BARRON, WI (AP/Gray News) — A Wisconsin judge set bail at $5 million for Jake Patterson, who is accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents.
He also is ordered not have contact with Closs, her family, or any of the residents who helped the 13-year-old escape. Patterson appeared via video feed for the court hearing.
The prosecutor outlined some of the lengths he took in concealing his identity, from shaving his head and showering before going to the Closs', to disabling the dome light in his car so no one could see him coming or going.
Patterson confessed to his crimes the day he was arrested last week, according to law enforcement testimony released in a criminal complaint filed on Monday.
According to the document, he also told authorities that he had long targeted Closs, after seeing her get on a school bus while driving to work one day.
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, made his first court appearance Monday. He will reappear in court on Feb. 6.
Prosecutors formally charged Patterson with two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. He was also charged with one count of armed burglary.
The criminal complaint describes Patterson’s arrest, the night of the murders and kidnapping, and how he held Closs captive for more than two months.
It details how Jayme and her mother Denise hid in a bathtub as they heard Patterson murder James Closs, how Patterson took Jayme home and disposed of evidence, and how he “would make her stay under the bed for up to twelve hours at a time with no food, water or bathroom breaks” as he held her captive for more than two months.
It also describes her escape.
“Patterson stated I know what this is about, ‘I did it,'” when he was arrested last Thursday after Jayme’s escape, according to the complaint. He also confessed that he first saw Jayme boarding a school bus while he was driving to the cheese factory where he worked for two days before quitting.
“The defendant stated, when he saw J.L.C. (Jayme Closs), he knew that was the girl he was going to take,” the document states.
The nightmare began Oct. 15, when, Closs told police, she woke up to her dog barking.
She noticed someone pulling into the driveway, and woke her parents. Her father went to the door to see what was going on.
It says there was a man at the door with a gun, and that she and her mother went to hide in a bathtub. Then, "she heard a gunshot and knew her father had just been killed,” it says.
It goes on to reveal that her mother called 911 - the call in which a dispatcher could only hear yelling and which eventually led police to the Closs house where they found Denise and James Closs killed - before Patterson broke down the bathroom door and made her hang up.
He forced Denise Closs to cover Jayme’s mouth with tape, “which her mother did, and then Patterson shot her.”
Patterson told police he believed he was in the Closs home for only four minutes.
Jayme Closs told police she was bound with tape and then brought out to Patterson’s car, where he put her in the trunk. She said she “heard the sirens of two squad cars drive by a very short time after Patterson began driving.”
The document goes on to describe the steps Patterson took to dispose of evidence.
It says he took her to his home, removed the tape and made her remove her clothes, which he put into a bag.
“J.L.C. stated Patterson made a comment about not having evidence," the complaint reads. Police have previously detailed how he shaved his head to minimize the evidence he left behind.
The complaint also describes how, for the next months, Patterson held Closs captive.
It says he would sometimes even have friends and family to his house, and that “Patterson made it clear that nobody was to know she was there or bad things would happen to her."
He would make Closs hide under his bed in his bedroom when people were over, according to the complaint. and that when he did so, “he stacked totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights (like weights for barbells) stacked against them so she could not move them without being able to detect it if she did.”
Patterson himself told investigators “he kept J.L.C. at his house by creating a space under his bed" and boxing her in with plastic totes and weights.
“J.L.C. stated he would also make her stay under the bed when he left the house ... for up to twelve hours at a time with no food, water, or bathroom breaks,” the document states.
Patterson told police Closs “was fearful of him enough that she knew that she was not to leave the bedroom without him.” He told her whenever he would leave the house “he would tell J.L.C. that she better not leave and told her bad things would happen to her if she tried.”
One time, she said, he 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.” She could not remember why he was angry, but “remembers Patterson telling her that if it happened again the punishment would be worse next time.”
Patterson also admitted this. “The defendant stated that, because of his anger outbursts, J.L.C. complied and did as she was told,” the document says.
Finally, last week, she made her escape.
Patterson told her he was leaving the house for five or six hours, and made her go under the bed.
“After Patterson left the house, J.L.C. stated she was able to push the bins and weights away from the bed and crawl out,” the document says. “J.L.C. stated she put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes, walked out of the house and walked towards the road to a woman (Jeanne Nutter) who she saw walking a dog.”
Nutter, who spoke about being approached by Jayme last week, took her to a nearby house and they called 911.
She was reunited with her family on Friday.
The document also reveals that Patterson twice went to the Closs home before Oct. 15 intending to kidnap Jayme. He was scared off by cars in the driveway one time, and by lights in the house another.
Details related to his planning the kidnapping include how he stole license plates from another car to hide his own, how he removed the release “kidnapping” cord from his trunk, how he selected his father’s shotgun because it “was one of the most heavily manufactured or owned shotguns and assumed it would be more difficult to trace” and how he cleaned both the gun and the shells he used to wipe them of fingerprints or DNA evidence.
“The defendant stated he was determined he was going to take J.L.C. that night and was going to kill anyone in the house because he could not leave any eyewitnesses behind,” the document states.
He told police that after two weeks passed, “he basically assumed he had gotten away with killing James and Denise, and kidnapping J.L.C.”
“The defendant stated he never would have been caught if he would have planned everything perfectly,” the document states.
The New York Post published photos of the cabin where Jayme was held on Monday. They show a shabby living area with a couch, refrigerator and old television set. The ceiling is unfinished. Exterior photographs show a lean-to loaded with firewood, a three-car garage and an empty box of adult female diapers in a trash can. A sign over the cabin’s front door reads “Patterson’s Retreat.”
Patterson’s defense attorneys, Charles Glynn and Richard Jones, said they believe Patterson can get a fair trial, but they’re not sure where. The public defenders didn’t reveal many specifics about what they expect from Monday’s court hearing, but they acknowledged the case was “a tragic situation from every perspective.”
“It’s been an emotional time for this community and a difficult time for this community. We don’t take that lightly. But we have a job to do in protecting our client,” Jones said.
Glynn and Jones issued a statement Saturday saying they were relying on the court system to treat Patterson fairly.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he met Jayme for the first time Sunday, and that she had an “awesome” smile on her face. He said she showed him her room at her aunt’s home in Barron.
“It was a moment I’ll never forget,” Fitzgerald said.