Charges filed against Closs kidnapping suspect

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BARRON COUNTY, WI — Formal charges have been filed against a man suspected of killing James and Denise Closs and kidnapping their teenage daughter, Jayme, in Barron, Wisconsin last fall.

Jake Patterson, 21, of Gordon, Wisconsin, is now facing four felony charges.

Those charges include two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping, and one count of armed burglary with a dangerous weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, Patterson discovered Closs getting on the school bus, while he was on his way to work at Saputo Cheese Factory.

According to court documents – Patterson made two stops at the Closs home to attempt to kidnap Jayme but left for various reasons before coming back a third time.

Patterson allegedly used his father’s .12 gauge shotgun, as he “felt it would inflict the most damage.”

Authorities say Patterson totally changed his appearance and did everything he could to ensure no DNA was left at the scene.

On the morning of October 15th, authorities say Patterson arrived at the Closs home, shot James through a window, and forcibly gained entry to the bathroom where Denise and Jayme were.

Court documents say Denise tried calling 911 before Patterson broke down the bathroom door. When he gained entry to the bathroom, he told Denise to hang up the phone.

That’s when Patterson allegedly shot Denise, one time, in the head, killing her in front of Jayme.

Patterson then bound Jayme in tape, put her in the trunk of his car, and drove away.

In court documents, Patterson estimated the entire kidnapping lasted about 4 minutes and says within 20 seconds of leaving, he saw law enforcement headed towards the Closs home.

Court documents say Patterson was “determined he was going to take Jayme that night and was going to kill anyone in the house because he could not leave any eyewitnesses behind.”

Authorities believe that meant police, as well.

In the 88 days Jayme was held captive, authorities say Patterson would hide her by putting her under his bed, and putting weighted plastic totes around the bed, which were so heavy that she couldn’t move them.

He would tell her if she tried to escape “bad things would happen”. Patterson told authorities he would turn up music in his bedroom when friends and family would come over.

On Friday, during his first court appearance, bail was set at $5 million cash. Bail was set that high because prosecutors believe him to be a flight risk.

The defense tried to get a smaller bail assigned, but that was denied by the judge.

Following Patterson’s court appearance, prosecutors addressed the media.

“The prosecution team you see here assembled today wants justice for James and Denise Closs and for Jayme Closs. There is a process that will take place. At the right time, we will present our evidence and argue our evidence that beyond a reasonable doubt he did it,” said Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright.

Patterson told authorities he didn’t know any names until he heard them on the news.

When Patterson was stopped by authorities after Jayme escaped, he allegedly told the police I know what this is about and”I did it.”

In court documents, Patterson said he never would have been caught if he had  “planned everything perfectly.”

Jayme, 13, was able to escape last Thursday after being kept in a cabin in Gordon, Wisconsin.

We’ve uploaded the full criminal complaint below:

Krystal Frasier

Krystal Frasier

Social Media and Digital Content Manager
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