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Here’s What Jake Patterson Was Doing on the Day Jayme Closs Escaped


Jake Thomas Patterson, the 21-year-old Wisconsin man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdering her parents, reportedly applied for a job the day that Closs escaped from his remote cabin.

Local news outlet WCCO-TV reported a new detail with presently unknown significance when it comes to explaining how Closs was able to escape to safety.

Patterson applied for a job online to work at Saratoga Liquor Company the day Closs escaped. He did not get the job.

The woman who found Closs, Jeanne Nutter, told her story to the Law&Crime Network in an interview last Friday, less than 24 hours after she discovered the teen. Nutter initially did not wish to be identified, but has since decided to speak publicly. Also joining her was Peter Kasinkas, whose home Nutter and Closs went to in order to alert authorities.

“The real hero is not me, it’s Jayme, who was able to leave the house and find me on the road,” Nutter told Law&Crime Network host Heather Hansen. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

“I’m Jayme Closs,” “I don’t know where I am,” “He killed my parents,” and “Please help – I want to go home,” Nutter recalled Jayme saying.

Patterson has a court hearing to attend on Feb. 6, at which point we may learn even more about the crimes he’s accused of committing. As WCCO noted, that day the state must show probable cause.

Patterson’s lawyers on Wednesday acknowledged that defending their client will be an uphill battle, considering that police have documented a “very thorough confession.” They also said that “there will a come a time” to answer the question of Patterson’s motive.

According to Detective Jeff Nelson with the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, Patterson confessed to the crimes of kidnapping and murder. Nelson said Patterson recalled how one morning he was driving behind a school bus and saw Closs get on. According to Nelson, Patterson allegedly said that when he saw Closs, “he knew that was the girl he was going to take.” About a week or a week and a half before he allegedly took Closs and killed her parents James and Denise, Patterson twice went to the Closs home. The first time there were too many cars around, and the second time he saw lights on and people walking around in the home, so he didn’t do anything, the complaint said.

Michael Bogenschneider, a neighbor of Patterson’s mother Deborah Frey, told the New York Post that Frey is “totally distraught” over the recent news.

“It’s going to take a while for her to deal,” he said. Other details in the Post report were that Frey recently remarried two months ago and that Patterson worked at Saputo Cheese Factory for just two days before he stopped showing up and allegedly kidnapped Closs.

People associated with the cheese factory said that there wasn’t much to notice about Patterson’s behavior because he worked at the business for such a short period of time.

Patterson is facing a total of four felony charges. They include kidnapping, armed burglary, and two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

[Barron County Sheriff’s Department]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.