CHICAGO (CBS) — The suspect in the kidnapping of a Wisconsin teen and murder of her parents worked at the same plant as the parents, police say. The suspect’s gun is also consistent with the weapon used to kill the parents.
On Oct. 15, police responded to 13-year-old Jayme Closs’ home after an inaudible 911 call. They found the door kicked in, Jayme’s parents shot to death and Jayme nowhere to be found.
Police say Jayme cracked her own case because they were stumped.
Jayme smiled for a photo after reuniting with her family. The teen’s 88-day nightmare has ended for now. But CBS 2 security consultant Ross Rice says police will need to piece together who Jake Thomas Patterson is and why he allegedly killed Jayme’s parents and snatched the 13-year-old girl.
A buttoned up case is crucial for a conviction and for protection.
“I’m certain they don’t want to have a trial with this,” Rice said. “I’m certain they don’t want to put this young girl on the witness stand.”
So to corroborate Jayme’s story, Rice says investigators will scour the northwest Wisconsin neighborhood where she frantically approached a dog walker Thursday.
“She just said, ‘I’m lost, and I don’t know where I am, and I need help,’” Jeanne Nutter said.
Right now, police are trying to talk to anyone who knows Patterson.
“I had him as a middle school student in science class,” Kristin Kasinskas said. “Very quiet kid. Smart.”
Until Jayme’s daring escape, investigators had no idea who took her, in part because Patterson apparently took steps to conceal his identity.
“They include things like not leaving trace evidence by changing his physical appearance like shaving his head not to leave hair behind,” said Barron County, Wisconsin Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.
Police are adamant Patterson had no known connections to the Closs family but in the same breath say he targeted Jayme.
Diving into his life in the cyber world could provide the missing link.
“Was he stalking them digitally? Had he been on her Facebook page? The parents’ Facebook page? Any connection to put him and her together,” Rice said.
Police don’t think Jayme interacted with her suspected kidnapper on social media.
Patterson is scheduled to appear in court Monday on two counts of first degree murder and a kidnapping charge.