Jayme Closs kidnapping suspect Jake Patterson to appear in court

The man accused of killing a Wisconsin couple in October, kidnapping their 13-year-old daughter and holding her captive for months is scheduled to appear Wednesday in court for a preliminary hearing.

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, was charged last month with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary. He’s accused of breaking into the Closs family home in Barron in the early morning hours of Oct. 15 and killing James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, before abducting their daughter, Jayme Closs.

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Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told The Associated Press that Patterson was expected to appear in the courtroom for the hearing, which is aimed at determining whether there is enough evidence to take Patterson to trial.

Authorities arrested Patterson after Jayme managed to escape his home on Jan. 10, according to officials. She had been held captive since Oct. 15, after Patterson shot out the lock of her family’s home in Barron and killed her parents, investigators said.

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In a criminal complaint filed last month, authorities said Patterson admitted to killing James and Denise Closs and to abducting Jayme. Patterson told investigators he targeted Jayme after seeing her get on a school bus as he was driving home from a short-lived job at a cheese factory. He said he did not know the girl or her family before the attack, according to officials.

Jayme told investigators Patterson made her hide under his bed in his bedroom and stacked totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights inside to keep her from moving the items without his knowledge. She said she was forced to stay under the bed for as many as 12 hours at a time without food, water or bathroom breaks.

A judge determined Patterson was a flight risk and a danger to the public last month and set his bail at $5 million.