CHICAGO (CBS) — The man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents will make his first court appearance Monday afternoon.
Police have said 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson held Jayme hostage at a cabin in Gordon, Wisconsin, about 70 miles away from her home in Barron. Investigators believe he used a shotgun to blast open the door to the Closs family home, killed Jayme’s parents – James 56, and Denise, 46 – and kidnapped Jayme.
Police have not said if or how Patterson knew Jayme, but Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said it didn’t appear there had been any contact between them on social media, and investigators are still trying to determine how he became aware of her.
Jayme was found alive Thursday afternoon, three months after she was abducted. A woman walking her dog spotted Jayme, who was begging for help, and took the teenager to a neighbor’s home to call 911.
Patterson was arrested a few minutes after Jayme was found, based on her description of his car.
Investigators have said Jayme escaped the cabin while Patterson was not there, and he might have been searching for her when he was arrested. However, police have not provided any details of Jayme’s three months in captivity.
Patterson will make his first court appearance Monday at 3:30 p.m. Police and prosecutors have said they expect to formally charge him with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.
Investigators have said Patterson planned the abduction, and took steps to conceal his identity from authorities – such as cutting off his hair so he wouldn’t leave trace evidence. He also left no fingerprints at the scene.
Public Defenders Richard Jones and Charles Glynn didn’t share many specifics about their plans for Patterson’s first court appearance, but said they sympathize with the community.
“This is a tragic situation from every perspective. A lot of heavy hearts, a lot of thoughts and prayers going around,” Glynn said. “You’ve seen how people have come together the last few months, there’s going to be a whole lot of healing that needs to go on in this community from every perspective, and we have all the faith in the world that will take place.”
Patterson’s attorneys said they met with Patterson Sunday night but did not say if their client has confessed to Jayme’s kidnapping or the killing of her parents. They said they have faith in the judicial system and expect to move forward with a fair trial.
Police have said Patterson had no criminal record in Wisconsin, and was unemployed, with no obvious links to Jayme or her parents. A check of the family’s phones and computers found no connections to Patterson, and believe Jayme and Patterson did not meet until he kidnapped her and killed her parents.
Investigators said they received more than 3,500 tips in the case, but no solid leads, until Jayme saved herself by escaping and finding help.
“My dad had to call my neighbor, and she comes screaming at my door. I’ll never, ever forget her screaming, ‘Sue, Sue, they found Jayme!’” said Sue Allard, Jayme’s aunt on her mother’s side.
Lynn Closs, Jayme’s aunt on her father’s side, said the family had been wearing green #FindJaymeCloss bracelets while she was missing.
“We all took them off and threw them in the kitchen. It was, like, you know, we’ve got her. We don’t have to wear our bracelets. You just feel lighter. You just feel so unbelievable,” she said.
Jeanne Nutter, who was walking her dog when she found Jayme while, described the moment she came across the teenager.
“When I got close to her, she was first saying to me, ‘I’m lost, I don’t know where I am, I need help.’ So I hurried towards her,” she said. “
Nutter said Closs was wearing only a sweatshirt, leggings and slippers in 20-degree weather.
“So I figured she left wherever she had been in a hurry, or somebody just drove here and dropped her off,” she said. “A lot of things went through my head. So I quickened my pace, and got to her, and she just sort of fell into me and said ‘I’m Jayme,’ and I said, ‘I know.’”