New details continue to emerge about the Wisconsin man accused of abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents inside their Barron home.
Star Tribune reports that friends, neighbors, and old classmates are speaking out about Jake Thomas Patterson. Patterson, 21, is behind bars after authorities arrested him Thursday, shortly after Jayme reportedly escaped from his Gordon cabin and ran for help. Jayme had been missing for 88 days.
Several neighbors told the outlet they had no idea Patterson was living in the remote cabin he grew up in during the time of Jayme’s disappearance. A bartender at a roadhouse in the small community didn’t know who Patterson was and a clerk at the only convenience store in town didn’t recognize him.
However, one neighbor, Patricia Osborne, remembered both the suspect and his brother, Erik Patterson. Osborne told the outlet that although she didn’t know a lot of details, she heard a few disturbing things that reportedly went on while the brothers grew up.
“They’ve stolen stuff before. They’ve been in foster care. And the dad I guess, I don’t know. I’ve met him and talked to him when I walked through the neighborhood, but that’s about all I know.”
While Patterson didn’t have a previous criminal record himself, court records indicate that his brother, Erik, was convicted of sexual assault in 2012, when he was 18.
A former classmate told the outlet Patterson was always quiet and had little friends.
“[He] “stuck to himself, at home and at school. … He was nice. And not dumb either. He just was quiet, too quiet, which explains why he didn’t have friends.”
Patterson’s middle school science teacher, Kristin Kasinskas, who also happened to be the person that called 911 on Jayme’s behalf, said she remembered Patterson, but not a lot about him.
“When [Jayme] said the name, I said, ‘I know him — I’ve had that student.’ He was a nice kid. Quiet kid. Very smart. He didn’t speak out in class.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said during a Friday press conference that that there is no evidence to suggest Patterson ever met Jayme or her parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46. Yet, for unclear reasons, he targeted Jayme.
Fitzgerald also said Patterson worked at the Jennie-O plant in Barron for one day 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.
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.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, Jayme returned home to Barron, where she’ll live with her aunt, Jennifer Smith.
Check back with CrimeOnline for additional details.
[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs, Handout/Jake Patterson, Police Handout]