Father of Jayme Closs Kidnapping Suspect Said He Wanted to Give Her Family a Note: Report
Family members of Jake Thomas Patterson have made their first public comments days after he was accused of killing the parents of Jayme Closs and then kidnapping the 13-year-old and holding her captive for nearly three months in a remote cabin in northwest Wisconsin.
CNN spoke with Patterson’s father Tuesday outside the courthouse where his son’s arraignment was held Monday. No pleas were entered by Patterson, 21, who remains in police custody on $5 million bail.
“All I care about right now is Jayme’s family,” said Patrick Patterson as he was headed into the Barron County Justice Center. “I want to get them a note.”
Patterson’s father refused to comment further on the specific contents of the note.
He repeatedly apologized, telling CNN, “I can’t talk.”
The site described him as “shaking with emotion before a deputy escorted him from the public area.”
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Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald alleged Jayme was Patterson’s “only target,” and that he had no prior contact with the Closs family.
The criminal complaint against Patterson alleges he told police he first set out for the Closs home about two weeks before last Oct. 15, when authorities allege he fatally shot Jayme’s parents before bounding the teen with tape and dragging her into his trunk.
Twice, he postponed his alleged plans to kidnap the girl, who he first noticed one morning as he was driving behind the school bus that picked her up outside her home.
Authorities discovered Jayme was missing after finding her parents — James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 — fatally shot inside their home in Barron.
An AMBER Alert was issued for Jayme, who escaped last Thursday after Patterson told her he’d be gone for several hours.
Patterson allegedly forced Jayme to spend hours beneath his bed, where she was barricaded in with “stacked totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights (like weights for barbells) stacked against them so she could not move them without his being able to detect if she did.”
Once she was sure he was gone, Jayme strapped a pair of Patterson’s shoes to her feet and ran from the cabin in Gordon where she was held against her will for 88 days. She found a woman out walking her dog, and pleaded for help. The woman escorted Jayme quickly to a nearby residence where they could call 911.
Police allege Patterson has already confessed and believed for the first two weeks he had gotten away with the crimes he is accused of. Police have said Patterson was not on their radar.
Suspect’s Father Sobbed During Arraignment
CNN reports that Patterson was in court for his son’s Monday arraignment. The suspect appeared via video conference. When the live feed began, “his father sobbed and buried his head into the shoulder of a relative seated next to him,” the site reports.
Patterson’s father initially took a seat on the prosecution’s side of the courtroom, but was asked to move to the defense’s side before the proceedings commenced, the outlet reports.
Jim Moyer, Patterson’s grandfather, also spoke about the allegations in an interview with ABC News.
“Nobody had any clues up until this thing happened,” Moyer said. “We are absolutely heartbroken. It’s wrenching to deal with.”
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Moyer described his grandson as a “nice boy, polite” who was “shy and quiet” and often “backed off from crowds,” the outlet reports.
“Computer games were more of a priority than social interaction,” Moyer told ABC.
“Nobody will ever know what went on in his mind,” said Moyer, adding Patterson’s mother was stunned by the allegations, hoping her son had been arrested in a case of mistaken identity. “I can’t fathom anything in his life that could change him so drastically. It has to be some kind of a twist in the mindset.”
“This is a very tragic situation,” Patterson’s lawyers said in a joint statement, according to local media reports. “There is a substantial amount of information, interest, and emotion involved in this case. Mr. Patterson’s legal team will be relying on the integrity of our judicial system to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected and respected.”
PEOPLE has reached out to the two lawyers for additional comment.
Patterson is being held in the Barron County Jail. He is charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary, according to the complaint.