Jake Patterson Charged; Chilling New Details In The Jayme Closs Case

After becoming obsessed with Jayme Closs, Jake Patterson drove to her house twice intending to kidnap her, but backed off for fear of getting caught.

January 15, 2019
Jayme Closs; Jake Patterson [Barron County Sheriff's Department]

Jayme Closs; Jake Patterson [Barron County Sheriff's Department]

Photo by: Jayme Closs [FBI]; Jake Thomas Patterson [Barron County Sheriff’s Department]

Jayme Closs [FBI]; Jake Thomas Patterson [Barron County Sheriff’s Department]

Jayme Closs; Jake Patterson [Barron County Sheriff's Department]

By: Mike McPadden

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BARRON COUNTY, WI —Jake Thomas Patterson, the 21-year-old man suspected of killing a Wisconsin couple and abducting their 13-year-old daughter on October 15, has been formally charged with the crimes and is being held on $5 million bail.

In addition, an official criminal complaint by the Barron County District Attorney states that Patterson admitted that the moment he saw Jayme Closs board a school bus, he “knew she was the girl he was going to take” and that he told his arresting officer, “I did it.”

The complaint further details Patterson’s methodically executed crime. According to the documents, after becoming obsessed with Jayme, Patterson drove to her house twice intending to kidnap her, but backed off for fear of getting caught.

Authorities allege that Patterson then finally returned to the Closs residence a third time in the middle of the night, clad in black clothing and wielding a shotgun. After banging on the door, the report states, Patterson fired through a front window and fatally struck Jayme’s father, James Closs, 56, in the head.

Upon entering the house, Patterson is said to have found Denise Closs, 46, and Jayme hiding in a bathroom, huddled together in the tub. Patterson allegedly ordered Denise to tape Jayme’s mouth shut and then executed the mom in front of her child.

Patterson is reported to have then taped Jayme’s hands and ankles together, forcibly dragged her into the trunk of his car, and held her for 88 days at his remote cabin in rural Gordon, Wisconsin, about 65 miles north of the Closs home.

While in captivity, authorities said Jayme was usually confined under Patterson’s bed, concealed by baskets, bins, and workout weights. The suspects’ friends and family members are believed to have visited the house during Jayme’s ordeal, including Patterson’s father. Jayme said she heard police cars drive by at least twice.

Jayme Closs [Federal Bureau of Investigation]

Jayme Closs [Federal Bureau of Investigation]

Jayme Closs [Federal Bureau of Investigation]

On January 10, the report states, Jayme managed to escape after Patterson told her he would be gone for five or six hours. Jayme shook free of her confines, ran outside and approached Jeanne Nutter, a neighbor out walking her dog. Jayme told the woman who she was and said she needed help.

Police arrested Patterson after he returned home, saw that Jayme was not there, and drove off to look for her. An officer pulled over the vehicle and asked Patterson if he knew why he was being detained. The officer claims Patterson simply stated, “I did it.”

The criminal complaint further claims that Patterson told investigators how he committed the crimes and that he took careful measures in doing so, including shaving his head so as to not leave DNA evidence, using a popular model of Mossberg shotgun because it would be hard to trace, switching the license plates on his car, and deciding to execute anyone in the house other than Jayme to eliminate possible witnesses.

Other details about the suspect have since emerged. Jake Patterson was on his way to work at the Saputo Cheese Factory the day he first saw Jayme. Former classmates expressed shock at Patterson’s arrest, describing him as quiet and withdrawn, but also intelligent.

In addition, Patterson had served in the U.S. Marine Corps for just five weeks in 2015 before getting an early discharge. His exit papers allege that "the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps' expectations and standards.”

On the afternoon of January 14, Patterson arrived in court for arraignment. During the nine-minute hearing, Patterson spoke only to affirm his name and address as he was charged with two counts of intentional homicide, kidnapping, and armed burglary.

Judge James Babler ordered Patterson held on $5 million bail and added that, should he somehow make that bail, any contact with Jayme Closs is absolutely forbidden.

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