A former friend and neighbor of the man suspected of killing a Wisconsin teen’s parents and then holding her captive in a cabin for nearly three months described him as a loner who lived in a “time warp.”
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, was charged Monday with murder and kidnapping in addition to armed robbery for allegedly abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs after killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, back in October. He had no prior links to Closs and allegedly told police he decided to abduct her after spotting her getting on a school bus.
His former neighbor Tristan Roberts told British tabloid the Daily Mail that Patterson had no online presence, no interest in social media or even socializing and that he instead chose to live like a loner.
Roberts recalled when he asked his ex-neighbor if he was on Facebook.
“He stared at me blankly and said he wasn't interested in having one. He didn't even seem to have an email account to log onto, he was strictly a notes and paper guy,” Roberts said. “His family were nice people but Jake's life was like something from a time warp. If he had a cell phone it was not a smart phone. All he was interested in was books.”
Those books, Roberts claimed, were mostly about the military and outdoor survival.
“He didn't socialize, he didn't have what you would call real friends, just acquaintances. He just wanted to get home to read about survival and the military,” Roberts said.
Roberts claimed that when his parents divorced in 2008, it changed Patterson. Neighbor Daphne Ronning told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the parents moved away but that Patterson and his older brother, Erik, continued to stay in the cabin. Another neighbor, Patricia Osborne, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the brothers often got into trouble. She said they stole things and spent time in foster care.
“When he was 9 or 10 his mom left his dad and that changed him a lot,” Roberts told the Daily Mail. “He became shy, he no longer wanted friends.”
And, Roberts told the Daily Mail that Patterson no longer wanted to be friends with him after a fight on a school bus during their high school years. Roberts said the fight erupted after his duffel bag accidentally brushed against Patterson’s head on the bus.
“'He turned around and punched me in the nose. I was looking down at my phone at the time, not expecting it,” he claimed. “Then we got into a scuffle and the bus driver actually stopped the bus. It was a good fist fight, we both got in a few shots.”
He said that Patterson didn’t get over the brawl.
“'It wasn't a case of shake hands and move on, he kept looking at me like he was mad and wanted to kill me. If he had the chance I think he would have kept on hitting me,” he said. “So, is Jake Patterson capable of doing something terrible? I would say yes, he could shoot someone. I saw the rage in his eyes.”
That woman, who said she dated Patterson in 2011 and who only wanted to be identified as Briana, claimed he was obsessed with collecting and stuffing roadkill and believes he may have even killed a dog.
Roberts, however, told the Daily Mail that his former neighbor once became enraged after viewing a video of a dog being abused.
“He really freaked out,” he claimed. “He said something like ‘I would kill anybody who did that.’”
[Photo: Barron County Sheriff’s Department]
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