Wisconsin teen found alive after missing for nearly three months
© Barron County Sheriff's Department

A 13-year-old girl from Wisconsin was found dirty and malnourished in Minnesota on Thursday — nearly three months after her parents were fatally shot and she was abducted from her home.

Jayme Closs of Barron, Wis., escaped her captor and sought help from neighbors in a remote, wooded area about 65 miles north of her hometown, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.


The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Jayme was found and said a suspect was taken into custody 11 minutes later.

Closs was taken to the hospital and was reunited with family members late Thursday night, the newspaper reported.

“I hope that she’s in good shape,” Barron Mayor Ron Fladten told the The Associated Press. “She’s no doubt been through just a terrible ordeal. I think everybody wishes her a good recovery and a happy life going into the future.”

The teenager disappeared from her home on Oct. 15 where her parents, James and Denise, were found shot to death.

Authorities suspected Closs was likely abducted and launched an intensive search with thousands of volunteers to look for clues related to her disappearance.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he had a “gut feeling” that she was still alive and thought the disappearance reminded him of other similar cases, such as Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City in 2002, the AP reported. Smart was rescued nine months later when her captors were recognized in public after an episode of “America’s Most Wanted.”

Closs was able to evade her abductor and made it to the home of Kristin and Peter Kasinskas in Gordon, Wis., the couple told the Star Tribune.

Kristin Kasinskas said Closs approached a neighbor walking their dog around 4 p.m. on Thursday. The neighbor then knocked on her door with Closs, who was skinny and dirty with matted hair and wearing shoes too big for her feet.

“This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” the neighbor said before they were quickly ushered inside the Kasinskases' home.

The girl told the Kasinskases that she didn’t know where she was or anything about the rural logging community she was in.

“I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” Peter Kasinskas said. “It was scary and awesome at the same time. My jaw just went to the floor.”

The couple told the newspaper that they offered her water and food but the 13-year-old declined both.

Peter Kasinskas described her as quiet, adding that her emotions were “pretty flat.”

The AP noted that it couldn’t confirm the Kasinskases’ account.