BARRON COUNTY, Wis. (WITI) -- Jake Patterson confessed to killing James and Denise Closs and kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs, according to a criminal complaint released Monday, Jan. 14 by the Barron County district attorney.
Patterson, 21, faces two counts of first degree intentional homicide (for the deaths of James and Denise Closs), one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary.
Patterson made his initial appearance in court on Monday, Jan. 14. Cash bond was set at $5 million.
Prosecutors said Jake Patterson confessed to the murders of James and Denise Closs, and to the kidnapping of Jayme Closs. Prosecutors said Jake Patterson told investigators he drove to the Closs home twice with the intent to kidnap Jayme prior to Oct. 15, when the abduction occurred.
The complaint said that Patterson first spotted Jayme while on the way home from work when he was stopped behind a school bus, and watched Jayme get on the bus.
Patterson told police he had no idea who Jayme was, but “when he saw (Jayme), he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
On Thursday, Jan. 10, after missing for 88 days, Jayme Closs was found alive about 70 miles from her Barron home in Gordon — in rural northwestern Wisconsin.
Jayme was rescued while walking down a road in Gordon in frigid weather — without a coat and gloves. She approached Jeanne Nutter, who was out walking her dog. Nutter took Jayme to the nearby home of Peter and Kristen Kasinskas. They learned that Jayme Closs “had stated a male suspect, who she identified as Jake Patterson, had killed her parents and she wants to go home.”
According to the complaint, Jayme Closs told investigators on the morning of Oct. 15, her dog began barking, and she got up to investigate — noticing there was someone in their driveway. She woke up her parents, and her father went to the door. Jayme said there was a man (later identified as Patterson) at the door with a gun. Jayme said she and her mother hid in the bathroom with the door closed. She said she heard a gunshot and “knew her father had just been killed.” She said her mom used a cellphone to dial 911. Patterson then broke down the bathroom door and told Denise Closs to hang up. Jayme said Patterson told Denise Closs to “put tape over Jayme's mouth,” which Denise did, and then Patterson shot Denise, according to Jayme.
Jayme described Patterson as “dressed in black from head to toe, including a face mask, hat and gloves."
According to the complaint, Jayme said Patterson “taped her hands and ankles together and dragged her to his vehicle – where he placed her in the trunk." She said she heard sirens as Patterson began driving.
She estimated she was in the trunk for about two hours before they arrived at the Gordon cabin, which she said Patterson told her was “his house.”
At the home, the complaint said Patterson removed the tape, and made her take off all of her clothing, making “a comment about not having evidence.” She said he told her he was going to throw her clothes away.
Jayme Closs told investigators at times, Patterson would have friends/relatives over, and “Patterson made it clear that nobody was to know she was there, or bad things would happen to her,” the complaint said.
She said Patterson “made her hide under his bed in his bedroom,” stacking totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights stacked against them so she could not move them without his being able to detect it. She said at one point, she accidentally moved one of the totes when she was told to hide under the bed, and “Patterson told her something bad would happen if she did it again.” She said Patterson “would turn music on in his room so she couldn't hear what as happening if there was anyone else in the house with him.”
She was also forced to stay under the bed when Patterson left the house, the complaint said. She said she was forced to do this for up to 12 hours at a time with no food, water or bathroom breaks.
The complaint said on Jan. 10, Patterson left the house and told her he was going to be gone “for five or six hours,” and made her go under the bed before he left. Closs said when he left, she was able to push the bins and weights away from the bed, and crawl out. She said she put on a pair of Patterson's shoes and walked out of the house — walking toward Jeanne Nutter, who she saw walking her dog.
Nutter took her to the neighbor's house and they called 911.
The complaint said Jake Patterson confessed to killing James and Denise Closs, and kidnapping Jayme Closs. He said one day on the way home from work at the Saputo Cheese Factory in Almena, he “stopped behind a school bus on Highway 8, where he watched (Jayme Closs) get on a school bus.” He said he “had no idea who she was, nor did he know who lived at the house.” He said when he saw Jayme, “he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
He admitted to purchasing a mask as part of his plan “to conceal his identity when he took (Jayme).”
According to the complaint, he said he took his father's 12-gauge shotgun because “he assumed it would be more difficult to trace,” and he “felt it would inflict the most damage.” He said he wiped down the shotgun shells and cleaned and wiped down the shotgun “so there would be no fingerprints or DNA on either of them.” He said he shaved his head and face “so that he would not leave any DNA or hair at the scene.”
He said he “basically assumed he had gotten away with killing James and Denise and kidnapping Jayme since he hadn't been caught for the first two weeks.” He said he had never met Jayme through social media, and “only learned her name after the abduction.” He said he learned the names of James and Denise Closs through “multiple news reports.”
The complaint said he indicated “he never would have been caught if he would have planned everything perfectly.”
A search warrant was executed at the Gordon home on Jan.11, and the stolen license plate, clothing allegedly worn by Patterson and the shotgun were recovered among 89 pieces of evidence.