By Liz Collin


BARRON, Wis. (WCCO/AP) — In 12 pages, there are awful answers to the questions that for 88 days haunted a team of investigators and the small Wisconsin town of Barron.

Jake Patterson, the western Wisconsin man suspected of kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents nearly three months ago, has been charged, and bail set at $5 million with conditions at his first court appearance since being arrested.

The 21-year-old is accused of abducting the 13-year-old girl last October, when police found her parents — James and Denise Closs — shot dead in their Barron home.

On Monday afternoon, charges were filed against Patterson in the Wisconsin Circuit Court. He faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping, and armed burglary.

 

According to the complaint, both of Closs’s parents had been shot in the head Oct. 15, and it appeared Denise Closs had attempted to barricade herself and her daughter in the bathroom.

Closs told investigators that she was awakened the morning of her kidnapping after her dog started barking. Her father went to the door to find a man with a gun, who she later identified as Patterson. Closs and her mother hid in the bathtub, but Patterson broke down the door and told Jayme Closs’s mother to put tape over her daughter’s mouth. When she did, Patterson shot her, the charges state.

 

Patterson taped Closs’s hands and ankles together and put her in the trunk of his vehicle for hours as he drove away, the complaint says.

WEB EXTRA: Read The Entire Criminal Complaint

For weeks, Patterson forced Closs to hide under a bed for up to 12 hours at a time with no food, water or bathroom breaks. Closs told investigators he put laundry bins and totes around the bed and filled them with weights so she couldn’t move them without his knowing.

Closs said that he hit her on the back on one occasion after getting mad at her, and said that her punishment would be worse if it happened again.

On Jan. 10, after Patterson said he would be gone for five or six hours, she moved the bins away from the bed and crawled out. She put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes and ran outside toward a woman she saw walking her dog.

Last week, Jayme escaped a home in Gordon, which is about 65 miles north of Barron, and police arrested Patterson just minutes later, after Jayme gave them a description of his car. She was wearing what looked to be large men’s sneakers and could barely walk in them.

RELATED: Transcript Of 911 Call Following Jayme Closs’ Escape

The complaint says that when officers apprehended Patterson, he told them he knew why they had stopped him, and said “I did it.”

The complaint says Patterson told authorities he had seen Closs get onto a school bus one of the two days he worked at the Saputo Cheese Factory, and said he knew the moment he saw her and where she lived that he was going to take her.

He said he drove around the Closs home multiple times leading up to the Oct. 15 kidnapping, and stole license plates from another vehicle in case he was spotted.

Patterson said the shotgun he used to murder Closs’s parents was his father’s 12-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun, which he said his research led him to believe was going to be among the most difficult weapons to trace. He said he was prepared to shoot anyone else who was in the house when he took Closs, to leave no eyewitnesses behind. He dressed entirely in black, and also shaved his head and showered beforehand to avoid leaving any DNA evidence at the scene of the crime.

Over the weekend, Patterson’s attorneys said they met with their client, but did not say if Patterson confessed to Jayme’s kidnapping or the killing of her parents.

Patterson is currently being held in the Barron County Jail, where he’s been since Thursday night.

At Monday’s hearing, which lasted just nine minutes, bail was set at $5 million and Patterson was ordered to have no contact with Closs or with any of the neighbors who helped her to safety. Patterson’s own father and brother sobbed when they saw him on the video screen.

 

After the hearing, the prosecution team said seeking justice is paramount in this case.

“We have two parents of a 13-year-old who are deceased. We have a 13-year-old who was abducted for 88 days against her will forcibly,” said Brian Wright, Barron County district attorney. “It doesn’t get any more serious than that.”

Prosecutors acknowledged there are more details in the case they’ve yet to reveal. They also say more charges could be filed against Patterson, specifically with regards to what might have happened at his home in Gordon where Jayme was held captive.

“She’s 13 years old and if you read the criminal complaint you can see the amount of control that he was exerting over her, and at some point she found it within herself at 13 years old to say, ‘I’m going to get myself out of this situation,'” Wright said.

 

According to The Associated Press, Patterson had also briefly been a member of the Marine Corps. He was prematurely discharged after only five weeks in October of 2015 at the rank of private.

A spokesperson for the Marines, Yvonne Carlock, said Patterson’s early discharge implied “the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards.”

RELATED: Gordon Residents Say Jake Patterson Kept To Himself

CBS This Morning’s Gayle King spoke with Closs’s family — Sue Allard, Jayme’s aunt on her mom’s side, Lyndsey Smith, Jayme’s cousin, and Lynn Closs, her aunt on her dad’s side. They said they’ll be present at the hearing Monday.

“I’ll be at every one,” Allard said.

“I want him to know that he messed with us as a unit, and that good wins, and that is not him,” Lynn Closs said.

Patterson is due back in court on Feb. 6.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Liz Collin

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