Jayme Closs' Accused Abductor Held on $5 Million Bail for Her Kidnapping and Murder of Her Parents
Two male members of Patterson's family, who were in attendance at the arraignment, were sobbing
At his arraignment Monday, the man accused of abducting Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs after killing her parents in October was not asked to enter a plea to the two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary.
Jake Thomas Patterson was arrested last Thursday after 13-year-old Jayme — who bravely escaped and sought help from the first stranger she stumbled upon — allegedly provided a description of her captor to police.
The 21-year-old was additionally charged Monday with armed burglary.
Patterson appeared for his arraignment via video conference. He was dressed in orange prison garb and throughout the hearing, had a blank expression on his face. If convicted, Patterson faces life behind bars.
The judge ordered a DNA sample be taken from Patterson and ordered him held on $5 million bail.
Prosecutors alleged in court Patterson stole license plates off of another car, affixing them to his vehicle so he could avoid detection from the police. He also allegedly bought a mask to wear the night of the murders, and kept the shell casings, removing them from the crime scene.
The state also argued Patterson shaved his face and all of the hair off his head, and, under questioning, told police he would have killed anyone inside the Closs home the night of the abduction, including children, because he allegedly said he could not leave any witnesses.
Two male members of Patterson’s family were in attendance at the arraignment.
As the older man, who appeared to be the suspect’s father and was heard sobbing, was walking out, a reporter asked: “Mr. Patterson, did you know this was happening in your house?” The older man simply shook his head no.
The other man, who appeared to be the suspect’s brother, was also crying during the arraignment.
Authorities discovered Jayme was missing on Oct. 15, after her parents — James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 — were found fatally shot inside a home on the outskirts of Barron, Wisconsin. Jayme was missing and an AMBER Alert was issued for her.
In the criminal complaint, obtained by PEOPLE on Monday, Patterson alleges he became aware of Jayme when he spotted her boarding the school bus outside her home one morning. He allegedly told investigators “when he saw [Jayme], he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
According to the complaint, Jayme was asleep in her bedroom the night she was abducted.
The complaint describes how Patterson was dressed in black that night. Later, it details how he kept her hidden for three months. Police claim he admitted his guilt to detectives.
Patterson, who is unemployed, was not on the radar of investigators and had no criminal history in Wisconsin, authorities have said.
The alleged abduction of Jayme was the suspect’s goal, according to investigators, who contend she was Patterson’s “only target.”
Police have revealed Patterson had no prior contact with Jayme’s parents before allegedly killing them, even though the three appeared to have worked together three years ago for one day in the same Jennie-O Turkey Store in Barron.
Police believe that when the suspect was stopped in his car by police last Thursday, he was out looking for Jayme.
Officials have said the suspect allegedly used a shotgun and have confirmed Jayme witnessed the killings before being abducted. They ruled her out as a suspect soon after she was kidnapped.
“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.”
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PEOPLE has reached out to the two lawyers for additional comment.
Patterson, who is being held in the Barron County Jail, is scheduled to return to court for his next hearing on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. local time.
- With reporting by ELAINE ARADILLAS