Madison, WI – The man who kidnapped 13-year-old Jayme Closs randomly spotted her getting on a school bus one day, and decided she was the girl he was going to abduct.
The criminal complaint charging 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson with kidnapping Jayme and murdering both of her parents revealed details about how he targeted the young girl, what happened the night she was taken from her home, and in the 88 days that ensued, WMTV reported.
Patterson told detectives that he was driving to work at a cheese factory near Almena when he stopped behind a school bus and spotted Jayme, according to the complaint.
The complaint said that when he first saw her, “he knew that was the girl he was going to take,” WMTV reported.
Patterson also told investigators that he had gone to the Closs home twice before Oct. 15, 2018 to kidnap Jayme, but both times there were too many people around, according to the complaint.
Patterson told police that he stopped to steal license plates on his way to Jayme’s house and disabled his trunk light and "what he described as a glow-in-the-dark kidnapping cord... so that no one could pull the trunk release once inside,” the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.
He had shaved his head and other facial hair in anticipation of the abduction, and wore two pairs of gloves, so he would not leave DNA at the scene of his crime, the complaint said.
Jayme told police that she was woken up that night by her dog barking.
She saw a vehicle coming up the driveway and woke up her parents, James and Denise Closs, to tell them. And then her father went to the door to see who it was.
They saw a man standing at the door with a gun, according to the complaint.
Patterson blew open the front door of the Closs home with a shotgun, WMTV reported.
Jayme told investigators that she and her mother hid in the bathroom, and that they heard a gunshot, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.
Her mom used her cell phone to call 911 but that was when Patterson broke down the bathroom door, according to the criminal complaint.
He told Denise Closs to hang up the phone, and then made her put duct tape over her daughter’s mouth.
And then he shot Denise.
Patterson taped Jayme’s hands and ankles together and dragged her out to his car, and put her in the trunk.
The criminal complaint said that Patterson told detectives that he didn’t even know Jayme’s name when he took her.
He "only learned her name after the abduction and when he got back to his house," the complaint said. Patterson learned the details about his victims by watching the news about his crimes.
Police responded to the anonymous 911 call from the Closs home and arrived to find James and Denise dead, and Jayme missing, according to WJW.
Jayme told investigators that she could hear police sirens from inside the trunk as Patterson was driving away from her house, according to the criminal complaint.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said from the start of the investigation that Jayme was not a suspect in her parents’ murders, and that investigators did not believe that she ran away.
"I'm telling you, Jayme is missing and endangered," he told reporters at the time, according to WJW.
Patterson held the thirteen-year-old girl in an unfinished, ramshackle cabin in Gordon, a rural community of about 30 cabins located roughly an hour away from the Closs home.
The New York Post released photos taken of the cabin where Patterson held Jayme captive for months.
The yard was littered with trash and police found a discarded female adult diaper box.
Jayme told investigators that Patterson kept her underneath a bed for 12 hours at a time, and surrounded the bed with tubs and weights to keep her underneath.
She was held for 88 days before she managed to escape and sought out help from a passing dog walker.
On the day of her escape, Patterson told Jayme that he was going to be away for a few hours so she pushed the bins and weights away from the bed and crawled out.
Jayme put on a pair of her captor’s tennis shoes and left the house, effecting her escape.
Shortly thereafter, at approximately 4:43 p.m. on Thursday, a woman was out walking her dog when a filthy girl with matted hair and shoes too big for her feet approached her, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“[She] came up to me and said she wanted help,” Jeanne Nutter recounted.
"I was terrified, but I didn't want to show her that," said Nutter, a social worker who previously worked in child protection, according to the Associated Press. "She just yelled please help me I don't know where I am. I'm lost."
Nutter said she had seen photos of Jayme and knew she was missing, and that she was fairly certain that the girl in the fliers and posters was the same girl standing before her, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Jayme confirmed her identity, and the two immediately headed for a nearby residence and began pounding on the door.
"My only thought was to get her to a safe place," Nutter said, according to The Associated Press.
"This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!" Nutter yelled to the people inside.
The homeowner, Peter Kasinskas, said he was in disbelief when he opened the door.
He and his wife, Kristin, ushered Jayme and the woman into their home and tried to make her comfortable while they waited for police to arrive, they said.
Peter stood by the door with his gun at the ready in case Patterson showed up looking for Jayme.
Patterson was pulled over by Douglas County deputies and arrested later the same night, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.
"I know what this is about. I did it,” he told the deputies who stopped him.
On Monday, Patterson was charged with Jayme’s kidnapping, the first-degree murders of both of her parents, and armed burglary for blasting open the front door with his shotgun, according to WMTV.