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Jake Patterson charged with burglary, homicide in kidnapping of Jayme Closs

Jan. 14 (UPI) — A 21-year-old man was charged Monday with breaking into the home of a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl and killing her parents in order to kidnap her.

Jake Thomas Patterson appeared in court by video feed on Monday, where he was charged with armed burglary and two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for killing Jayme Closs’ parents, James M. Closs, 56, and Denise J. Closs, 46, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.

If convicted, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.

Patterson’s bail was set at $5 million and a judge barred him having any contact with either Jayme Closs or the neighbors who helped her escape, and from possessing firearms.

No further charges are expected out of Barron County, but more charges could be filed out of Douglas County where Jayme Closs was found.

Patterson didn’t enter a plea Monday and no plea agreements have been discussed.

A criminal complaint filed Monday said that after spotting Jayme Closs board the school bus, Patterson shot open her family’s door with a 12-gauge shotgun, then shot her parents to death before taking the teen, the complaint said.

Patterson kept Jayme Closs under a bed for hours at a time while he was away from home, the complaint said. Said she was able to push away bins and weights keeping her under the bed to make her escape Thursday, after 88 days in captivity.

He allegedly confessed to police the evening of Jayme Closs’ escape when Douglas County sheriff’s deputies pulled him over. He also admitted he killed her parents, James Closs and Denise Closs.

“I know what this is about,” Patterson said. “I did it.”

The complaint said Patterson “had no idea who [Jayme Closs] was, nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house.”

When he saw her, though, “he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”

After she was released from the hospital, Jayme Closs reunited with nearly a dozen family members. Family members say she’s in good spirits and posted a photo of her smiling with a dog.

“She smiles, she laughs, she talks. Not a lot you know, not a lot,” aunt Suzi Allard said. “She has a lot in her little brain. A lot to process. When she’s ready to talk she will. But we haven’t asked her anything yet.”

“It was so good to just hug her. How wonderful that she was back and I could hug her again,” her grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told NBC News.

Authorities said Patterson took steps to avoid being caught, including shaving his head so he wouldn’t leave a DNA profile at the scene.

Her family said Jayme will soon return to school.


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