighbors and Town leaders are rejoicing at the news.
On Friday, people in Gordon said they’re shocked Closs was located in the small town of about 600 and overjoyed she was found safe.
“It was amazing to find out that she was located in Gordon. We’re very, very, happy that she was located. But we just never expected that she would be located in Gordon,” said Vickie Eastwood, the Town of Gordon Clerk.
“I have goosebumps now like I did then. It was just unbelievable, emotional, and we just praise God that she was found safe,” said Jill Logghe, who owns a cabin about 1 mile away from where Closs was located.
Gordon is about 150 square miles in size.
Some residents we spoke with Friday believe the sprawling, rural landscape made it easier for Patterson to hide Jayme there without being noticed.
In a news conference early Friday morning, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he and investigators never thought the search for Closs would take them to Gordon.