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Police: Jake Patterson ‘shaved head and changed physical appearance’ to avoid capture in Jayme Closs kidnapping

Barron County authorities shared additional details on Friday afternoon in connection with the disappearance of 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, Jayme Closs, who was found alive in Gordon on Thursday.

According to Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, the man accused of abducting Jayme and killing her parents was identified earlier today as 21-year-old Jake Patterson, of Gordon. Fitzgerald reiterated during the Friday afternoon press conference that there is no evidence to suggest the suspect ever met Jayme or her parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46. Yet, for unclear reasons, he targeted Jayme.

Fitzgerald said Patterson worked at the Jennie-O plant in Barron for a brief period a few years ago. It’s the same plant Jayme’s parents worked at, but there isn’t any information to suggest that the suspect knew James or Denise. The suspect grew up and went to high school in Gordon, according to Fitzgerald.

Patterson, who’s unemployed, is accused of using a shotgun during the early morning hours of October 15 to shoot down the door of the family’s home, where he shot James and Denise to death and abducted Jayme.

The sheriff stated that authorities  “recovered a gun consistent with what was used” at the Closs home. He also said Patterson went to great lengths to avoid detection, including a “shaved head and changed physical appearance.”

Authorities said they are not looking for any other suspects at this time. No one else was in the suspect’s home when police searched it on Thursday. He was captured in his car, just down the road from his residence in Gordon. Fitzgerald said Patterson was not at home when Jayme escaped.

The FBI and DCI are currently searching Patterson’s home for evidence and are expected to be there for the next several hours. Meanwhile, the suspect remains behind bars with his first court appearance scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

Jayme’s aunt and legal guardian Jennifer Smith also released the first photo of Jayme since she was rescued.

Nothing makes me happier right now than seeing this photo. Seeing this reunion, seeing that smile! We love you…

Posted by Healing for Jayme Closs on Friday, January 11, 2019

 

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional becomes available.

Jake Patterson [Police Handout]

Jayme is Discovered

On Thursday at around 4:45 p.m., a woman was walking a dog in a housing development just outside of Gordon, when a girl with matted hair and oversized shoes approached her for help. The woman, Jeanne Nutter, ran to a house in another neighborhood, hoping to get as far away from the home Jayme disappeared from before asking for help.

They arrived at the home of teacher Kristin Kasinskas and her husband, Peter, who live off of  S. Eau Claire Acres Circle with their children.

“I was terrified, but I didn’t want to show her that,” Nutter said, according to Macon Telegraph. “She just yelled please help me I don’t know where I am. I’m lost. My only thought was to get her to a safe place.”

The neighbor, frantic, explained that the girl was likely Jayme, a 13-year-old who vanished after her parents were shot to death inside their Barron home.

“This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” the neighbor declared.

Peter Kasinskas described Jayme’s demeanor as “flat,” according to the outlet, while the neighbor, who wanted to remain unnamed, explained Jayme walked up to her for assistance. While inside Kasinskas home, Jayme was offered food and drink but declined. The girl explained she had no idea where she was or anything about the area, but she thought she may have been there most the time she’s been missing.

“I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” Peter Kasinskas told the outlet. “It was scary and awesome at the same time. My jaw just went to the floor.”

Authorities arrived and blocked area off surrounding to a cabin off of the 14100 block of S. Eau Claire Acres Circle, then apprehended Patterson. Jayme was subsequently taken into police custody, then taken to the hospital, where according to Paul Blume with Fox9, she stayed overnight for observation.

A “Welcome Home Jayme” message is seen on a restaurant sign Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Barron, Wis. Closs, who went missing from her home in Barron in October after her parents were found dead, was found alive Thursday afternoon, Jan. 10 in the small town of Gordon, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)

Jayme’s Disappearance

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jayme disappeared from her Barron home after two adults, identified as her parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, were found dead a little after 1 a.m. on October 15. Both victims were shot to death. According to Fitzgerald, a 911 call from the home had noises in the background, but no one specifically spoke to the dispatcher.

The 911 dispatch log released on October 18 indicated the call to 911 came from the cellphone of Denise at close to 1 a.m. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald indicated no one could make out the words of the caller.

“It was on a cell phone and there was no comment made — no one communicated with the dispatcher,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t know if the word ‘help’ was said, but there was some sort of disturbance going on, which is why officers were sent to the house.”

According to the call log, the 911 dispatcher called the cell phone number back numerous times but didn’t receive an answer. Within four minutes from the time the initial call was made, officers arrived at the home, but Jayme was already gone.

Three different officers were dispatched to the family’s home, around 45 miles northwest of Eau Claire.

The first officer arrived at the family’s Barron home by 1 a.m., and 56-year-old James Closs was found by the front door. At 1:03 a.m., the officer noted that a male was down and “multiple rounds” had been spent. The incident was initially thought to be a suicide before the officer knew Denise had also been shot. At 1:06 a.m., the officer stated that the front door had apparently been kicked in.

“…ADVISED THE DOOR HAS BEEN KICKED IN. ADVISED THAT THE MALE WHO IS DOWN HAD ANSWERED THE DOOR. UNKNOWN IF ANYONE IS MISSING.” (1:06 a.m.)

At 1:11 a.m., an officer reported that both James and Denise “were down” and unresponsive. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald later confirmed that both victims had been shot and killed. Their deaths were listed as homicides.

Over two hours later, at 3:57 a.m., officers entered Jayme into the system as a “missing juvenile.” They combed the house and area thoroughly for the teen first, noting that they couldn’t find her nor any clues to her whereabouts. At  5:13 am, dispatchers sent out a “Missing Endangered Child” notification, indicating Jayme was likely abducted from the residence. Authorities later said she was likely taken by gunpoint.

Authorities previously stated they didn’t have a description of a suspect. There was nothing amiss in her home or school life on surface, and family and friends said Jayme did not have a boyfriend. Investigators reportedly searched her social media accounts and didn’t find anything unusual.

Read 911 transcript here

PRESS CONFERENCE: Jayme Closs update

WATCH LIVE: 4 p.m. update from Barron Co. Sheriff on the Jayme Closs case.http://bit.ly/2Fp6dSB

Posted by KCEN TV on Friday, January 11, 2019

 

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[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs/Handout]