Jayme Closs kidnap suspect picked out the US teen at bus stop: Charges

Jake Patterson, 21, charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and two counts of first-degree murder for killing her parents, appears in a booking photo provided by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Barron, Wisconsin, US, on Jan 11, 2019.
Jake Patterson, 21, charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and two counts of first-degree murder for killing her parents, appears in a booking photo provided by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Barron, Wisconsin, US, on Jan 11, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP, REUTERS) - A Wisconsin man admitted he kidnapped a 13-year-old girl he picked out at random after seeing her board a school bus and held her hostage for three months after killing her parents in their home, prosecutors said in court papers on Monday (Jan 14).

Prosecutors described a brutal ordeal in which Jake Patterson, 21, shot Jayme Closs's father and then killed her mother after ordering her to duct-tape the teen's mouth shut.

The harrowing account came just days after Closs ended her 88-day captivity by escaping the rural home where, according to authorities, Patterson kept her trapped under his bed for as much as 12 hours at a time.

Patterson told police he first saw Closs getting on the bus last fall and decided he wanted to take her, prosecutors said.

“He had no idea who she was,” the document said, but “when he saw JLC, he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”

What followed was weeks of planning, in which Patterson stole licence plates to replace his own, checked out the Closs home twice, purchased a black ski mask and shaved his head to avoid leaving any hairs at the crime scene, police said.

Patterson then allegedly drove twice to Jayme's home, hoping to kidnap her, but there were too many cars in the driveway and people visible in the home so he did not carry out the plan. 

On Oct 15 he returned with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun, a weapon he chose in part because he felt it “would most likely be the best choice... to kill someone,” the complaint says, citing Patterson’s confession. 

He shaved his face and hair, donned a balaclava and gloves, and had modified his car to carry out the crime.  At the Closs home, he saw James Closs through a decorative glass panel in the front door and shot him dead, the document says. 

Mother killed in front of her

Inside, Patterson found Denise Closs hugging her daughter in the bathtub of the bathroom where they had taken refuge.  He broke the door down after at least 10 hits from his shoulder, bound the girl with duct tape, and then allegedly shot her mother dead. 

Patterson told investigators that he had the intention of killing anyone in the house because he could not leave any eyewitnesses. 

As he drove with Jayme Closs in the trunk of his car, police cars passed him with flashing lights on their way to her house. Her mother had called 911 before her death. 

Patterson then kept the girl captive in his house in an isolated area about 120km north of Barron.  When he went out or had visitors he forced her to hide under his bed, with totes and laundry bins stacked around and blocked by weights, the complaint says. 

The teen told detectives that, under threat of violence, he would make her stay under the bed for up to 12 hours with no food, water or bathroom breaks.  But, last Thursday when he was out, she was able to move the obstacles away and escape, finding help from a neighbour walking a dog. 

 
 

The two then approached a neighbor's house to call police.

While Closs warmed up inside, the neighbour, Peter Kasinskas, retrieved his gun and stood watch at the door in case her captor was searching for her, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

His wife, Kristin Kasinskas, a middle-school teacher, realized she taught Patterson as a student but did not remember him well, the newspaper reported.