Suspect in Jayme Closs Kidnapping, Murder of Her Parents Identified: Teen Was 'the Only Target'
Jake Thomas Patterson targeted Jayme Closs, authorities said
Police have identified the man they allege killed Jayme Closs’ parents before abducting the teen, holding her captive for nearly three months before she managed to escape and find help Thursday.
The Barron County Sheriff’s Office revealed Friday they have charged 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson of Gordon with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one of kidnapping.
The suspect, who is unemployed, was not on the radar of investigators and had no criminal history in Wisconsin, authorities said at a Friday press conference. He is currently in the Barron County Jail and police are not looking for additional suspects.
At the press conference, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald alleged the suspect planned the crime and that “Jayme was the only target,” and that Patterson allegedly went to the home for the purpose of kidnapping Jayme and had no prior contact with the parents.
It’s unclear how the suspect knew Jayme, Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald alleged the suspect “took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the public.”
According to authorities, Jayme was hospitalized after being rescued but is now out of the hospital.
The woman reportedly brought Jayme to the nearby front door of Kristin and Peter Kasinskas, who opened their front door around 4 p.m. to the sound of frantic knocking from a female neighbor. “This is Jayme Closs!” the woman said, the pair recalled to the Star Tribune. “Call 911!”
Authorities discovered Jayme was missing on Oct. 15 of last year, after her parents — James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 — were found murdered inside a home on the outskirts of Barron, Wisconsin. Jayme was missing and an AMBER Alert was issued for her.
Her parents had been shot to death and investigators believe Jayme likely witnessed the killings before being abducted. They said shortly afterward she was not considered a suspect.
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Nobody spoke during the 911 call, but a disturbance could be heard. When police subsequently arrived at the family home, they found the parents dead but no sign of Jayme. Officials issued an AMBER Alert for the teen, and declared her “missing and endangered.”
Police arrived to find the front door had been kicked in.
Patterson has not appeared in court to enter a plea. It was unclear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.