Charges: Suspect said he knew Jayme Closs was 'the girl he was going to take'

Image 1 of 2

Photo Courtesy: Barron County Jail

Jake Patterson, 21, is now charged in connection with the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs and the murders of her parents, James and Denise, in their home in Barron, Wisconsin on Oct. 15. 

On Thursday, after she had been missing for 88 days, Jayme escaped from Patterson’s home in Gordon, Wisconsin and found help from a dog walker, who took her into a nearby home and called 911. She was taken into protective custody and reunited with her family on Friday.

Police arrested Patterson a short time later after they spotted the vehicle Jayme had described. He had been out looking for the teenager at the time. As he stepped out of the vehicle, Patterson told deputies he knew what this was about and “I did it.”

Patterson was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary. 

According to the criminal complaint, Patterson confessed to killing James and Denise and kidnapping Jayme. In an interview, Patterson told investigators he “was determined to take Jayme that night and was going to kill anyone in the house because he could not leave any eyewitnesses behind.” 

Patterson said he never would have been caught if he would have planned everything perfectly. 

Patterson made his first court appearance via video conference at 3:30 p.m. on Monday. A judge set his bail at $5 million. 


Patterson told investigators he first saw Jayme while driving to work at the Saputo Cheese Factory near Almena, where he worked for two days before quitting. He had stopped behind a school bus on U.S. Highway 8 and watched her get onto the bus. 

Patterson said he had no idea who Jayme was, but when he saw her, he knew she was the girl he was going to take.

He told police he did not even learn Jayme's name until after he had abducted her and he did not learn the names of her parents until he saw their names reported in the news and on social media. 

Patterson attempted to kidnap Jayme twice prior to the events of Oct. 15, but both times he drove to the Closs home he was scared off by cars in the driveway or people walking around in the house with the lights on. 


On the night of her abduction, Jayme said she was asleep in her bedroom when her dog started barking. She got up to investigate and noticed a someone driving up to the house. 

Jayme immediately went to her parents’ room and woke them up. Her father, James, went to the front door to see what was going on. After seeing a man with at the door with a gun, she and her mom, Denise, hid in the bathroom in the bathtub and Denise used her cell phone to call 911. 

Jayme said she heard a gunshot and knew her father had been killed. 

Patterson broke down the bathroom door after 10-15 tries and told Denise to hang up the phone. He took out some black duct tape and told Denise to put it over her daughter’s mouth. When he saw she was struggling, he wrapped the tape around Jayme’s mouth and head himself, and then taped her hands and ankles together. 

Then, with Jayme standing bound next to him, Patterson told investigators he picked up the shotgun and shot Denise in the head. 

After shooting Denise, Patterson dragged Jayme to his car and put her in his trunk. He then started driving down Highway 8 towards Barron. 

Patterson estimated he had only been driving for about 20 seconds when he passed three squad cars with their lights on heading towards the Closs home. Jayme told investigators she also heard the squad cars drive past. 


Patterson took Jayme to his home on Eau Claire Acres Circle in Gordon, Wisconsin, about an hour from Barron. 

He kept Jayme hidden under a twin-sized bed in the corner of his room. When he would leave, he would take plastic bins weighed down with barbells and free weights and place them in front of the bed to make it more difficult for her to get out. He also said he kept the bins there so he would know if Jayme tried to get out. 

Jayme told investigators that one time she accidentally moved one of the bins and Patterson told her something bad would happen if she did it again. On one occasion, he got angry and hit her “really hard” on her back. 

Jayme said Patterson made her hide under the bed when he had friends or family over and he would turn music on in his room so she could not hear what was happening. 

Patterson also made her stay under the bed when he left the house, sometimes leaving her for up to 12 hours with no food, water or bathroom breaks. 


On Thursday, Jan. 10, Patterson left the house and told Jayme he was going to be gone for five or six hours. He made her go under the bed and placed the weighted down bins in front of it. 

After Patterson left the house, Jayme said she was able to push the bins away from the bed and escape. She put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes and walked out of the house

Jayme walked to the road and towards a woman, Jeanne Nutter, who she saw walking a dog. 

Nutter, a former Child Protective Services worker, told police she remembered Jayme specifically saying, “I’m Jayme Closs,” “I don’t know where I am,” “He killed my parents” and “Please help—I want to go home.” Nutter took Jayme to the nearest house, where they called 911. 

View a complete copy of the criminal complaint

Jayme Closs case: Kidnapping and murder charges by KMSP-TV on Scribd