Case Update: Jayme Closs Found Alive, Suspect Arrested

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May 24, 2019:

Jake Patterson appeared in court today, where the judged sentenced him for the kidnapping of Jayme Closs and the murders of her parents, Denise and James Closs. For each of the murders, he received two life sentences, while for Jayme’s kidnapping he received 25 years in prison and 15 years parole, totalling a 40-year sentence. The sentences will be served consecutively.

As well, Patterson was ordered to register as a sex offender, which under Wisconsin law can be required for a sexual offence or an attempted sexual offence. Prosecutors in Douglas County, where Jayme was discovered, have decided to not bring forward charges regarding what occurred while Jayme was held captive, in the aim of shielding her and in order to keep certain details private.

While Jayme didn’t personally make an appearance in court, her lawyer did read a statement from the 13-year-old, which detailed how her life has changed since the events of October 15, 2018. She also touched upon her feelings toward Patterson.

March 27, 2019:

Jake Patterson was in court today, where he plead guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. With both Jayme’s family and his own in the gallery, he informed the judge that he agreed with and understood the plea.

Patterson revealed in a letter earlier this month that he would plead guilty to the charges against him, as he didn’t want the Closs family to have to endure a trial. Under the plea agreement, a charge of armed robbery was dismissed. As well, state prosecutors declined to file charges for the crimes he committed in Douglas County after Jayme had been abducted.

Patterson’s sentencing is scheduled for May 24. The charge of kidnapping carries a sentence of up to 40 years, while each count of intentional homicides carries with it a sentence of up to life in prison.

January 14, 2019:

Patterson made his first court appearance in Barron today, where he was charged with intentional homicide, armed burglary and kidnapping. He is currently being held on $5 million bail and has been informed he cannot possess any firearms and must not have contact with either Jayme or those involved in her escape. He has also been ordered to give a DNA sample.

The criminal complaint details the lead up to Jayme’s abduction, as well as a few details about what happened after. Patterson had spotted Jayme getting on the school bus while on his way to work at a cheese factory in Almena, Wisconsin. Before abducting her on October 15, 2018, there were two previous attempts. The first time he was scared off by the amount of cars in the driveway, while the second time he saw lights on in the house and people walking around.

On October 15, the complaint says Jayme was wakened by her dog barking at someone coming up the driveway. James Closs was shot dead, as Jayme and Denise hid in a bathroom. Upon Patterson entering the bathroom, he ordered Denise to put tape over her daughter’s mouth, and then he bound her wrists and ankles. He shot Denise before dragging Jayme out of the house and placing her in the trunk of his car.

In order to ensure he was successful in his abduction, Patterson made many modifications to his vehicle. He stole license plates, so his wouldn’t be connected. He also ensured the trunk couldn’t open from the inside and he disabled the dome light in the front of the car, so that he wouldn’t be seen upon exiting it.

He also made sure no evidence was left behind that could trace the crime back to him. Along with the aforementioned shaving of his hair, he wiped down his shotgun while wearing gloves, so that no fingerprints would be present.

Once Jayme was in his captivity, Patterson destroyed her clothes to hide potential evidence. He then forced her to hide under his twin-sized bed when anyone was over at the house, caging her in with laundry bins that had weights and barbells stacked against them. In order to make her cooperate, he would threaten her if he saw any of the weights had been moved. He would also play music loud, so that Jayme couldn’t tell if someone was in the house. While under the bed, Jayme would sometimes go 12 hours without any food, water or bathroom breaks.

The complaint explains how Jayme escaped after being told by Patterson that he was going out for five or six hours. Upon him leaving the house, she grabbed a pair of his shoes and made her escape. Patterson only noticed she was gone upon his return to the house, as he saw her footprints in the snow. After driving around in search of her, he was arrested by police upon returning to his home.

It’s been learnt that Patterson wasn’t aware of the names of James and Denise Closs until he saw media coverage on the murders. He didn’t learn Jayme’s name until after he had abducted her.

Sheriff Fitzgerald has explained that the case is still active and that there are details he cannot yet release. As of now, investigators are currently working on piecing together what happened over the past three months. No motive has been divulged.

January 11, 2019:

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department held two press conferences today as details about the case emerged. Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald informed reporters Jayme had been abducted by 21-year-old Jake Patterson and had escaped his rural home in Gordon, Wisconsin while he was out. She approached a woman who was walking her dog, who then brought her to a neighbour’s house, where 911 was called.

Upon receiving the 911 call, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department arrested Patterson, who had been driving around looking for Jayme. He was immediately taken into custody and is currently being interviewed by Barron County detectives.

According to Sheriff Fitzgerald, the gun investigators believe to have been used in the murders of Denise and James Closs has been located and they are currently awaiting confirmation of this from the crime lab. He informed reporters it was a shotgun and that it had been used to open the front door of the Closs house. It had initially been believed the door had been kicked in. In order to prevent leaving forensic evidence behind at the scene of the crime, Patterson changed his physical appearance, such as shaving his head beforehand, so that no DNA was left behind.

While numerous vehicles were located at the house Patterson was holding Jayme, the Sheriff’s Department has not commented on if any are the cars police were initially searching for. As well, they are currently looking into whether or not the home was owned by Patterson.

It is currently unknown if Patterson had any contact with anyone in the Closs family or how he met Jayme. However, it has been confirmed she was his intended target. Patterson had worked at Jennie-O Turkey Store three years ago, but was only there for two days. It’s believed he never came into contact with James or Denise Closs while he was employed there.

Currently, Patterson’s house is being searched for evidence. On January 14, 2019 at 3:00pm, he’ll make his first court appearance in Barron, where he’ll be charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.

January 10, 2019:

The Barron County Sheriff’s Department has announced that Jayme Closs has been located alive in Douglas County, Wisconsin by the local Sheriff’s Department. Shortly after, a suspect, who has yet to be identified, was taken into custody.

Given the investigation is still active and changing, authorities are unable to reveal any more details at this time. A press conference is scheduled for 10:00am on January 11 in Barron, where more information will be shared with the public.

Stories of the Unsolved will update this post as more details emerge.

Image Credit: Barron County Sheriff’s Department

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