Closs Family Did Not Know Suspect Prior to Murder and Kidnapping

ClossAuthorities say 13-year old Jayme Closs, who was discovered alive on Jan. 10 after vanishing for three months, was the target of her 21-year-old alleged abductor, whom she had never met. The man showed up, unannounced, at her home, murdered her parents and held her captive for 88 days.

The alleged suspect in Closs’s abduction has been identified as Jake Thomas Patterson. On Thursday, Jan. 10, he was arrested on kidnapping and homicide charges. Friday, January 11, the District Attorney’s Office said charges will be filed next week against Patterson for kidnapping and two counts of murder.

Douglas County Sheriff Thomas Dalbec said the alleged suspect surrendered calmly and was arrested a few feet away from his residence. They found Patterson while he was searching for Closs, who had escaped from being held captive in his home. Once he was apprehended, Closs was then transferred to the Barron County Jail.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told reporters that Patterson had no previous dealings with law enforcement. Nevertheless, his intention to abduct Closs was calculated.  He murdered the girl’s parents in order to abduct the young girl and then planned extensive ways to conceal his identity. Patterson made sure he did not leave behind trace evidence and also shaved his head.

Fitzgerald went on to say that Patterson worked for two days a few years ago at the Jennie-O turkey products processing plant where 56-year-old James and 46-year-old Denise Closs also worked. However, police could not find evidence that they had ever met. Fitzgerald also mentioned that Patterson was not known to the police or on their radar, and they believed he had no accomplices.

Investigators found no evidence that Patterson had interactions with Closs on any social media platforms.

Police located a gun in Patterson’s home which was similar to the one used at the crime scene. The weapon was transported to the state crime lab to ascertain if it was the gun used in the crime.

Daphne Ronning, who lived next door to Paterson, told a reporter from “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel” that the parents of Patterson moved to Gordon 15 years ago. The parents moved but the alleged suspect and his brothers continued to frequent the home. She also communicated that she did not know if Patterson was residing at the house and she has never saw or knew Closs.

Closs was taken to a nearby hospital and stayed overnight for observation. She has been released and is with her dog Molly and aunt Carla Closs.

Closs’s aunt Carla Closs said that it is the best news ever that we have Jayme back and she is home with her family.

Since Closs’s disappearance 88 days ago, people in Minnesota and Wisconsin helped investigators search. The first ground search obtained no clues. During a second search, more than 2,000 people showed up to help investigators. In December, hundreds gathered for a tree-lighting ceremony to pray for Closs’s safe return.

Patterson’s appearance in court for sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

Written By Barbara Sobel


CNN: Missing teen Jayme Closs found alive
WAFB 9: Officials say Closs family had no contact with suspect prior to murder, kidnapping
WBUR News: Wis. Girl Missing For 3 Months Is Found — And Helps Deputies Catch Alleged Captor

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of James Emory’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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