The suspect accused of abducting Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs after killing her parents in October allegedly planned the crime in advance and “went to great lengths to prepare to take her,” police announced at a Friday press conference.
According to Baron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, suspect Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, allegedly shaved his head before murdering Jayme’s parents on Oct. 15 in their Baron-area home so he could “minimize forensic evidence.”
Patterson was arrested Thursday and is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one of kidnapping. He is currently in the Barron County Jail and police are not looking for additional suspects.
The suspect, who is unemployed, was not on the radar of investigators and had no criminal history in Wisconsin, authorities said.
Fitzgerald said the alleged abduction of Jayme was the suspect’s goal and that Jayme was “the only target.”
He said the suspect had no prior contact with Jayme’s parents before allegedly killing them, even though the two appeared to have worked together three years ago for one day in the same Jennie-O Turkey Store in Baron.
Police are still investigating how the suspect allegedly “became aware of Jayme,” Fitzgerald said, adding, “I do not have that answer in complete form to release.”
He said authorities do not believe the two were connected on social media.
Authorities do not know how the suspect allegedly held Jayme captive for close to three months or how he was able to conceal his alleged crime. “That is the key question: why and how he kept this from friends and family,” Fitzgerald said.
He said police are investigating whether anyone might have supplied the suspect with groceries or other things he might have needed to survive.
Jayme managed to escape and find help Thursday afternoon, nearly three months into her harrowing ordeal. Fitzgerald said that the suspect wasn’t home when she escaped.
Nutter then brought Jayme to the nearby front door of Kristin and Peter Kasinskas at around 4 p.m. They opened it to the sound of frantic knocking.
“This is Jayme Closs!” the woman later identified as Nutter said, the pair recalled to the Star Tribune. “Call 911!”
Police believe that when the suspect was stopped in his car by police Thursday, he was out looking for Jayme.
According to authorities, Jayme was hospitalized after being rescued but is now out of the hospital.
Her aunt will be her guardian, a family friend tells PEOPLE.
Suspect Allegedly Used Shotgun to Kill Her Parents
Authorities discovered Jayme was missing after her parents — James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 — were found fatally shot inside a home on the outskirts of Barron, Wisconsin. Jayme was missing and an AMBER Alert was issued for her.
Authorities said the suspect allegedly used a shotgun, and have said Jayme witnessed the killings before being abducted. They ruled her out as a suspect soon after she was kidnapped.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Police arrived at the home after receiving an ominous 911 call.
Nobody spoke during the call, but a disturbance could be heard in the background. When police stepped inside the family’s home, they found the parents dead but no sign of Jayme. Officials declared her “missing and endangered.”
Patterson has not appeared in court to enter a plea. It was unclear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.