connectVideo21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson faces murder, kidnapping charges after recovery of the missing teenager Jayme Closs
The man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and the killing of her parents in October, was not at home when the teen, her escape and “was looking to go to her” when authorities located him, officials said Friday.
The suspect, a 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, of Gordon, drove around in his car when he was arrested, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at a press conference.
The update of the government came a day after they announced that Closs, 13, was found alive after nearly three months to go. They disappeared Oct. 15 after James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, were shot in their home in Barron County, located about 80 km northeast of Minneapolis. Officials determined Closs was in the house when her parents were killed, but then the trail went cold.
Patterson gave up peacefully and was arrested “just up the road from the residence,” Douglas County Sheriff Thomas Dalbec said. Authorities are not looking for additional suspects, Fitzgerald said.
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The research suggests that the defendant did not know that there are family members in the house, nor should he contact with them, but allegedly went there with the purpose of the kidnapping of the teenager, Fitzgerald said.
“At this moment nothing in this case shows that the defendant knew that everyone in the Closs at home, or at any time had contact with someone who is in the Closs family,” Fitzgerald said. “The defendant had specific intentions of kidnapping, Jayme and went to the extreme to prepare to take her.”
Fitzgerald added that while Patterson had a job in a turkey plant for less than two days, more than three years ago: “he had no contact with Jayme’s parents, who also worked at the turkey plant.”
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In addition, the government “does not believe that there is a social media-connection” between Closs and Patterson, and are trying to figure out ‘ how he became aware of Jayme,” Fitzgerald said.
A gun that is consistent with a weapon used during the October crime scene was also located, but the authorities are awaiting the official confirmation from the state crime lab, Fitzgerald said.
“The gun used at the scene on the evening of the incident was a shotgun,” the official said. “The shotgun was also used … to shoot open the door to the Closs at home on the evening of the incident. The door of the Closs house was not pressed.”
The defendant made “great efforts to minimize his forensic footprint at the scene of the crime,” Fitzgerald said, such as the shaving of his head to prevent leaving behind its proof.
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Patterson is by the court on Monday, where he will be formally charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping, said the official.
Fitzgerald reiterated his earlier praise of Closs, as they say, “is the hero in this case, there is no doubt about that.”
On Thursday, Closs was able to escape out of a cab for the mark along a person walking a dog in Gordon and to ask for help. Jeanne Nutter, the woman who first spotted Closs, told The Associated Press “she was terrified”, but wanted “her to a safe place.” She remembered the teenager looked disheveled, dirty and thin. She also noted Closs was wearing shoes too big for her feet.
“They [Closs] just screamed, ‘Please help me, I don’t know where I am. I’m lost,'” Nutter recalled.
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The two went to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas, who called 911.
Since her return to safety, the teenager is reunited with her aunt, and “is as good as the circumstances allow it,” Fitzgerald said.
Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce and The Associated Press contributed to this report.