Thirteen year old Jayme went missing from her home in Barron County on Monday October 15th, 2018 after an unknown assailant shot through the door of her house and killed her parents.
Police speculated that someone with a connection to Jayme’s parents may have killed them and were admittedly unsure about what became of their teenage daughter that night. They, along with volunteers and locals, searched extensively for the missing girl to no avail.
Those following the case online came up with their own theories; some suggested that Jayme had ran off with a boyfriend, some said she was involved in the double homicide and some even commented under articles that she was “probably dead”. Nobody could imagine that the 13 year old would walk out of the woods in the small town of Gordon, Wisconsin having escaped the home of a man who had meticulously planned her kidnapping and killed her parents after seeing her just once, by chance.
On January 10th, 2019, at around 4:10PM, a dog walker was approached by a disheveled girl who desperately pleaded for her help- “I’m Jayme Closs. He killed my parents. I want to go home, help me!” she told Jeanne Nutter. Nutter, who was a social worker involved with CPS for over 30 years jumped straight into action. She didn’t have her cell phone with her and didn’t want to take Jayme back to her cabin, as she believed it was too close to the kidnapper’s property, so she took the girl to the home of a local school teacher where she called 911 from a landline.
The 13 year old did not know where she was, but identified her captor as a 21 year old man named Jake Thomas Patterson and told her rescuers that he was scheduled to return home by midnight.
Jayme was under dressed for how cold it was, wearing only a pair of black leggings, a sweatshirt and a pair of Patterson’s oversized New Balance tennis shoes which she had put on the wrong feet. Patterson lived just two or three houses away from Jeanne Nutter on 14166 S. Eau Claire Acres Circle. He kept to himself and Nutter admitted to the dispatcher that although she had been visiting her Cabin for around 4 years she had never seen the man. Locals were also unable to offer up any information about him. Nutter was worried that Patterson would return sooner than expected and followed instructions from the 911 operator to lock all windows and doors while they waited for deputies to arrive.
When asked about the condition of Jayme Closs she described the teen as “shocked and cold” and confirmed that they may need medical assistance.
Jayme explained that on the night of the home invasion Patterson had shot through the door of her home and killed her father. He then checked each room in the house before discovering Jayme and her mother in the bathroom. He ordered her mother, Denise, to duct tape Jayme's wrists and ankles before killing her. He then dragged Jayme out of the house, almost slipping over in the ever growing pool of her father’s blood on the way out. She was dragged to Patterson’s vehicle and thrown into the trunk where she realized he had removed both the light and emergency escape cord. Patterson sped away from the scene of the crime and although it only took officers under 5 minutes to respond, he managed to escape with Jayme in the trunk, even passing the responding police vehicles on the way.
Jayme described the journey possibly taking around 2 hours.
Patterson was arrested soon after Jayme's brave escape. An officer stopped him on account of a busted taillight and he raised both hands in surrender, identified himself and stated that he “did it”. (The full criminal complaint can be read here in complete detail)
When interviewed by detectives he held nothing back. He explained that he had got a job at Saputo Cheese factory on 1052 6th St, Almena which he worked for 3 days before quitting. Patterson had a long history of briefly working short lived jobs before suddenly quitting so this wasn’t unusual for him. He explained that he was driving home one night after a shift when he got stuck behind a school bus in traffic. He saw Jayme get off the bus and told officers it was at that moment he “knew that was the girl he had to take.”
After seeing the 13 year old once, by pure chance, he began to meticulously plan her abduction and confessed that he had actually attempted to take her on two separate occasions before his successful third attempt, but backed out because there were too many eye witnesses and passing traffic at the time.
Investigators discovered that the only connection Jake Patterson had to Jayme’s parents was not much of a connection at all. He had worked at the same turkey processing plant as them three years before committing the crime, however only lasted one day in the job before quitting and most likely never met his future victims.
He admitted to shaving his face and head to make sure he didn’t leave behind any hairs at the crime scene, using stolen plates on his vehicle, choosing a 12 gauge Mossberg pump action shotgun as the murder weapon as it would likely give police trouble identifying when they found the shell casings, buying a balaclava to conceal his face, ripping the emergency cord from the trunk of his car so his victim couldn’t escape during transport and extinguishing all interior lights in the vehicle to avoid detection. He had heavily premeditated the crime and even told police that he had cleaned down the shotgun he used to kill Jayme’s parents and reloaded it with the intention of using it on them if they came to his cabin in search of the teenager. He told them that nothing and no one would stand in his way of abducting Jayme and that he would have done whatever it took.
Patternson took Jayme to the cabin he lived in, in an isolated area with few residents in Gordon, WI, and locked her in his room. He used intimidation and threats of violence to get a hold over her. When people came over he said he would play loud music so she couldn’t alert anyone and when he had to leave the house he would barricade her under his bed with various boxes, baskets and weights so she couldn’t escape. He would leave her for hours without food, water and access to the bathroom and threatened her on multiple occasions.
Jayme made a break from it on January 10th and saved her own life. She managed to get out from under the bed, despite the heavy weights he had loaded it with, and grabbed a pair of his old New Balance shoes so she could run through the snow and find help.
Not much else is known of Jake Thomas Patterson. He was described as a quiet person by his school friends and lived alone in the cabin. He had at one point trained to be in the Marines, but wasn’t able to complete his training. His parents separated years ago and locals couldn’t offer up much information about the elusive man who lived an isolated existence in the small town of Gordon.
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