Jake Thomas Patterson is set for a preliminary hearing Wednesday in the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, and murders of her parents Denise and James Closs. Court is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. CT in Barron County, Wisconsin. He is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping, and one count of burglary. Watch live in the stream above.
Prosecutors say the defendant broke into the Closs home in the early morning of October 15, 2018 in Barron County, murdered Jayme’s parents, then kidnapped the 13-year-old. The case baffled investigators for months. They had no suspect, and no evidence leading them to the missing girl.
Then came January 10, 2019. Jeanne Nutter said she was walking her dog up north in Douglas County when she came across a teenager.
“This young girl approached me and she said she needed help, she was lost, she didn’t know where she was,” Nutter said in an interview with the Law&Crime Network. It was Jayme Closs. Douglas County investigators said they apprehended Patterson while he was out searching for the escaped Closs.
He allegedly admitted to the murders and kidnapping. According to authorities, Patterson said he decided to abduct her when incidentally seeing her step onto a school bus one morning. Investigators said there’s no indication he knew the family or had any contact with them before the October 15, 2018 incident.
One of Patterson’s attorneys previously acknowledged that the “very thorough confession” was going to be a problem.
Prosecutors said that after the murders, Patterson brought Jayme Closs to a cabin in Douglas County, and held her in his room. He forced her to stay under his bed, and he blocked her in using totes and weights, they said. The defendant would allegedly play music while others where at the residence, so as to cover any sounds made by Closs. Then on January 11, he said he was going to be out for a few hours, according to investigators. Closs took this chance to escape, leading to her encounter with Nutter.
Douglas County prosecutors have declined to press charges for any allegations that occurred in their jurisdiction. In a statement, District Attorney Mark Fruehauf cited “victim-related concerns.”
[Mugshot via Barron County Sheriff’s Department]