Wisconsin kidnapping, killing suspect lived under the radar

Hugh Fox
January 14, 2019

Someone blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs' home near Barron with a shotgun in October, shot the couple dead and made off with their 13-year-old daughter, Jayme.

Jayme was found Thursday outside the rural community of Gordon, where Patterson was holding her against her will in his home, authorities said. Officers arrested Patterson minutes later. He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.

The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children said it was "overjoyed" that Closs was found alive.

Investigators have said Patterson's goal was to kidnap Closs, but he appears to have no connection to the family.

A Facebook page called "Healing for Jayme Closs" has been set up where her family will provide updates on her condition.

Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Justin Tolomeo told reporters: "In cases like this we often need a big break - it was Jayme herself who gave us that break".

"Jayme is the hero in this case, there's no question about it", he said.

"When she wants information, we'll give it to her; and when she wants to tell us things, we'll take it from her", he said.

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Roseanna Marie Forcum last was seen in St. Paul in 1998 when she was 15. "They've been in foster care", Osborne said. The discovery ended an all-out search that gripped Wisconsin, with many people fearing the worst the longer she was missing.

Jayme is spending her first weekend with her family after she was held captive for almost three months.

Smart called Closs courageous, strong, and a powerful survivor - but also says there is a long road ahead.

Jayme was taken to a hospital in Minnesota after she was found, her aunt, Sue Allard, said.

Kasinskas said she taught Patterson science in middle school, but added: "I don't really remember a ton about him".

"She is doing as well as circumstances will allow", Fitzgerald said.

Patterson went to the Closs home outside Barron, Wisconsin, with the intention of taking Jayme, Fitzgerald said.

"This is going to be a process, it's not just come home, go back to school on Monday this is a process for her and all of our family is supportive", Jayme's Aunt Kelly Engelhardt said Friday.

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"I know all of you are searching for the answer why any of this happened", Fitzgerald said. "We don't believe he ... talked with them, had any digital footprint with them".

Almost three years ago, Patterson worked for one day at the same meat products facility where Jayme's parents also worked - the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Barron - the company's president said.

Jayme Closs was found alive by the suspect's neighbours on Thursday.

Patterson grew up in Gordon, a sprawling township of 645 people tucked into the snowy evergreen forests about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Lake Superior. Law enforcement barricades blocked the road leading to the property Saturday.

She said that while she can't speculate on everything Jayme has been through and what she's feeling, "I think it will be safe to say there will be no returning to what her life was like before she was kidnapped". He said she was largely silent and did not talk about how Patterson had kept her confined.

He has no criminal record, the sheriff said.

The president of the Jennie-O Turkey store in Barron, where James and Denise Closs had worked for decades, said Patterson had been an employee there for a single day three years ago. Shortly after the 911 call, a sheriff's patrol sergeant found the vehicle, pulled it over and took Patterson into custody, Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec said.

Detectives pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme.

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