Jayme Closs’ accused kidnapper began his plot to abduct the 13-year-old girl from her Wisconsin home after randomly seeing her get on a school bus one day, a moment when he said “he knew that was the girl he was going to take,” according to a chilling criminal complaint revealed Monday.
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, told authorities he spotted Closs for the first time after he stopped behind a school bus on Highway 8 while he was driving to work at the Saputo Cheese Factory, where he worked for only two days. He didn’t provide a specific reason why Closs was his selected target and the complaint doesn't provide a date for the chance encounter. Soon after, however, Patterson said he purchased a mask to use in the abduction.
“The defendant stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house. The defendant stated, when he saw [Jayme Closs], he knew that was the girl he was going to take,” the complaint stated.
Patterson was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping and armed burglary after police captured the 21-year-old following Jayme's escape from the Gordon, Wisconsin house. He appeared in court for the first time Monday and his bail was set at $5 million cash.
The alleged kidnapper detailed his plans to abduct the teen, despite knowing nothing about Jayme or the Closs family prior to the incident, the complaint said. Patterson told cops he had never contacted Jayme on any social media sites and only learned her name and her parents' names from news reports after he had allegedly imprisoned her in his northern Wisconsin cabin.
“Detective Nelson reports the defendant confessed to killing James and Denise Closs, and kidnapping [Jayme],” the complaint stated.
According to the criminal complaint, Patterson visited the Closs home two times before the fatal Oct. 15 shooting, but was scared off by lights and “people walking around the house.”
He said he “put quite a bit of thought” into the kidnapping to avoid getting caught, including stealing license plates and shaving his head so he wouldn’t leave DNA evidence at the home.
Jayme told detectives that on the night of the kidnapping, she was asleep in her bedroom when her dog began barking. She woke her parents up and her father went downstairs to find Patterson, dressed entirely in black, armed with a gun. Jayme said she and her mother went to hide in the bathroom.
“[Jayme] stated she heard a gunshot and knew her father had just been killed,” the complaint stated.
Her mother called 911 — which authorities previously detailed — but hung up when Patterson found them hiding.
“Patterson told her mother to put tape over [Jayme’s] mouth, which her mother did, and then Patterson shot her mother” while they were both in the bathtub, according to the complaint.
Jayme said Patterson put her in his car's trunk and drove away. As they left the scene, she said she heard the sirens of police cars.
While held captive at Patterson's home, Jayme said he left multiple times to attend Christmas festivities, and other times had friends or relatives over. On these occasions, he would make her get under a bed and trap her in the location by placing heavy weights on various household items. On Jan. 10, he told Jayme he was going to be gone for 5-6 hours. It was then she made a break for it.
“[Jayme] stated she was able to push the bins and weights away from the bed and crawl out. [Jayme] stated she put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes, walked out of the house, and walked toward the road to a woman,” the complaint stated.
The teen approached Jeanne Nutter, a retired child protective services worker who was walking her dog at the time. Nutter brought Jayme to a neighbor’s house and called the police, who decided to take Jayme to a secure location until Patterson was caught. While en route, the police officer transporting Jayme saw a red car that matched the description of Patterson's vehicle. Jayme said she wasn't sure if that was the car, however, the officer alerted other cops to the vehicle anyway.
Soon after, a different police officer made a traffic stop on the vehicle, which Patterson was driving. It's believed Patterson may have been out searching for Closs.
He was taken into custody without incident.