The neighbour had been walking her dog in the area, a subdivision known as Eau Claire Acres, when a teenage girl came up to her in the cold and asked for help.
A 13-year-old girl's escape from a rural home, where she was held captive for three months by a Wisconsin man charged with murdering her parents, helped break the case and she should be treated as a hero, the local sheriff says. "Call 911!" the woman said, the pair recalled to the Star Tribune.
"It's fantastic - the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape". Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he was unemployed when officers arrested him. "It's unbelievable, the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape".
Jayme Closs, 13, was skinny, disheveled and wearing shoes too big for her when she approached a stranger and pleaded for help Thursday in the small, isolated north woods town of Gordon, where police said she was being held by Jake Thomas Patterson. Jayme, officials said, had escaped from a home while Patterson was out.
Patterson is scheduled to appear in court on Monday to enter a plea. Jayme's grandfather Robert Naiberg said in a telephone interview Saturday that the only thing the family knows for sure is that no one knew Patterson.
The teenager disappeared on the day her parents were found murdered at their house in the town of Barron.
Authorities have recovered several guns, including a shotgun they think was used to blow open the front door of the Closs family home and used to kill James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46.
The sheriff said he didn't know whether Jayme had been physically abused.More news: Will Pucovski receives maiden call-up; Burns, Renshaw recalled for Sri Lanka Tests
"The suspect had specific intentions to kidnap Jayme and went to great lengths to prepare to take her", the sheriff said, such as shaving his head to avoid leaving traces of identifying evidence behind.
In November, the sheriff said he kept similar cases in the back of his mind as he worked to find Jayme, including the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when she was taken from her Salt Lake City home in 2002.
"I hope we may all continue to support and embrace Jayme as she reclaims her life and comes to terms with the reality of her situation", the 31-year-old wrote.
He did not give further details.
It had been almost three months since she went missing from her home in Barron, where her parents were found dead.
Fitzgerald said he was not yet aware of any plans for a community gathering to welcome Jayme home. The killing of Jayme's family and her own disappearance had been a major subject of news and attention in the area.
Jayme reportedly stayed at the home for about 20 minutes, declining food and water. She played with the neighbours' puppy, Penny, and waited for police to arrive.
The barricades continue to block access to the road Jayme ran down to escape from the man who held her captive for 88 days. She said she didn't really remember anything about him except that he was quiet.More news: Steven Smith to Undergo Surgery on his Elbow
There were no immediate links that explained how or why Patterson allegedly targeted Jayme Closs. She was found and rescued nine months later. We're all just so grateful and happy. "We thought it was going to be a different ending". "I just wanted to scream very loudly".
In a newly released photo, the teen is seen smiling with Smith.
Local, state and federal investigators searched for the teen for months.
Just after midnight early on 15 October, police received a 911 emergency call from Denise Closs' mobile phone.
Officials reported Jayme missing on October 15 when deputies discovered the bodies of her parents in their Wisconsin home.
Police always said they believed Jayme was still alive.
An Amber Alert for her was issued that afternoon.
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.More news: Storm Dumps Snow on Midwest; at Least 5 Dead in Crashes
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