Chilling details emerge in Jayme Closs kidnapping
Courtesy Lindsey Smith (BARRON, Wisc.) — The suspect charged in the kidnapping of Wisconsin girl Jayme Closs and killing her parents in cold blood confessed to investigators that he targeted the 13-year-old after seeing her board her school bus and decided “he knew that was the girl he was going to take,” according to a criminal complaint.
Jake Patterson, 21, told investigators that “he put quite a bit of thought into details of how he was going to abduct” Jayme and had twice gone to her home in Barron, Wisconsin, before carrying out the heinous crime on Oct. 15, the complaint reads.
“I did it,” Patterson, who had no prior criminal record, told sheriff’s deputies as soon as they pulled him over on Thursday, shortly after Jayme escaped from a house where she was being held captive, according to the complaint.
Patterson made his first appearance in Barron County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon where he was held on $5 million cash-only bail. He is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary. Patterson, who did not enter a plea, is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 6
Patterson faces life in prison without parole, if convicted.
Suspect spotted her get on a school bus
Patterson told investigators that he was working at the Saputo Cheese Factory near Almena, Wisconsin, when he first spotted Jayme sometime in early October, the complaint says.
“On his drive to the cheese factory on one of the two mornings he worked there, he had stopped behind a school bus on U.S. Hwy. 8 where he watched [Jayme] get on a school bus” near her home, the complaint reads. “The defendant stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house. The defendant stated when he saw [Jayme] he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
Patterson told investigators that he immediately went to a Walmart in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, where he purchased items to use in the abduction, including a black colored balaclava type mask to conceal his identity, according to the complaint.
On the night of the kidnapping, Patterson took his father’s 12-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun with him, the complaint reads.
He told investigators that he selected the gun “because he had done research and knew that the Mossberg brand shotgun was one of the most heavily manufactured or owned shotguns and assumed it would be more difficult to trace,” the complaint states.
“The defendant stated that he felt that a 12-gauge slug would inflict the most damage on someone and would most likely be the best choice of shell and weapon to kill someone…,” according to the complaint.
He also told investigators that he shaved his face and head and showered before leaving his house “so that he would not leave any DNA or hair at the scene.”
Patterson told police he even carefully selected the clothes to wear that night: brown steel-toed work boots, blue jeans, a black jacket, work gloves and the black balaclava mask, according to the complaint.
Mother ordered to tape Jayme’s mouth
Patterson told investigators that when he arrived at the Closs house, the residence was dark and that he cut his engine and coasted into the driveway, the complaint reads. He said he quietly approached the house and saw Jayme’s father, James Closs, standing in a large picture window shining a flashlight outside, the complaint reads.
Jayme told investigators that when Patterson began to pound on the front door of their home and yell at her father when he refused to open the door, she and her mother, Denise Closs, barricaded themselves in the bathroom and hid in the bathtub, according to the complaint.
Patterson claimed that James Closs apparently mistook him for a police officer because he asked him to “show me your badge,” according to the complaint. He said he fired through a small decorative glass window James Closs was looking out of, hitting the man, the complaint reads.
He then aimed the shotgun at the doorknob and blasted his way inside, the complaint states.
The young girl told investigators “she heard a gunshot and knew her father had just been killed,” according to the complaint. She said her mother called 911, but before she could speak to a dispatcher the intruder broke down the bathroom door, the complaint reads.
Patterson told investigators he searched the house for Jayme and broke down the bathroom door when he found it locked and barricaded from the inside, according to the complaint. He ripped down the bathroom curtain and found Jayme and her mother hiding in the bathtub, “Denise with her arms wrapped around [Jayme] in a bear hug,” the complaint reads.
Jayme told investigators that the violent stranger “told her mother to put tape over [Jayme’s] mouth, which her mother did, and then Patterson shot her mother,” according to the complaint.
Patterson claimed that when Denise Closs struggled to tape her daughter’s mouth, he put down his shotgun, took the roll of black Gorilla brand duct tape from her and completed the task himself, wrapping the tape over Jayme’s mouth and completely around her head, according to the complaint.
He then taped Jayme’s wrists and ankles together, the complaint reads.
Patterson then picked up the shotgun, aimed it at Denise Closs’ head and pulled the trigger, according to the complaint.
“The defendant stated he aimed for Denise’s head because he knew that head shots were the best way to kill a person,” according to the complaint.
He told investigators that he dragged Jayme out of the house and across the yard, put her in the trunk of his car and drove off, passing police cars with their emergency lights and sirens on apparently headed to the Closs home, the complaint states.
Patterson told investigators he was at the Closs home for about four minutes.
Hid victim under his bed
When he reached his house in Gordon, Patterson said he took Jayme into his bedroom and cut the tape off her, according to the complaint.
“The defendant stated he knew [Jayme] was scared because she urinated herself and her clothing was wet,” the complaint states.
Jayme told investigators that her kidnapper ordered her to “take off all her clothes” and that he put them in a bag, according to the complaint.
Patterson told investigators that he gave Jayme a pair of his sister’s pajamas to change into and then burned her clothes, the duct tape and his gloves in a fireplace in the basement of his house, the complaint states.
He also told investigators that he created a space under his twin-size bed that sits about two-and-a-half feet above the ground, according to the complaint. He said that when he would leave the house, he would place plastic totes, barbells and free weights around the bed so that she couldn’t escape.
“Bad things would happen to her”
“The defendant stated that there were at least two occasions when he thought [Jayme] had tried to get out from under the bed and he had struck a wall and screamed a lot to the point where he knew she was scared and she knew that she better never try that again,” according to the complaint.
The suspect made Jayme hide under his bed when his friends and relatives, including his father, were over and threatened that “bad things would happen to her” if she didn’t do what he said, according to the complaint.
Jayme told investigators that Patterson “would make her stay under the bed for up to twelve hours at a time with no food, water, or bathroom breaks,” according to the complaint.
She said he once hit her “really hard” in the back with the handle of tool used to clean window blinds when she tried to get out from under the bed, the complaint reads.
“She remembers Patterson telling her that if it happened again, the punishment would be worse next time,” according to the complaint.
Patterson confessed that around Christmas, he left Jayme at the house and under the bed for 12 hours while he went to visit his grandparents, according to the complaint.
As he held Jayme in captivity for 88 days, Patterson, according to the complaint, kept up on news reports of the crime and the search for the missing girl, the complaint states.
He “stated he basically assumed he had gotten away with the killing of James and Denise, and kidnapping [Jayme] since he hadn’t been caught for the first two weeks,” according to the complaint. “The defendant stated that he learned the names of the two people he shot and killed after seeing their names reported on multiple news programs and social media.”
He told investigators “he never would have been caught if he would have planned everything perfectly,” reads the complaint.
Jayme told investigators that when Patterson left the house on Thursday, he told her he’d be gone for five or six hours, according to the complaint.
“After Patterson left the house, [Jayme] stated she was able to push the bins and weights away from the bed and crawl out,” according to the complaint.
She put on a pair of worn men’s New Balance sneakers and made her break for freedom, ending nearly three months in captivity.
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