A Wisconsin prosecutor says he has no plans to file charges against a man accused of kidnapping in connection with the 88 days Jayme Closs was held captive.
Mark Freuhauf, district attorney in Douglas County, said in a statement Friday afternoon that his decision not to file charges against Jake Patterson “involves the consideration of multiple factors, including the existence of other charges and victim-related concerns.”
The announcement likely means authorities believe they have sufficient evidence to yield a conviction and a life sentence in Barron County, where Patterson is charged with kidnapping Jayme and killing her parents. It also means it’s unlikely that details of what happened during the 13-year-old girl’s captivity in Patterson’s Douglas County home will be revealed in court.
Prosecutors have said little about Jayme’s captivity. The girl told investigators that Patterson imprisoned her beneath a bed, threatened serious harm if she tried to escape, and once struck her with an object when she did something to anger him.
Barron County prosecutors earlier this month accused Patterson of breaking into the Closs home on U.S. 8 in Barron about 1 a.m. on Oct. 15 and killing her father and mother with blasts from a shotgun he’d brought to the scene.
They say he then put Jayme in the trunk of his car and drove her about 70 miles north to his house in rural Gordon. His family bought the house in 2006, but his parents no longer lived there.
Barron County has charged Patterson with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, a count of kidnapping and a count of armed burglary. He has been jailed in lieu of $5 million bond as he awaits a Feb. 6 court appearance.
Jayme escaped Patterson’s house earlier this month, running to a neighbor who was walking a dog nearby. Another neighbor called 911. Patterson was arrested nearby, without incident, a short time later.
Authorities said Patterson was driving to work at an Almena-area cheese factory one day in October, saw Jayme board a school bus near her house, and decided to kidnap her. He quit the job after two days, and made two visits to the house before the kidnapping.
Jayme has been living with an aunt in Barron since her escape.
Freuhauf said the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office “retains the ability to charge Patterson at any time within the statute of limitations for any crime it determines Patterson has committed.”
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