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.

Just Posted

South Surrey woman mastering the stuff that matters

KonMari method, developed in Japan, draws on heart connection

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

‘Blues for the Bank’ benefit concert feeds Surrey moms and babies

Chris Thornley and band tune up for annual fundraiser in Guildford

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Dog shot in foot with BB gun during cellphone sale at SkyTrain station

William Ayers, 28, is facing a number of charges after incident in Burnaby

Man, two children sent to hospital after Vancouver carbon monoxide leak

Nine people were evacuated from the home in south Vancouver

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read