BARRON COUNTY -- Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald held a press conference on January 11, 2019, regarding the rescue of Jayme Closs.
The suspect in the Jayme Closs case has been identified as Jake Patterson, age 21, of Gordon, WI. He is being held in custody in Barron County Jail on charges of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and Kidnapping.
Sheriff Fitzgerald confirmed that Jayme was held against her will at a residence in a remote area near Gordon, WI. The Sheriff also said that Patterson took proactive steps to conceal Jayme which contributed to the difficulty of the investigation into this case.
Jayme escaped on foot from the residence and made contact with a woman who was walking her dog. They went to a nearby residence and a neighbor assisted with calling 911. The Douglas County Sheriff was also at the press conference and stated that his agency responded in force, positively identified Jayme, and took her into safekeeping custody. A short time after that, just down the road, law enforcement located Patterson in a vehicle and took him into custody without incident.
Sheriff Fitzgerald stated that it appeared that Patterson had not had any prior contact with the Closs family, and went on to say that it appeared that Jayme was the target on the night that her parents were killed. Patterson was unemployed at this time and apparently did not have any connection to Jennie-O Turkey.
Jayme was transported to a hospital in the Duluth/Superior area and held overnight for observation; after which she was medically cleared and is being interviewed by law enforcement. Investigators are also interviewing Patterson.
Sheriff Fitzgerald advised that another press conference will be held today at 4p, and that further details will be released as they become available following the execution of a search warrant at the residence where Patterson held Jayme. The FBI, Wisconsin DCI, State Patrol, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Barron County Sheriff’s Office continue to work on this investigation.
Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright spoke at the press conference as well and stated that he anticipates filing a criminal complaint against Patterson next week.
Barron Area School District Superintendent Diane Tremblay also was present at the conference and stated that the School District will be providing counseling support for students and families.