How Jayme Closs Crawled Out of Captivity After Months of Alleged Abuse and Threats
Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs waited months for just the right moment to escape her alleged kidnapper, Jake Thomas Patterson, who allegedly hit and threatened her during her nearly three months in captivity, according to a newly-released criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
The complaint against the 21-year-old defendant alleges he held Jayme captive in a cabin in Gordon and that on Jan. 10, he told her the 13-year-old he’d be leaving for five or six hours.
She told police that once she was certain he’d left, she freed herself from beneath his bed — where she routinely had to stay when he went out or had company over — threw on a pair of his shoes and fled the house.
Jayme “walked out of the house and walked towards the road to a woman who she saw walking a dog,” the criminal complaint continues.
It further alleges Patterson went to great lengths to conceal Jayme, making her stay under his bed for up to 12 hours without food, water, or bathroom breaks.
The complaint alleged Patterson ordered Jayme “to remain under the bed whenever he left the house” and, to ensure she didn’t leave, had “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.”
When Patterson had guests stop by, he allegedly turned the music on in his room so Jayme could not hear what was happening “if there was anyone else in the house with him.”
According to the complaint, Jayme alleged to police “Patterson made it clear that nobody was to know she was there or bad things would happen to her.”
The girl allegedly “described how, on one occasion, Patterson got mad at her and hit her ‘really hard’ on her back with what she described as a handle for something used to clean blinds and that it hurt really bad when Patterson hit her with it.”
The criminal complaint against him alleges Patterson 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.”
The alleged abduction of Jayme was the suspect’s goal on Oct. 15, the night he is accused of killing her parents James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, in their Barron home before abducting Jayme. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald alleged Jayme was Patterson’s “only target.”
According to the complaint, Jayme was asleep in her bedroom the night she was abducted.
The complaint describes how allegedly Patterson dressed in black that night. It alleges he admitted his guilt to police.
Patterson, who is unemployed, was not on the radar of investigators and had no criminal history in Wisconsin, authorities have said.
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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 on Thursday, he was out looking for Jayme.
“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.
At a court arraignment on Monday, he was not asked to enter a plea and his bail was set at $5 million.