Sus­pect named in kid­nap, slay­ings

21-year-old ar­rested af­ter girl, 13, found safe

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - James B. Nel­son

BAR­RON, Wis. – The man ar­rested in the Jayme Closs case was iden­ti­fied as Jake Pat­ter­son by au­thor­i­ties and neigh­bors who lived in the same Eau Claire Acres en­clave in the Dou­glas County town of Gor­don.

Jayme was found by a neigh­bor late Thurs­day af­ter­noon and Pat­ter­son, 21, was ar­rested a short time later af­ter law en­force­ment swarmed the en­clave of about 20 small homes.

Pat­ter­son was ar­rested by a Dou­glas County sher­iff’s deputy who spot­ted a car de­scribed by Jayme a short time af­ter she was res­cued.

Pat­ter­son was in cus­tody in Bar­ron County, au­thor­i­ties said at a Fri­day morn­ing news con­fer­ence. He was be­ing held pend­ing charges of first-de­gree mur­der and kid­nap­ping.

Neigh­bor Daphne Ron­ning said Pat­ter­son’s par­ents moved to the home about 15 years ago and that Jake and his brother were raised there and at­tended Mi­nong High School. The par­ents moved to an­other home once the boys be­came older, but Pat­ter­son and his brother con­tin­ued to use the town of Gor­don home.

“We had some prob­lems with them when they were teenagers – we caught them si­phon­ing gas,” Ron­ning said.

“My hus­band talked with them and there was never any­thing else.”

Ron­ning said she wasn’t aware that Pat­ter­son was liv­ing in the house and had not seen Closs around.

Jayme van­ished early Oct. 15 when Bar­ron County sher­iff’s deputies, re­spond­ing to a 911 call, found the door to her fam­ily’s home near Bar­ron kicked in. Her par­ents, James, 56, and Denise, 46, were shot to death.

Jayme, a stu­dent at Riverview Mid­dle School in Bar­ron, had not been seen or heard from since then un­til Thurs­day, when she ap­proached a woman in the town of Gor­don af­ter es­cap­ing from a home, iden­ti­fied her­self and asked the woman to call 911.

The Dou­glas County Sher­iff’s Of­fice con­firmed on its web­site that Jayme was found in Gor­don at 4:43 p.m. and a sus­pect was taken into cus­tody at 4:54 p.m.

Late Thurs­day, in­ves­ti­ga­tors blocked all streets lead­ing to a cabin in the 14100 block of South Eau Claire Acres Cir­cle as they combed for ev­i­dence, the Minneapolis Star Tri­bune re­ported.

Gor­don is about 40 miles south of Lake Su­pe­rior and about 65 miles north of Bar­ron, Jayme’s home­town.

The town is home to about 645 peo­ple in a heav­ily forested re­gion where log­ging is the top in­dus­try.

AP

Jayme Closs was found safe.

Jake Pat­ter­son

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