Complaint: Patterson Targetted Closs after Seeing Her Get Off Bus

Updated: January 14, 2019 05:46 PM

Prosecutors allege that Jake T. Patterson decided to kidnap Jayme Closs after seeing her get on a school bus. Several weeks later, he allegedly broke into her home, killed her parents, and abducted the girl.


A criminal complaint filed Monday formally charges the 21-year-old Gordon man with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.  The complaint says Patterson told investigators that he had seen Closs get onto a school bus one day on his way to work and decided at that time that "he knew that was the girl he was going to take."

Patterson allegedly told investigators that he drove to the Closs home in Barron on two prior occasions but didn't go through with his plans because of cars in the driveway and lights on in the house.  He allegedly said that he planned to kill anyone in the house because he could not leave any witnesses behind.

The complaint alleges that Patterson told investigators that "he put quite a bit of thought" into the abduction details. He allegedly put stolen license plates on his car, removed or disconnected the dome and trunk lights, and removed a safety cord from that allows the trunk to be opened from the inside.

Prosecutors say Patterson also said that he wiped down the shotgun shells so that there would be no DNA or fingerprints on them.  He then shaved his face and head and showered before leaving his house in an effort to avoid leaving any DNA at the scene.

According to the complaint, Closs told investigators that early on Oct. 15 she was asleep in her bedroom when her dog started barking and she got up to investigate, seeing someone driving up their driveway.  She went to her parents' room and woke them up.

Closs said there was a man at the door with a gun and she and her mother hid in the bathroom with the door closed. Patterson allegedly told investigators that he pounded on the front door, saw James Closs through the glass, and fired a single shot at his head after Closs asked if he was a police officer.

Jayme Closs said she heard a gunshot and knew her father had been killed, and that her mother used her cell phone to call 911.  Patterson allegedly said that he broke down the bathroom door, ripped down the shower curtain, and found Denise Closs holding her daughter in a bear hug in the bathtub.

Patterson then allegedly forced Denise Closs to put tape over Jayme's mouth, then put more tape on the girl's hands and legs, and shot Denise once in the head.

Prosecutors say Patterson used a 12-gauge pump shotgun owned by his father, allegedly choosing that type of gun because he thought it would be difficult to trace.

Closs said Patterson then put her in his trunk.  She said she could hear police car sirens while the car drove away.  She believes she was in the trunk for about two hours before they arrived at the house where she was held.

Closs said Patterson ordered her to hide under his bed when people were visiting and that he said "bad things" would happen if people found out she was there.  She said Patterson also made her stay under the bed when he was gone, which sometimes lasted more than twelve hours, and piled things around the bed to keep her in.

The complaint alleges that on one occsasion, Patterson struck Closs on the back with some type of handle, but does not mention any other physical abuse.

On Jan. 10, Closs made her way out and found help.  About an hour later, a Douglas County officer pulled Patterson over for a broken light.

Patterson allegedly told the officer that he knew what it was about and "I did it."  He allegedly confessed during an interview with investigators.

The complaint says Patterson did not know Closs or her family and only learned of their names through news programs and social media. He allegedly said he never would have been caught if he had planned everything perfectly.

Bail was set at $5 million dollars. And his next court appearance is February 6th.

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