Suspect in Wisconsin killings, kidnapping due in court

Jake Thomas Patterson is alleged to have killed James and Denise Closs and kidnapped their daughter

A young man suspected of killing a Wisconsin couple, kidnapping their teenage daughter and holding the girl against her will for three months is expected to make his first court appearance Monday, and charging documents could shed light on why he targeted the girl.

Prosecutors are expected to formally charge 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson with two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping before his afternoon court hearing in Barron County Circuit Court.

Investigators believe Patterson broke into James and Denise Closs’ home near Barron on Oct. 15 by blowing the front door open with a shotgun blast. Investigators allege he fatally shot the couple and abducted their 13-year-old daughter, Jayme, who escaped her captor late last week in a rural, heavily wooded area in northwest Wisconsin.

Authorities have said Patterson’s goal was to kidnap Jayme, but it’s unclear how he became aware of the girl, especially because he lived an hour away.

READ MORE: Man struck and killed by pickup after escaping burning home in U.S.

Patterson’s defence 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.

Police collected more than 3,500 tips following Jayme’s disappearance, but no hard leads emerged.

Then on Thursday, a woman walking her dog spotted Jayme along a road near Gordon, a town about an hour’s drive north of Barron. The woman says the girl begged her for help, saying Patterson had been hiding her in a nearby cabin and that she had escaped when he left her alone.

Neighbours called 911, and officers arrested Peterson within minutes. He has no criminal history in Wisconsin.

Investigators say there’s no evidence of any online interactions between him and Jayme. Her family insists they don’t know the man. Her grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told The Associated Press that Jayme told FBI agents she doesn’t know Patterson at all.

READ MORE: China sentences Canadian man to death in drug smuggling case

Charging documents in Wisconsin typically contain at least a partial narrative of what happened at a crime scene as prosecutors try to prove there’s probable cause to support the allegations.

Details of Jayme’s three-month captivity have not been released, and Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald has not said whether Jayme was sexually assaulted. But Patterson’s attorneys have been lauded for taking high-profile cases with a special emphasis on sexually violent people, according to a state public defender office news release from February 2018.

Glynn and Jones issued a statement Saturday saying they were relying on the court system to treat Patterson fairly.

___

For more stories on Jayme’s abduction and her parents’ deaths: https://apnews.com/JaymeCloss

Todd Richmond, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cedar Ave by hospital closed due to sinkhole

The hole is deep, at least 15 to 20 feet, and running water can be heard from it

Interior Health issues warning of increased overdose activity in Williams Lake area

H has released a number of safety tips and how to respond to an overdose should one occur

Williams Lake RCMP seek assistance locating missing youth

Angel Emile has not been seen since Monday, July 7

100 Mile RCMP warn the public about the danger of Police scam calls for seniors

This comes after a local senior was scammed out of $7,000 by scammers impersonating a police officer

ATV riders up to enjoy the 100 Mile House track

‘I’ve got a little hole in my tire from a rock but the track’s in great shape’

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read