$5 million bail for suspect in Jayme Closs abduction, parents’ deaths

$5 million bail for suspect in Jayme Closs abduction, parents’ deaths

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, is charged with kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents. She escaped from his home on Jan. 10 after being held captive for nearly three months, according to authorities. (Barron County [Wisc.] Sheriff's Department photo)

WASHINGTON  A judge in Wisconsin set bail at $5 million Monday for the man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and holding the teen captive for nearly three months after allegedly killing her parents.

Judge James Babler granted the prosecution’s bail request for 21-year-old Jake Patterson during his initial hearing via video in Barron County District Court in Barron, Wisc., Monday afternoon.

Patterson is charged with two counts of first-degree homicide in the deaths of James and Denise Closs, as well kidnapping and armed burglary. He did not enter a plea on Monday.

According to the criminal complaint released on Monday, Patterson decided to kidnap Jayme after seeing her at a school bus stop in early October 2018 while en route to his job at a cheese factory. Investigators said in the complaint that he meticulously planned the abduction, and even shaved his head and showered before going to the Kloss home to decrease the likelihood of leaving DNA behind.

Authorities say Jayme Closs, 13, was kidnapped on Oct. 15, 2018, and escaped from her abductor on Jan. 10, 2019. (Photo from Baron County Sheriff’s Office)

Law enforcement had found Jayme’s parents shot dead in their Barron, Wisc., home on Oct. 15, 2018, after responding to an early morning 911 hang-up call. Jayme was nowhere to be found, and authorities and hundreds of volunteers had been searching for her.

In addition to the $5 million bail, the judge also granted the prosecutor’s request that Patterson may not possess firearms and may not contact Jayme.

On Thursday Jayme sought help from a woman walking her dog in Gordon, Wisconsin, about 70 miles from the teen’s home. Social worker Jeanne Nutter told reporters that she immediately recognized Jayme.

Patterson was arrested the same day. Authorities said he admitted abducting Jayme, according to the criminal complaint.

“I did it,” investigators said Patterson told them. He has no prior criminal record, authorities said.

A combined reward of $50,000 from the FBI and the employer of Jayme’s parents had been offered for information leading to the teen’s whereabouts. It is not clear if Nutter will receive a reward.

Patterson’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 6. If convicted of all charges, he faces life in prison without parole.

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