They found her parents, 56-year-old James Closs and 46-year-old Denise Closs, dead from gunshot wounds when they arrived.
Jake Thomas Patterson, a 21-year-old man killed a Wisconsin couple in a baffling scheme to kidnap Jayme Closs, their teenage daughter, then held the girl captive for three months before she narrowly managed to escape and reach safety as he drove around looking for her, authorities said.
According to Baron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, suspect Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, allegedly shaved his head before murdering Jayme's parents on October 15 in their Baron-area home so he could "minimize forensic evidence". He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.
"This is Jayme Closs!" the woman later identified as Nutter said, the pair recalled to the Star Tribune.
Police said that Patterson had no contact with Jayme or her family before the murders but the primary motive was the abduction of the teenager.
"He didn't know Jayme, he didn't know (her parents) Denise or Jim", Naiberg said. (But) he knew what he was doing.
The girl's name rose to the top of the FBI's missing persons list, and authorities offered a US$50,000 reward for information leading to her recovery. "I'd probably faint because I would be so happy to see her", Tuders said.
"This is a very tragic situation".
Sheriff Fitzgerald confirmed that Jake Patterson is scheduled to appear in Court on Monday January 14, 2019 regarding charges of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and Kidnapping. Investigators are trying to determine whether he worked at another job in the area. It's wild country; roadside signs admonish motorists to share the pavement with ATVs.
She had escaped on foot from a remote cabin where she had been held against her will after her parent's murder. That led to an intense search that ended Thursday when the she was found alive - and Patterson was arrested - about 70 miles from her home. Property records show that the cabin belonged to Patterson's father.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing neighbours, reported that Patterson had been raised in Gordon.
Authorities said they believed Closs was Patterson's "only target" and was taken against her will. Another neighbor, Patricia Osborne, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the brothers often got into trouble.
Jayme's grandfather, Robert Naiberg, said he had been praying for months for the call he received about his granddaughter.
Jayme Closs was located on Thursday evening and is to be reunited with her family, said police.
Police don't think Jayme interacted with her suspected kidnapper on social media. "We get to witness that and that's pretty incredible", Halvorson said. Smith wrote that the family faces a long road to recover from the ordeal.
Kasinskas called 911 to report the girl had been found after another neighbor out walking her dog encountered Jayme and brought her to Kasinskas' house.
Witnesses told United States media that the young girl - her hair matted and wearing oversized shoes - approached a neighbor who was walking her dog, asking for help.
"Did he take things with her, did she go with him to the store, did he buy clothes for her, did he buy food", he said.
"And I would tell her that this experience might feel like it's defining, it might feel like that's who she is now, but it doesn't have to be", Smart said.
"Jayme was taken against her will and escaped from the residence in which she was being held and found help", Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told reporters. "We knew. We had faith every day", said Jayme Closs' aunt, Kelly Englehardt.
"I've always been a glass half-full kind of guy", Sheriff Fitzgerald said at the time. "We don't believe he ... talked with them, had any digital footprint with them". The sheriff said he didn't know whether Jayme had been physically abused.