Cops missed accused double killer by 20 seconds

Cops missed accused double killer by 20 seconds

Chilling new case details have revealed that cops missed a girl who was abducted from her family home by just 20 seconds as they drove past the car she was tied up inside.

Nothing could have prepared the officers for what they found when they turned up at the Closs family home in the small hours of October 15, 2018, in the small town of Barron, Wisconsin.

They found the bodies of James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, but their teenage girl Jayme was nowhere to be seen.

Little did they know, she was bound by her wrists and ankles with her mouth covered by tape in the boot of an old maroon car they passed on the way there.

It was the only car they passed on their way to the sleepy country town and it is alleged Jake Patterson — who stands charged of the horrific double slaying and kidnapping the 13-year-old child — was behind the wheel.

It would be months before Jayme was heard from again, after she incredibly escaped captivity and was discovered by a woman walking her dog.

The alleged kidnapper’s close shave with the cops was detailed in a criminal complaint against Mr Patterson released earlier this week.

According to CNN, it states that Jayme heard the blaring sirens of two police cars whiz past “a very short time” after 21-year-old started driving.

The complaint states Mr Patterson killed the Closs parents and forced Jayme into the boot of his red Ford Taurus — where he took off the black mask he had been wearing and started to drive away.

In a police interview, Mr Patterson reportedly said he had driven just 20 seconds from the house — after spending four minutes there — when he gave way to three passing police cars speeding toward the Closs home with their emergency lights on and sirens blasting.

According to the complaint, Mr Patterson told investigators that, if he had been stopped by police at the time, he “most likely would have shot at the police” with the loaded shotgun he had in the front seat.

Mr Patterson has been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.

Police believe he entered the home of the Closs family by blasting through the front door with a shotgun, leaving few clues for investigators at the house in Barron County.

A panicked 911 call was made, with frantic movement heard, but no words audible. The call lasted for less than one minute before somebody hung up.

After allegedly murdering both her parents, it is believed Mr Patterson then abducted Jayme and took her to his home about 120km away in Gordon.

Investigators believe the goal of the assailant was to kidnap Jayme, though Mr Patterson has no apparent prior connection to the family.

The 21-year-old is accused of keeping the young girl captive for the next 88 days.

Jayme escaped last week from the remote cabin where Mr Patterson had allegedly been hiding her. Mr Patterson was arrested minutes later, and he was charged on Monday with two counts of homicide and kidnapping — after he gave police a confession.

However, his defence lawyers now say they’re starting the case at a disadvantage after their client gave detectives a detailed confession and said they’re not sure he can get a fair trial in the state.

Charlie Glynn and Richard Jones, Mr Patterson’s legal team, told The Associated Press that they face an uphill struggle.

Mr Glynn acknowledged that the complaint contains “a very thorough confession”. “Yes, it looks like you start out behind the eight ball a little bit,” Mr Glynn said.

Mr Jones said the defence team will mull over Mr Patterson’s statements to see whether they were given voluntarily and if they’re true.

He cautioned that prosecutors have amassed 30 banker’s boxes full of evidence, but that the defence likely won’t receive any of it, let alone review it, until after Mr Patterson’s preliminary hearing on February 6.

Terry Sullivan, a Chicago lawyer who prosecuted the John Wayne Gacy killings, said he wouldn’t have included so many details in the Patterson complaint.

“I’m befuddled as to why they would release this amount of their evidence,” Mr Sullivan said. “It doesn’t take a lot to hold a defendant, especially on a case like this.

“This guy certainly doesn’t deserve any sympathy but, under our laws and our constitution, he at least deserves a fair trial. How do you get one if all the jurors have read this?”

Mr Jones said he doubts Mr Patterson can get a fair trial in Barron County or maybe anywhere in Wisconsin, given the publicity surrounding the case.

“(Barron) is a small community,” Mr Jones said. “So many different people have had not only an interest in the case, but an actual involvement in the case, being part of the search, those things, being part of fundraisers.

“They’ve had physical, tangible involvement in the case. The question becomes, ‘Can you lay that involvement, that emotion aside and render a verdict based on this case?’

“In that county, I think that could be extremely difficult.”

Barron, which lies about 145 kilometres northeast of Minneapolis, is home to about 3400 people.

Investigators took more than 3500 tips during the three-month search for Jayme. Some 2000 people participated in a ground search for her on October 23.

The defence team said they had an extensive conversation with Mr Patterson in jail, but they declined to reveal anything that was said.

They described his demeanour as “appropriate” for a 21-year-old facing such serious charges but didn’t elaborate.

They said they understand everyone wants to know Mr Patterson’s motivation, and that it will become clear later as the legal proceedings continue, Mr Jones said.

The attorneys declined to comment on Mr Patterson’s mental health.

Mr Patterson’s father, Patrick Patterson, visited the Barron County Justice Center on Tuesday, saying he wanted to pass a note to the Closs’ family, CNN reported.

On the verge of tears, Patrick Patterson declined an interview but said: “All I care about right now is Jayme’s family.”

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told the AP he had no knowledge of a note from the Patterson family.

Glynn and Jones described Patrick Patterson as a genuinely kind man who feels terrible. They said he didn’t know what was going on, even though his son allegedly told detectives Jayme was trapped beneath his bed during several visits from his father.

Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, said on Wednesday that he appreciates the father’s sympathy.

“You can’t blame the parents,” Mr Naiberg told the AP. “A guy becomes 21 years old, and sometimes it’s not how he was raised or anything.”

— with wires

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