The Wisconsin man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs, killing her parents and holding her captive for nearly three months tried to abduct the teen twice before finally doing so, but backed out both times because of nerves, according to court documents.
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, has been charged with two counts of first-degree homicide and one count each of kidnapping and armed burglary stemming from the Oct. 15 attack on the Closs home during which he allegedly gunned down James and Denise Closs.
But that apparently wasn't the first time he stood outside the family's Barron, Wisconsin home with malicious intent. According to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com, Patterson made two attempts to kidnap the girl before Oct. 15. Both times, he chickened out.
The first attempt occurred about a week before the actual abduction and several days after Patterson lost his job at the Saputo Cheese factory, where he worked for just two days before being fired for failing to show up for a shift. Patterson told police it was during one of those two days he worked at the factory that he spotted Closs for the first time getting onto a school bus. It appears, based on how the complaint is written, that the school bus stop was right near the Closs home.
"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," but "he knew that was the girl he was going to take."
On his second (and last) day of employment at Saputo Cheese Factory he bought a black balaclava type mask from Walmart as"part of his plan to conceal his identity when he took" the teen.
When he approached the house during that first alleged attempt to kidnap the teen, he saw “all kinds of cars in the driveway and it scared him off,” according to the complaint.
Then a few days later, he made a second alleged attempt, which also failed. Patterson told investigators he could see people walking around and he decided that too many lights were on.
Instead, police say he decided to wait until the family was asleep to attack and took numerous precautions to avoid detection. In the middle of the night on Oct. 15, Jayme Closs woke up to the sound of her dog barking “and noticed there was someone driving up their driveway." Then, she went to her parents’ bedroom to wake them and alert them to the intruder.
Soon after, her parents were shot to death and the 13-year-old was in the trunk of a car being driven to a cabin about an hour from her home. It would take until January for her to make her escape, running to neighbors for help while her captor was out of the house.
[Photo: FBI, Barron County Sheriff’s Department]
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