The man who police officers said confessed to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and imprisoning her for 88 days hosted a Christmas party after forcing her to hide under his bed, according to a new report.
Closs was abducted from her house in Barron on Oct. 13 by Jake Patterson, 21, after Patterson shot her parents dead.
He kept her at his Gordon home until she escaped on Jan. 10.
The party on Christmas Day was held at the cabin, known as the “Patterson Retreat.” Patterson’s parents bought the house and lived there for years but eventually moved to another home and left it for the use of Patterson.
Two law enforcement sources told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the party included two members of Patterson’s immediate family, Patterson’s father and sister, and their partners.
None of the attendees knew that Closs was inside Patterson’s room, hiding under his small bed and obscured by a number of bins that were held by weights.
“The family was there,” one source said. Patterson “told (Jayme) that if she made a noise or tried to escape, he would kill her.”
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald wouldn’t confirm the Christmas gathering, saying he wouldn’t know whether such an event took place, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
Officials previously said in a criminal complaint that Patterson would often force Closs to hide beneath his bed when he left the house or had visitors over. After he surrounded the bed with containers and weighed them down, he played music in the room to drown out any noise she might make.
Closs told police officers that he told her something bad would happen if she attempted to move from under the bed or make her presence home.
But Closs saved herself by disregarding Patterson’s threats on Jan. 10 when, after he left and she went under the bed again, she forced her way out and approached a community member asking for help.
She was ushered inside a nearby house, where two neighbors talked to a 911 dispatcher while another guarded the door, ready to shoot if Patterson ventured by.
Few of Patterson’s family members have spoken publicly about what happened but his grandfather said that the family had no clue that Patterson had kidnapped the girl and was keeping her in the house.
“Nobody had any clues up until this thing happened,” Jim Moyer told ABC following Closs’s escape from captivity. “Nobody will ever know what went on in his mind. I can’t fathom anything in his life that could change him so drastically. It has to be some kind of a twist in the mindset.”
He said his grandson was a “nice boy, polite,” who was “shy and quiet” and prioritized computer games over social interactions.
Moyer first heard that his grandson was accused of kidnapping and imprisoning the girl via a phone call from his daughter. He said the family was shocked.
“We are absolutely heartbroken,” Moyer said. “It’s wrenching to deal with.”
They initially hoped it was a case of mistaken identity, but Patterson confessed to killing James and Denise Closs on Oct. 15, 2018, before kidnapping Jayme and holding her in his cabin in Gordon until she escaped.
Patterson told officers that he decided to kidnap Closs in October 2018 when he saw her boarding a school bus while he was driving in Barron County to or from work at a cheese factory where he worked for two days and that also employed Closs’s parents.
“The defendant stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house,” the complaint stated. “The defendant stated, when he saw (Jayme), he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
Another family member, Patrick Patterson, Jake Patterson’s father, said that he was passing along a note to the Closs family when he was spotted at the Barron County Justice Center on Jan. 15.
“All I care about right now is Jayme’s family. I want to get them a note,” Patterson told CNN, declining to provide more details about the letter.
Patterson was in the courtroom the previous day when his son was arraigned. Jake Patterson attended via video conference and was formally charged with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. His father wept with his head buried in the shoulder of a relative sitting next to him, while Closs’s family stayed calm, embracing each other on the other side of the courtroom.
From NTD News