The Latest: Jayme Closs reunited with aunt, suspect charged

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BARRON, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say a Wisconsin teen who was abducted during an October home invasion in which her parents were killed has been reunited with an aunt and will see the rest of her relatives within hours.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a news conference that Jayme Closs was taken back to her hometown of Barron on Friday. He says she has already met with an aunt and will be reunited with her other relatives on Friday night.

Fitzgerald says investigators have recovered more than one gun, including a shotgun consistent with the type of gun used to kill Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs. He says the shotgun still needs to be tested to determine if it was the weapon used.

Authorities say Jayme managed to escape Thursday from a remote home near Gordon, which is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Barron. They arrested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson on homicide and kidnapping charges. His initial court hearing is scheduled for Monday and records show he doesn’t have an attorney yet.

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Authorities say the man suspected of kidnapping a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl made “great efforts” to avoid leaving any evidence.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Friday that Jake Patterson changed his physical appearance before the October attack and the abduction of Jayme Closs, including shaving his head to avoid leaving any hair behind. He says investigators believe Patterson killed Jayme’s parents to abduct her.

Fitzgerald says investigators have no evidence that Patterson knew anyone at the Closs home or had contact with anyone there. And he says investigators don’t believe there was a social media connection between Patterson and Jayme.

He says investigators don’t know how Patterson “became aware of Jayme.”

Deputies arrested Patterson in his vehicle soon after Jayme turned up on a neighbor’s doorstep near Gordon. He’s also suspected of killing Jayme’s parents in an October attack at the family’s home near Barron, which is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Gordon.

Fitzgerald says investigators don’t believe there was any social media connection between Patterson and Jayme. He says investigators are trying to determine how he “became aware” of the girl.