As Jayme Closs starts her long road toward recovery following her kidnapping ordeal, investigators are working to piece together what happened during the almost three months she was in captivity.
A 13-year-old girl held captive for three months by a 21-year-old man charged with murdering her parents should be treated as a hero, the local sheriff says.
There was no sign of Jayme until she was found "skinny and dirty" on Thursday by a dog walker in a town 65 miles away from her home.
"Jayme was taken against her will and escaped from the residence in which she was being held and found help", Fitzgerald said. Authorities are working to track their movements over the past three months. Smith added. She said her sister and brother-in-law can "rest at peace", adding: "I keep assuring them Jayme is safe and we will make sure forever".
Kristin Kasinskas, one of the neighbors who took Jayme in after her escape last week, told the Associated Press that she was Patterson's middle school science teacher.
After the killings, Jayme was taken to a remote property near the small town of Gordon and is in the process of telling police how she managed to escape.
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He said the girl said she didn't know where she was or anything about Gordon, though it seemed she had been in the area for most of her disappearance.
Police always said they believed Jayme was still alive.
A 13-year-old girl from the U.S. state of Wisconsin, missing since her parents were discovered fatally shot in October, will be reunited with other family members on Friday, the day after she was found malnourished and dirty after apparently fleeing her captor.
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Jayme was reunited with Smith and her dog, Molly, Friday.
"We are still mourning the loss of long-time Jennie-O family members Jim and Denise, but our entire team is celebrating with the community, and the world, that Jayme has been found", Mr Lykken said.
Closs was believed to have witnessed the murders of her parents but was not considered a suspect based on evidence recovered at the scene, police said at the time.
Authorities have said they believe Patterson went to the Closs home intending to kidnap Jayme.
Jayme's aunt Sue Allard told Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune that she could barely express her joy after learning the news. As an example, Fitzgerald has said Patterson shaved his head to avoid leaving any hair as evidence during the assault. The sheriff said he didn't know whether Jayme had been physically abused.
Following his arrest, Patterson's family, including his mother and brother, "shut down their social media accounts", the Star Tribune reported.
Over the past few months, detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches for Jayme, including one that drew 2,000 volunteers but yielded no clues. He said Jayme told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents she didn't know him at all.
The couple went on to say she looked like she'd been held captive and like she hadn't been able to bathe. Two new photos were posted Saturday afternoon.