Suspect in Jayme Closs Case Targeted Her After Seeing Her Board School Bus: Court Docs
The suspect spotted Jayme Closs getting on a school bus one day when he "knew that was the girl he was going to take"
A criminal complaint released Monday reveals disturbing new details in the kidnapping case of Jayme Closs, the Wisconsin girl who was missing for nearly three months after her parents were fatally shot in October.
The suspect in both the kidnapping and the killing of Jayme’s parents, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, is charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary, according to the complaint, which was obtained by PEOPLE.
According to the complaint, Patterson allegedly told authorities he worked at a cheese factory south of Almena for two days before quitting. On his drive to the cheese factory on one of his two mornings there, he stopped behind a school bus on Highway 7 where he said he spotted Jayme getting on the bus.
“[Patterson] stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house,” the complaint reads. “[Patterson] stated, when he saw [Jayme], he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
A Night of Terror
Jayme told police that on Oct. 15 of last year, she was awakened by the sound of her dog barking and noticed there was someone — later allegedly identified as Patterson — driving up the driveway of the family’s Barron home. She woke her parents and her father went to the door to investigate what was happening; when Jayme saw there was a man with a gun, she hid in the bathroom with her mother, the complaint states.
When Jayme and her mom heard a gunshot, they knew the man had killed their father, she told police, according to the complaint. Jayme’s mom dialed 911, but the man broke down the bathroom door and told her to hang up. The man then told Jayme’s mom to put tape over Jayme’s mouth, and after she complied, the man shot Jayme’s mom.
Subsequently, the man taped Jayme’s hands and ankles, dragged her out of the home and threw her into the trunk of his vehicle. Two hours later, they arrived at the home from which she later escaped, according to the complaint.
After the man removed the tape from her mouth, hands and ankles, Jayme recalled how the man told her to disrobe and put her clothes in a bag, even making a comment about not having evidence.
Last week, Jayme escaped after the suspect allegedly left the home. She sought help from a woman walking her dog, who then brought her to a neighbor’s home.
Jayme alleged Patterson left his house and told her he would be gone for five or six hours, according to the criminal complaint. Though he made her go under his bed to hide, in what she described as a usual method he used to hide her when he had company over, she said she crawled out and put on a pair of his shoes to walk out of the house.
The criminal complaint states Patterson confessed to killing James and Denise and kidnapping Jayme. An autopsy states James’ cause of death was a shotgun wound of the head and neck, and the manner of his death of ruled a homicide. In addition, Denise, too, had significant head trauma and her cause of death was a shotgun wound to the head.
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Patterson also allegedly told police he took his father’s shotgun because “he had done research and knew that the shotgun was one of the most heavily manufactured or owned shotguns and assumed it would be more difficult to trace,” adding that the weapon “would inflict the most damage on someone.”
When he found Jayme in the bathroom, she and Denise “were seated in the bathtub, Denise with her arms around Jayme in a bear hug.”
Patterson is due in court Monday to enter a plea. His public defenders, Charles Glynn and Richard Jones, issued a joint statement on the allegations, according to local media reports.
“This is a very tragic situation,” reads the statement. “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.