A young man suspected of killing a Wisconsin couple, kidnapping their teenage daughter and holding her captive for three months said he took the girl after seeing her board a school bus one day and kept her under his bed, prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint.
Jake Thomas Patterson told police while allegedly confessing to killing James and Denise Closs and kidnapping their 13-year-old daughter Jayme Closs that he was driving to work at the Saputo Cheese Factory when he stopped behind a school bus on U.S. Hwy. 8 and saw Jayme Closs boarding her school bus.
Patterson "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 criminal complaint read. "The defendant stated, where he saw [Closs], he knew that was the girl he was going to take."
The charging documents are the first to shed light on why he targeted the teen girl.
Patterson made his first court appearance Monday afternoon. Prosecutors formally charged the 21-year-old with two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping before his afternoon court hearing in Barron County Circuit Court. His bail was set at $5 million.
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. She escaped her captor late last week in a rural, heavily wooded area in northwest Wisconsin.
Patterson told police he put "quite a bit of thought into the details" of how he would abduct Closs, according to the complaint, stealing license plates from another vehicle and modifying his Ford Taurus, disconnecting the dome light and trunk light and removing "what he described as the glow in the dark kidnapping cord" from inside the trunk.
Patterson's defense 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."
Glynn and Jones issued a statement Saturday saying they were relying on the court system to treat Patterson fairly.
"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.
The complaint detailing Closs' three-month captivity states Patterson hid Closs from friends and relatives at his home by barricading her under his bed with totes and laundry bins filled with weights. He would play loud music to keep her from being heard and would tell her "nobody was to know she was there or bad things would happen to her," the complaint states.
Closs was kept under the bed for as many as 12 hours at a time without food, water or bathroom breaks, officials alleged.
Closs told police that Patterson, on at least one occassion, "got mad" and hit her "really hard" on her back with something she described as a handle for an item used to clean blinds.
The New York Post published photos of the cabin on Monday. They show a shabby living area with a couch, refrigerator and old television set. The ceiling is unfinished. Exterior photographs show a lean-to loaded with firewood, a three-car garage and an empty box of adult female diapers in a trash can. A sign over the cabin's front door reads "Patterson's Retreat."
Closs escaped after Patterson told her "he was going to be gone for five or six hours," according to the complaint. She told police she was able to push the bins and weights away from the bed and crawl out before putting on a pair of Patterson's shoes and fleeing the house.
Closs was finally found Thursday, when a woman walking her dog spotted the teen 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.
Neighbors called 911, and officers arrested Patterson within minutes. He has no criminal history in Wisconsin.
When police later stopped his vehicle, Patterson told authorities he knew why he was being stopped and said, "I did it," the complaint states.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he met Jayme for the first time Sunday, and that she had an "awesome" smile on her face. He said she showed him her room at her aunt's home in Barron.
"It was a moment I'll never forget," Fitzgerald said.