Skip to Content

Criminal Complaint: Patterson chose Jayme after spotting her get on school bus, made two other attempts to kidnap her

Barron County (WQOW) – We are learning new details about the man now charged with kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents James and Denise Closs.

On Monday, formal charges were filed against Jake Patterson, 21.

He is charged with two counts of 1st degree intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary.

According to the graphic criminal complaint, Patterson shot and killed both James and Denise in the head. The complaint says when Patterson pulled into the driveway, James went to the window to see what was going on. Patterson told him to get on the ground. When he did not, Patterson shot him dead.

Patterson then shot his way through the door and into the home. He walked around the home and found the bathroom door shut, locked and barricaded. He made his way into that room, yanked the shower curtain off the wall and found Denise and Jayme hiding in the bathroom. Denise was holding Jayme in a bear hug, according to the complaint.

Jayme and Denise called 911 when James got shot. Patterson told Jayme and Denise to hang up the phone. He then instructed Denise to put tape over Jayme’s mouth. Denise did that and then he shot her.

Patterson taped Jayme’s hands and ankles together and dragged her out of the house. He then placed her in his trunk and drove to his home in Gordon.

When they arrived at the home in Gordon, Patterson told Jayme to take off her clothes and he took them. He said he did that because he didn’t want any evidence.

In an interview with authorities, Jayme said Patterson made her hide under his bed anytime someone would come over to his house.

Around Christmas, he told authorities he went to his grandparent’s home in Superior and made Jayme stay under the bed for roughly 12 hours. He said he told her if she had to go to the bathroom she better hold it.

On January 10, Closs said Patterson left the house and told her he expected to be gone for five or six hours. She said she was able to push bins and weights away from the bed and was able to escape. She said she put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes and walked out of the house where she found Jeanne Nutter who helped her to safety.

Patterson confessed to authorities he killed James and Denise and kidnapped Jayme.

He said he used to work at Saputo Cheese Factory south of Almena. He only worked there two days. On his drive to the cheese factory on one of the two mornings, he said he stopped behind a school bus on Highway 8 where he watched Jayme get on the bus. He said he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house. He said when he saw Jayme, he knew she was the girl he was going to take.

He also told authorities he drove to the Closs home two other times with plans to kidnap Jayme – one time a week before he allegedly did it and another time a week-and-a-half before. He said there were too many cars in the driveway and it scared him off the first time. The second time, he could see lights on and someone walking through the home.

He said on the night of the abduction and murders, he stole license plates off of a random car because he did not want his own plates to be spotted.

Before leaving the home, he said he took his father’s 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun. He said he picked that gun because he had done research and knew the Mossberg was hard to trace. He said it would be a better weapon to kill someone than a rifle.

He told authorities he shaved his face and head and showered before leaving his house. He said he did not want to leave any hair or DNA behind. He said he was going to take Jayme that night and was going to kill anyone in the house because he could not leave any eyewitnesses behind. He said he was only at the Closs home for about four minutes total.

After allegedly killing James and Denise and abducting Jayme, Patterson said he had to pull over to allow squad cars to pass him – just 20 seconds after leaving the home with Jayme.

Once at the home in Gordon, Patterson said he cut off the tape and knew Jayme was very scared and crying.

He said he created a space under his bed for Jayme to stay. He said when he would leave the house he would take plastic totes and slide them up against the bed. He said then he put some barbell weights up against the totes to make it more difficult for Jayme to escape.

Patterson said there were at least two occasions when he thought Jayme tried to get out from under the bed. He said he struck a wall and screamed a lot to the point where he knew she was scared and better not try that again.

Patterson said he initially kept the loaded shotgun near the door outside of his room in case the police came.

On the day he was arrested, he said he told Jayme he was leaving for a few hours. He said he went to Haugen and when he got back Jayme was not under his bed. He said he got into his car and went to look for her. He said after a few minutes he returned to his house and was met by police. It was at that point he knew he was caught, he told police.

Patterson said he basically assumed he had gotten away with killing James and Denise and kidnapping Jayme because he had not been caught for the first two weeks. He said he learned who he had killed by seeing their names on news programs and social media. Patterson said he would have never been caught if he would have planned everything perfectly.

Related: Jayme Comes Home Page

Related: Lawyers say Patterson should be treated fair


Clint Berge

Clint Berge is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager for Eau Claire’s Own WQOW News 18.
Report any website issues to him at

Skip to content