LOCAL NEWS

Wisconsin Man Arrested In Teen’s Abduction, Parents’ Deaths

Jan 11, 2019, 2:06 PM
Jake Thomas Patterson - 21 years old. Suspect arrested in Jayme Closs Case.
Photo from Barron Count...
Jake Thomas Patterson - 21 years old. Suspect arrested in Jayme Closs Case. Photo from Barron County Sheriff's Department

BARRON, Wis. (AP) — A 21-year-old man shot a Wisconsin couple to death in a scheme to kidnap their teenage daughter, then held the girl captive for three months in an isolated north woods town before she managed to escape, authorities said Friday.

Jayme Closs, 13, was skinny, disheveled and wearing shoes too big for her when she approached a stranger to tell her story Thursday in the small town of Gordon, where police said Jake Thomas Patterson lived.

Her discovery set off joy and relief 60 miles away in her hometown of Barron, population 3,300, ending an all-out search that gripped the state, with many people fearing the worst the longer she was missing.

“My legs started to shake. It was awesome. The stress, the relief — it was awesome,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a news conference, describing the moment of joy when he learned that Jayme had been found.

Jayme told one of the neighbors in Gordon who helped take her in after her escape that she had walked away from a cabin where she had been held captive.

“She said that this person’s name was Jake Patterson, ‘he killed my parents and took me,'” another one of the neighbors, Kristin Kasinskas, told The Associated Press. “She did not talk about why or how. She said she did not know him.”

Patterson was jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges. It was not immediately known whether the unemployed man had an attorney.

Fitzgerald gave no details on what happened to Jayme during her captivity and why she was seized. He said that he did not know if Jayme had been physically abused but that she was hospitalized overnight for observation and cleared and released after a checkup. Investigators were still interviewing her.

The sheriff said investigators do not believe Patterson knew the girl.

However, Patterson worked for one day in 2016 at the same Jennie-O turkey plant in Barron as Jayme’s parents, Jennie-O Turkey Store President Steve Lykken said. Patterson quit the next day, saying he was moving from the area, Lykken said.

Kasinskas called 911 to report the girl had been found after another neighbor out walking her dog encountered Jayme and brought her to Kasinskas’ house. Minutes later, Patterson was pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy based on a description of his vehicle Jayme provided, authorities said.

Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told the AP that he had been praying for months for the call he received about his granddaughter being found alive.

“I thought, ‘Good for her she escaped,'” he said.

Jayme disappeared without a trace from her family’s home near Barron after someone broke in and killed her parents, James and Denise Closs, on Oct. 15.

Fitzgerald said Jayme was taken against her will. He said investigators believe Patterson killed Jayme’s parents because he wanted to abduct her.

Property records show the cabin’s title passed from Patterson’s father to a credit union in October, eight days after Jayme’s disappearance.

Patterson was a good but quiet student with a “great group of friends,” said Northwood School District Superintendent Jean Serum. Patterson was a member of the Northwood High School quiz bowl team and graduated in 2015, she said.

Kasinskas said she taught Patterson science in middle school, but added: “I don’t really remember a ton about him.”

“He seemed like a quiet kid,” she said. “I don’t recall anything that would have explained this, by any means.”

The woman who first spotted Jayme on Thursday, Jeanne Nutter, said she was walking her dog along a rural road when a disheveled girl called out to her for help, grabbed her and revealed her name.

“I was terrified, but I didn’t want to show her that,” Nutter, a social worker who spent years working in child protection, told the AP. “She just yelled, ‘Please help me! I don’t know where I am! I’m lost!'”

Nutter took her to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas. Jayme was quiet, her emotions “pretty flat,” Peter Kasinskas said.

Jayme told the couple she didn’t know where she was or anything about Gordon, a town of about 644 people in a heavily forested region where logging in the top industry. From what she told them, they believed she was there for most of her disappearance.

After Jayce vanished, detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches. Officials recruited 2,000 volunteers for a huge ground search Oct. 23, but it yielded no clues.

Fitzgerald said in November that he kept similar cases in the back of his mind as he worked to find Jayme, including the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when she was taken from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. Smart was rescued nine months later after witnesses recognized her abductors from an “America’s Most Wanted” episode.

On Friday, Smart posted on her Instagram account that it was a “miracle” Jayme had been found alive. Smart said the girl’s family should be given “space and privacy on their road to finding a new sense of normal and moving forward.”

“It was only a few months ago that we as a community gathered to pray for Jayme’s safe return at Barron High School,” Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright said at a news conference. “God has answered those prayers.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The booking photo for Aaron Michael Zeman, also known as Tadashi Kura Kojima. ( Hall County Departm...
Michael Houck

Layton Amber Alert suspect charged with kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a minor

SALT LAKE CITY — The Arizona man who is suspected of kidnapping a Layton boy has been charged with multiple felonies Tuesday, Aaron Michael Zeman, also known as Tadashi Kura Kojima, 26, was charged by the State of Utah with felony counts of child kidnapping, enticing a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, and dealing […]
17 hours ago
a soccer ball is kicked into the goal net...
Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio

Non-public-school students could more easily play sports under a new bill

A bill working its way through the Utah Legislature could open the door for online, private, charter, and homeschool students to play sports outside of their home district.
17 hours ago
FILE (Utah Highway Patrol)...
Madison Swenson

South Jordan woman killed in head-on crash

A 23-year-old woman has died from her injuries following a head-on crash in Cache County.
17 hours ago
(Iron County Search and Rescue/Facebook)...
Eliza Pace

Location, car found after officials seek public input on a video from a missing man

A car of a missing man was found after hundreds responded to help identify the location of a video of a remote location.
17 hours ago
Terrie Ladwig, 28, who was found in her Concord, California apartment dead on Dec. 2, 1994. (Concor...
Pat Reavy

Utah truck driver arrested in California cold case from 1994

A truck driver in Utah was arrested last week in connection with the Northern California cold case killing of a woman in 1994.
17 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Tamara Vaifanua

Financial tips to prepare for having kids

Having kids can be exciting, but it requires a lot of financial planning. Here are some smart money moves for new and expecting parents.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Wisconsin Man Arrested In Teen’s Abduction, Parents’ Deaths