Monday, 17 June, 2019

Investigators piece together what happened in 3 months of Jayme Closs' captivity

Jake Thomas Patterson killed Jayme Closs parents before kidnapping her Jake Thomas Patterson killed Jayme Closs parents before kidnapping her
Deanna Wagner | 14 January, 2019, 03:40

Jayme's parents James and Denise Closs were found shot dead on October 15 at their home in Barron, Wisconsin.

Jayme Closs had been missing for almost three months when she approached a stranger in a small Wisconsin town and pleaded for help. Like Closs, she was also found alive, but after nine months of captivity.

Patterson faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the killing of Closs' parents and one count of kidnapping, Fitzgerald said Friday. He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.

Interested in Jayme Closs?

Ownership of that rural cabin was transferred to a credit union by Patterson's father shortly after Jayme was kidnapped.

She said his parents moved away but the suspect and his brothers continued to use the home.

Residents who knew Patterson described him as quiet.

"It's a awful feeling when you don't know where your kid is but I don't know how I would react if I was to have mine walk through that door".

The news that Closs was safe set off joy and relief in her hometown of Barron, population 3300 and about 96 kilometres from where she was found.

"My legs started to shake".

Additionally, authorities "don't believe there was a social media connection" between Closs and Patterson and are working to figure out "how he became aware of Jayme", Fitzgerald said.

Jake Thomas Patterson grew up in Gordon, a sprawling township of 645 people tucked into the snowy evergreen forests about 35 miles south-southeast of Duluth.

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Jayme told one of the people in Gordon who took her in that she had walked away from a cabin where she had been held captive.

"She said to us that, 'This person killed my parents and took me, '" Kasinskas said. "She did not talk about why or how".

"(Jayme) don't know him from Adam.

She escaped Thursday from a northwestern Wisconsin cabin where she'd been held.

"I can tell you that the subject planned his actions and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the general public", he said. "We don't believe he ... talked with them, had any digital footprint with them". As an example, Fitzgerald said Patterson shaved his head to avoid leaving any hair as evidence during the assault.

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.

Straub also said Jayme's case brings up the issue of victim privacy.

Her grandfather Robert Naiberg said he had been praying for months for the call he received on Thursday. No one pressed her to talk, he said, adding that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and doctors advised them to let her speak when she's ready. Authorities are now giving her time to settle into her new home before they question her again, the sheriff added. Charges are expected against Patterson on Monday, when he is expected to make his initial appearance in court. It was not immediately known whether the unemployed Patterson had an attorney. With those charges will come a criminal complaint that could reveal more details.

He worked for a day in 2016 for the Jennie-O turkey plant in Barron before he quit, saying he was moving out of the area, according to Jennie-O President Steve Lykken.

A 13-year-old girl held captive for three months by a 21-year-old man charged with murdering her parents should be treated as a hero, the local sheriff says.

Patterson had no criminal record and graduated in 2015 from Northwood High School, where he was on the quiz bowl team and was a good student with a "great group of friends", District Superintendent Jean Serum said. But Fitzgerald said they never exhausted of looking for her. Her abduction led to a search that ended Thursday when she was found alive - and Patterson was arrested - about 70 miles from her home.