Jake Patterson’s Family & Brother: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

jake thomas patterson

Facebook Jake Thomas Patterson with his mother and sister.

Jake Patterson, the 21-year-old Gordon, Wisconsin man accused of abducting teenager Jayme Closs, who staged a daring and dramatic escape from a Northwoods cabin, is from a family with long ties to the area.

Authorities have not implicated any of Jake Thomas Patterson’s family members in connection with Jayme’s abduction. Instead, the Barron County Sheriff has said that he believes Patterson took pains to conceal his actions.

In a chilling 12-page criminal complaint released on January 14, 2019, authorities gave every indication that Jake Patterson allegedly acted alone. They accuse him of kidnapping Jayme after randomly seeing her getting on a school bus outside her family’s Barron home. He didn’t know her name or the names of her parents then but, the complaint alleges, “When he saw (Jayme) he knew that was the girl he was going to take.” (You can read the criminal complaint in full and get more details from it here.)

The complaint does bring up Patterson’s family several times. It alleges he took his dad’s shotgun, used his sister’s car, and gave Jayme his sister’s pajamas to wear. It also alleges that Jake Patterson would hide Jayme under his bed and play the music loudly when his father came to visit him on Saturdays, and he once left her alone in the cabin to go visit a grandparent.

His father and brother were the only family at Jake Patterson’s first court hearing, and the father wept in court at one point. The family has not commented.

Some members of Patterson’s family – notably his brother, Erik Patterson, and their father, Patrick Patterson – have been named in various news stories because of the brother’s criminal history and the father’s real estate ownership involving the cabin where Jayme was held. Daily Mail has published photos it says are the inside of the cabin where authorities allege Patterson kept Jayme.

The complaint then paints a chilling scene in which Patterson is accused of murdering Jayme’s father in the doorway, and then tracking down the girl and her mother, who were hiding behind the shower curtain in the bathroom tub – Denise Closs holding her daughter in a bear hug – before he used duct tape to restrain Jayme and then shot and killed Denise, who had tried in vain to call 911. The complaint alleges that Patterson then locked Jayme in a trunk, missing responding police squads by just seconds as they passed him on the highway. He is accused of taking her to his family’s remote cabin, where he hid her under his twin bed, even when family members – such as his father – came over to visit.

“On his drive to the cheese factory on one of the two mornings he worked there, he had stopped behind a school bus on U.S. Hwy. 8 where he watched (Jayme Closs) get on a school bus. The defendant stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house,” the complaint alleges. They also had no previous contact on social media, the complaint alleges.

jake thomas patterson

MugshotJake Thomas Patterson

So far, authorities say, Jake Patterson is their only suspect in the bizarre story. Patterson is sitting in the Barron County Jail on two charges of murder and a charge of kidnapping. Authorities say he shot open the door of the Closs family home in Barron in the early morning hours of October 15, 2018 with the intention of taking Jayme, 13.

An Amber Alert was issued and a massive search launched, but, for almost three months, no one caught on, until Jayme managed to escape her kidnapper’s clutches and rush into the arms of a nearby dog walker, who brought her to safety. Authorities say Jake Patterson was out looking for her when they stopped and arrested him. Jake Patterson did work at the same turkey plant as Jayme’s parents for about a day three years ago. However, the sheriff said there’s no sign he met them while there.

Here’s what you need to know about Jake Patterson’s family:

1. Father Patrick Patterson Paid Off the Cabin’s Mortgage Shortly After Jayme’s Abduction & the Complaint Says Patterson Hid Jayme Under a Bed When People Came Over

jayme closs

Google MapsThe area where Jayme Closs was found.

The details in the criminal complaint are terrifying. According to the complaint, Jayme Closs said that sometimes Jake Patterson would have friends and/or relatives over. Patterson made it clear that nobody was to know she was there or bad things would happen to her. He made her hide under his bed in his bedroom. He stacked totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights stacked against them so she could not move them. One time, Patterson told her something bad would happen if she did it again after she moved a tote. He would turn music on in his room so she couldn’t hear what was happening if anyone else was in the house with him, the complaint accuses.

He would also make her stay under the bed when he left the house, sometimes for 12 hours at a time, with no food, water or bathroom breaks, according to the complaint.

At Christmas, he went to Superior to visit one of his grandparents and was gone for 12 hours. He told Jayme that she had to hold it if she had to go to the bathroom, the complaint continues to allege.

When Jake Patterson’s father came to the house on Saturdays, Jake would make Jayme go under the bed and turn up the radio in his room, according to the complaint.

The Associated Press reported that the ownership of the cabin where Jayme was held “passed to a credit union soon after the girl’s abduction.” It had been owned by Patterson’s father but he transferred the nearly $80,000 cabin to Superior Choice Credit eight days after Jayme disappeared. The AP reported that the nature of the transfer is not clear.

However, KBJR later reported that the AP was in error – instead, the mortgage on the cabin was actually released because records show “the Superior Credit Union certified the mortgage on the cabin near Gordon and it was fully paid and satisfied by Jake Patterson’s father.”

Wisconsin court records do not show a criminal history for Patrick Patterson, whose full name is Patrick Michael Patterson.

Adam Wilson, who owns a cabin nearby, described the Patterson family as “low key,” and told Fox 6 Milwaukee, “They were super nice. Very generous. Welcomed me to the neighborhood, said if I ever need anything — tools or anything — I could come down, knock on the door and ask.”

Gordon, where Jayme was found, was not an area of focus for searchers. According to KARE 11, Jayme was found at Eau Claire Acres, “a small development about six miles east of Gordon, Wisconsin on Highway Y.” It’s a rural area clustered with cabins.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin also confirmed that she was found in the Town of Gordon, a community of 645 people, saying in a statement, “The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office confirms that Barron County missing person JAYME CLOSS was located alive in the Town of Gordon in Douglas County at 4:43pm and a suspect was taken into custody at 4:54pm, also in the Town of Gordon.”

A neighbor who helped rescue Jayme says the girl told them she didn’t know Patterson and added that Patterson “would sometimes have people over and hide her so they wouldn’t see her,” KTSP-TV reported. The Today Show reported that Jayme also said that she was “locked up or hidden when this person had to leave.”

2. Brother Erik Patterson Has a Criminal History

Erik Patterson

Erik Patterson

Court records do not show a previous criminal history in Wisconsin for the unemployed Jake Thomas Patterson, who also had no obvious social media presence. The sheriff confirmed that Patterson has zero criminal history in Wisconsin or elsewhere.

Patterson’s 24-year-old older brother, Erik Patterson, whose Facebook page said he’d moved to Colorado and worked at Subway, has a criminal history for fourth-degree sexual assault and felony drug dealing, Wisconsin court records show. Sheriff Fitzgerald said in a January 11, 2019 press conference that authorities are aware of that history and are looking into it, although, again, it should be emphasized that authorities are saying that Jake Patterson is the only suspect. Erik Patterson is not mentioned in the criminal complaint.

“We did get a tip on a sibling that has some criminal record,” said Sheriff Fitzgerald at the news conference. “Our DCI and FBI teams are looking into that. I didn’t look into his record. That just came in on our tipline.” Fox 9 reports that Erik Patterson once lived in the cabin where Jayme was held.

Erik Patterson

Erik Patterson

According to Fox 6, the sexual assault conviction came about when Erik Patterson was accused “at the age of 18, for having sex with a 16-year-old girl.” According to Fox 9, in that case, Erik Patterson, then 18, “drove from Gordon to Buffalo City, nearly three hours away, to meet a 15-year-old girl and have sex with her.” Court records say they met on an “an online chat site,” and Erik claimed he thought she was 17. He had maps, clothes and a police scanner in his car, Fox 9 reports. His probation was later revoked in that case, Wisconsin court records show.

In 2014, Erik Patterson was convicted of two felony counts of marijuana dealing and a misdemeanor bail jumping charge. He gave his address as S. Eau Claire Acres Circle, Gordon. He received probation with a withheld sentence. There was a probation review hearing in the case in 2016. As a condition of bond in that case, the court ordered, “Do not use or possess any controlled substance or drug paraphernalia without a valid prescription.”

Wisconsin court records show he was sentenced to community service on a misdemeanor criminal damage to property case in 2014. However, the community service was terminated, a stayed jail sentence was revoked, and the case was sent to collections.

In 2012, he was found guilty of county ordinance possession of marijuana, per court records.

His Facebook page mostly contained photos that showed him with his girlfriend or enjoying the outdoors. It’s now been deleted.

Erik Patterson

Erik Patterson

He had worked at a Subway store in Leadville, Colorado.

3. Patterson’s Parents are Divorced & Authorities Say They Stopped Him in His Sister’s Car

jake patterson

MugshotJake Patterson

Online records show the Patterson parents divorced in 2007. At the time of the divorce, the father gave his address as S. Eau Claire Acres Circle, which is the area surrounding the cluster of cabins where Jayme was found. The court records show that the mother, then named Deborah Patterson, and Patrick Patterson, were joint petitioners in the divorce and gave her address as Minong, another small town not far from Gordon. That’s the town where Jake Patterson attended high school at Northwood School. The court records indicate there was a marital settlement agreement in the case.

The mother’s name is now Deborah Frey.

On social media, Patterson’s mother mostly posted positive things about her family. On Facebook, she posted one photo of herself with a bow and arrow, writing, “Life is Beauty & Full!!! Do what you love; love what you do!” She also posted religious and inspirational graphics on Facebook. “Real men love a very real God…” she wrote with one post. She’s since deleted her Facebook page. One for Jake Patterson could not be found.

According to Daily Mail, Patterson visited his mother in Haugen, Wisconsin while Jayme was captive. The news site claims she’s remarried, and, according to a neighbor anyway, too distraught and scared to leave the house. “She’s distraught. They’re good people. This is just shocking,” the neighbor told Daily Mail.

The photo at the top of this article is from Jake Thomas Patterson’s mother’s Facebook page in 2015. On the comment thread under it, a friend wrote, “Very nice pic!! Is Jake leaving soon?” His mother responded then, “As of now, August 17th is when he leaves,” but it wasn’t clear what she was referring to.

However, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent reported that Jake Patterson washed out of the US Marine Corps after 30 days and before completing boot camp.

The criminal complaint alleges that Patterson was driving a car registered to his sister, Katie Patterson, when he was stopped and arrested. On January 10, 2019 at 4:11 p.m. Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Eau Claire Acres Circle, in the Town of Gordon, Douglas County (about an hour north of Jayme’s house), for a report that Jayme Closs was at the residence along S. Eau Claire Acres Circle and needed help, the complaint alleges.

Jeanne Nutter, the dog walker, had gone to the neighbors’ home for help after running across Jayme, and Jayme had stated that a male subject, whom she identified as Jake Patterson, “had killed her parents and she wants to go home.”

The deputies reported that Jayme was wearing a pair of dirty, worn New Balance athletic shoes, that appeared to be men’s shoes, with the left shoe on her right foot and the right shoe on her left foot.

The decision was made to immediately remove her from the area for her safety, and a deputy drove her away in her squad car.

At that point, the deputy was traveling along the western side of the loop of Eau Claire Acres Circle and noticed a vehicle that was red in color approaching the deputy with whom Jayme was in the car. The deputy asked Jayme if that was Patterson’s car and Jayme said she didn’t know but thought his car was a Ford and that he also had other cars. The deputy told two other officers that she had just passed a red car and they ran the plate. The car was registered to a Katie Patterson (Jake’s sister), the complaint alleges.

The sergeant watched the car pass and saw it had a lone male occupant in it. The sergeant conducted a traffic stop just as it passed the driveway. Two officers approached and the occupant was instructed to raise his hands in the air and open his door. Asked his name, the complaint alleges, Jake Patterson allegedly stepped out of the car and stated I know what this is about and “I did it.”

The complaint also alleges that when Jake Patterson first got to his house in Gordon after abducting Jayme, he knew that Jayme was extremely scared, and she was crying. She had urinated on herself and her clothing was wet.

He made her change into his sister’s pajamas. He threw her clothing and his gloves into a wood fireplace. He then kept Jayme at his house by creating a space under his twin bed, which is 2 and a half feet off the ground, the complaint alleges.

4. The Criminal Complaint Accuses Patterson of Using His Dad’s Shotgun in the Crime

Jake Thomas Patterson

MugshotJake Thomas Patterson

The criminal complaint does not accuse Patrick Patterson of any involvement in or knowledge of his son’s alleged crimes. However, it does allege that Jake Patterson used his dad’s shotgun to commit it.

According to the criminal complaint, Jake Patterson told authorities that he took his father’s 12-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun which he described as having a black stock. He had done research and assumed it would be difficult to trace because it was one of the most heavily manufactured or owned shotguns.

He felt that a 12-gauge slug “would inflict the most damage on someone and would most likely be the best choice of shell and weapon to kill someone versus a rifle,” alleges the complaint.

Neighbor Daphne Ronning told USA Today and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “Patterson’s parents moved to the home about 15 years ago and that Jake and his brother were raised there.”

She told the newspaper that the parents moved to a different home, but Jake Patterson and his brother stayed in their childhood residence.

“We had some problems with them when they were teenagers – we caught them siphoning gas,” Ronning said to the newspaper. “My husband talked with them and there was never anything else.” Although the brother’s Facebook page says he moved to another state, it’s not clear whether he returned.

5. Authorities Say Jake Patterson Carefully Concealed His Actions

jayme closs

FacebookJayme Closs.

Although he’s left almost no online footprint and few deep impressions on those who knew him casually, Jake Patterson is accused of carefully eluding capture from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for almost three months, managing to leave behind little trail and allegedly spiriting a traumatized teen into a remote cabin while her picture was blasted across the country via heavy news media attention and an Amber Alert.

“I can tell you the suspect planned his actions and took many proactive steps to hide his identity from law enforcement and the general public,” District Attorney Brian Wright said.

According to the sheriff, Patterson is accused of taking steps to change his physical appearance, “like shaving his head not to leave hair behind.”

The suspect was not home when Jayme escaped. “We believe the suspect was out looking for her,” the sheriff said, when authorities found him. “I know all of you are searching for the answer of why any of this happened…so are we,” said Fitzgerald. The criminal complaint filled in some of those gaps.

The complaint further alleges:

Jake Patterson allegedly wiped down the shells while wearing gloves and cleaned and wiped down the shotgun while wearing gloves so there would be no fingerprints or DNA on either of them. He wanted to make sure there were no fingerprints or DNA on the shotgun, the complaint says.

He shaved his face and all his head hair off and showered before leaving his house so “that he would not leave any DNA or hair at the scene.”

He was wearing brown colored steel toed work boots and regular blue jeans and had on a black colored jacket and a black colored balaclava mask on. He was wearing two pair of gloves on his hands.

He shut off his headlights and coasted into the end of the driveway. He noticed James standing in the large picture window. James had a flashlight and was shining it outside. He hollered for James to get on the ground.

He pounded on the wooden door.

He saw James looking outside through the small glass window. James made some comment like show me your badge and he assumed James thought he was the police. He raised the shotgun and purposely aimed at James’ head and pulled the trigger. James collapsed to the ground.

He used his shoulder and tried to break the door open but was unable to do so. He shot a second round toward the doorknob.

He knew James was dead and stepped over his body. He brought a kitchen type knife and flashlight.

The complaint continues to describe what Patterson allegedly told police.

It accuses:

He noticed the door straight ahead was shut. The door was locked and barricaded and he kicked it and shouldered it several times trying to forcibly break it open. It took him 10-15 hits with his shoulder blade before it burst open and he entered the bathroom. The bathroom curtain was shut and he ripped it off the rod and threw it on the floor. Denise and Jayme were seated in the bathtub, Denise with her arms wrapped around Jayme in a bear hug.

He pulled a piece of duct tape and handed it to Denise and told her to place the tape over Jayme’s mouth. She was struggling to do that. He took the tape and wrapped it around Jayme’s mouth and completely around her head. He then had Jayme stand up and placed tape around her wrists and ankles.

He removed Jayme from the bathtub. He picked up the shotgun, aimed for Denise’s head and pulled the trigger. “The defendant stated he aimed for Denise’s head because he knew that head shots were the best way to kill a person,” alleges the complaint.

He had the shotgun in one hand and dragged Jayme out of the house. He nearly slipped in the blood on the floor. He dragged Jayme into his trunk, locked it shut, and removed the mask and started to drive towards Barron. He had only driven 20 seconds from the house when he yielded to three passing squad cars traveling west towards the house.

He was “determined he was going to take Jayme that night and was going to kill anyone in the house because he could not leave any eyewitnesses behind.”

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