Jake Thomas Patterson, the man charged with kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdering her parents, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Barron County, Wisconsin. Court was set to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. CT. Patterson faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping, and one count of armed burglary.
Patterson, 21, attacked the Closs family October 15, authorities said in a criminal complaint released Monday. He allegedly entered the home by using a shotgun, killed parents Denise and James Closs, then kidnapped their daughter Jayme.
The case mystified deputies for months. There was no lead on the missing girl, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at the time. Patterson went to “great effort” to minimize forensic evidence at the scene, going as far as to shave his head, the lawman said in a press conference Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, Patterson admitted to deputies that he first saw Closs when he happened to stop behind a school bus, and saw her get on. He decided then and there he would kidnap her, but abandoned two attempts before October 15 because there either were a lot of cars at her residence, or the lights were inside in the house.
Jayme told investigators that on the day of the kidnapping, she woke up in the early morning to find her dog barking. She saw that someone was driving a vehicle into their driveway, and she woke up her parents. Her father went to the door to see what was going on, and she and her mother escaped to the bathtub once they saw the man at the door with a gun.
She heard a shot, and knew her father was dead. Her mom called 911, but Patterson forced his way into the bathroom. He demanded Denise Closs hang up the phone, and tape Jayme’s mouth shut. Denise complied with putting the tape on her daughter’s mouth, and Patterson shot her in the head, Jayme said.
The 13-year-old said Patterson put her in the trunk on his car and brought her to a residence. For months, Patterson hid her by forcing her to stay under his bed for up to 12 hours at a time, without food, water, or access to a restroom.
Patterson allegedly admitted that he placed his bed against a corner, so that there would only be one-way out, and blocked it with totes, barbell weights, and free weights to make sure she didn’t escape.
He would play music when his father visited the residence to cover up any sounds Closs might make, and threatened the girl to discourage her from making any escape attempt. She told deputies that she recalled him hitting her “really hard” on the back with a handle, but she didn’t remember why he did it.
Finally, Closs said, Patterson on Thursday told her he was going to be out for five or six hours. Once again, he put her under the bed, but this time, she successfully pushed the totes and weights away, put on Patterson’s shoe, and escaped the residence. She found help with a local woman identified by deputies as Jeanne Nutter. From there, authorities were able to find the suspect while he was out looking for Closs.
Jayme told investigators that she only first saw Patterson back when he forced his way into her family’s bathroom. As for the suspect, he allegedly said that he began believing he got away with the kidnapping starting two weeks after the murders. He added that he never thought he would have been caught if he planned it perfectly.
“The real hero is not me, it’s Jayme, who was able to leave the house and find me on the road,” Nutter, who first discovered Closs, told Law&Crime Network host Heather Hansen on Friday.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said very much the same thing later.
“Jayme is the hero in this case,” he told reporters.
“She’s doing exceptionally well for what she went through,” Robert Naiberg told the outlet in a phone interview. “She’s in exceptionally good spirits.”
You can read the full complaint here:
Jake T Patterson Criminal C… by on Scribd
[Image via Fox 9 screengrab]