Barron, WI (KROC-AM News) - “Jayme is the hero in his case...no question about it.” Those were the words of Barron County Wisconsin Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald during an afternoon news conference concerning the ongoing investigation into the abduction of Jayme Closs and the murders of her parents at the family’s home in Barron last October.

Fitzgerald says the 13-year-old girl somehow managed to escape from a rural residence in Douglas County yesterday while her captor was away from the home. He also says it’s believed 21-year-old Jake Patterson was driving around looking for Jayme when he was captured, which occurred shortly after Douglas County deputies responded to a 911 call from the home in the town of Gordon where a woman brought the disheveled teenager after coming upon her while walking a dog.

Sheriff Fitzgerald also disclosed this afternoon that investigators have recovered a shotgun they believe was used in the murders Jayme’s parents after Patterson allegedly employed it to blast open the door to their house and abduct their daughter. He did not provide any details, but the Sheriff stated Patterson went to great lengths to prepare and took steps to hide his identity from authorities and the general public that included shaving his head.

So far, investigators have not found anything that connects Patterson to the murder victims or Jayme prior to the crime. Sheriff Fitzgerald did say Patterson worked for less than two days at the Jennie O Turkey plant that employed Jayme’s parents in 2016, but it doesn’t appear he had any contact with them.

Patterson is scheduled to be formally arraigned on first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in Barron County Court Monday afternoon.

Sheriff Fitzgerald says Jayme spent last night in a Duluth hospital and is now undergoing a reunification process with family members. He says she is doing as well as can be expected considering the circumstances.