Relative: Closs family didn’t know suspect
The grandfather of a northwestern Wisconsin girl who authorities say was abducted during a home invasion that left her parents dead said Saturday that the family has no connection to the suspect and doesn’t understand why he targeted her, deepening a mystery that has captivated the state for months.
Someone blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs’s home near Barron with a shotgun in October, gunned the couple down and made off with their 13-year-old daughter, Jayme Closs.
Jayme had been missing for nearly three months Thursday when she approached a stranger near the small, isolated north woods town of Gordon and pleaded for help. Officers arrested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson minutes later based on Jayme’s description of his vehicle. He was jailed on suspicion of kidnapping and homicide.
Investigators have said Patterson’s goal was to kidnap Jayme, but he appears to have no connection to the family. Jayme’s grandfather Robert Naiberg said in a phone interview Saturday that the only thing the family knows for sure is that no one knew Patterson. He said Jayme told FBI agents she didn’t know him at all.
“He didn’t know Jayme, he didn’t know Denise or Jim,” Naiberg said. “[Jayme] don’t know him from Adam. [But] he knew what he was doing. We don’t know if he was stalking her or what. Did he see her somewhere?”
Patterson attorneys Charles Glynn and Richard Jones said in a statement they consider the situation “very tragic” and that they are relying on the court system to treat their client fairly. Charges are expected against Patterson on Monday, when he is expected to make his initial appearance in court.
Demonstrators at a Saturday reenactment commemorate the 154th anniversary of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, which took place during the Civil War in North Carolina.