- Police said 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson killed Jayme Closs’ parents in order to kidnap her.
- Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald said though it appears Patterson was specifically targeting Closs, there was no indication he knew or had interacted with the family.
- Fitzgerald said Patterson, who was charged with murder and kidnapping, had taken steps to shift his identity before the crime, including a haircut to ensure he wouldn’t leave behind physical evidence.
Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald said though Patterson, who was being held on homicide and kidnapping charges, went to the home with the intention of abducting Closs, there is no indication he knew or had previous contact with the family.
Investigators are still working to determine any connection between Patterson and Closs.
Fitzgerald said Patterson had taken steps to mask his identity in preparation for the crime, including a haircut so he wouldn’t leave behind physical evidence in the family’s home.
“I can tell you that the subject planned his actions and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the general public,” he said.
Beyond appearing to target Closs, Fittzgerald said investigators were still searching for answers.
“I know all of you are searching for the answer why any of this happened,” he said. “Believe me, so are we.”
A lucky escape and rescue
Jayme was reported missing on October 15 after her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found fatally shot in their Barron County, Wisconsin, home.
She was found on Thursday night, on a street in the small town of Gordon, about 70 miles north of Barron County.
Fitzgerald said that Jayme was taken against her will and was held captive for three months until she escaped on Thursday.
Gordon resident Jeanne Nutter was out walking her dog when Closs approached her and asked for help. Nutter brought her to a nearby home, where Kristin and Peter Kasinskas live.
“She said to us that, ‘This person killed my parents and took me,'” Kasinskas told CNN. “She said that this person usually hides her or hides her when others are near, or when he has to leave the household. She did not go into detail about how she got out of the house or anything like that.”
Patterson was not home when Jayme escaped, and investigators believe he was out looking for her when police picked him up.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Jayme was found at 4:43 p.m. on Thursday, and that a suspect was taken into custody 11 minutes later, according to The Associated Press.
Kelly McLaughlin contributed reporting.