Days after the missing 13-year-old girl showed up nearly three months after her disappearance and her parents’ murders, relatives of Jayme Closs say they are struggling to process details about the gruesome double homicide.
According to People, Jodie Arnold said she “was not prepared” to hear the circumstances surrounding the shooting deaths of her cousin Denise Closs and her husband, James.
As CrimeOnline has previously reported, police have identified 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson as the suspect in the deaths and Jayme Closs’ kidnapping.
He is facing criminal charges including two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of armed burglary, and one count of kidnapping.
Arnold expressed dismay at learning that the October 15 shooting was more violent than she initially realized. Specifically, she was upset with a passage in court documents indicating that Denise was awake when she heard the gunshot that killed her 56-year-old husband.
Jayme Closs also heard the fatal shot, according to a complaint, and the suspect allegedly instructed Denise to put tape on her daughter’s mouth before he fired the shot that killed the 46-year-old victim. Denise reportedly spent her final moments alive draping her body over her daughter in a bathtub in an attempt to protect the teen.
The woman’s cousin said she was “heartbroken” to imagine the final thoughts of her niece in that moment.
“I had been hoping it had happened so fast that it wasn’t time for her to understand,” Arnold said.
The horrific incident also served to teach her the painful lesson that sometimes a parent’s sacrifice isn’t enough to protect children.
“Yes, I will die for my kids, but then you realize that doesn’t mean my kids are going to be OK,” Arnold added.
[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs, Jake Patterson/Handout]