Gordon, Wis. – The man suspected of kidnapping a Wisconsin teenager and killing her parents with a shotgun nearly three months ago appears to have…
Gordon, Wis. – The man suspected of kidnapping a Wisconsin teenager and killing her parents with a shotgun nearly three months ago appears to have led an unremarkable existence until that fateful night, blending into the state’s vast northwestern forests.
Jake Thomas Patterson grew up in Gordon, a sprawling township of 645 people tucked into the snowy evergreen forests about 35 miles south of Lake Superior. It’s wild country; roadside signs admonish motorists to share the pavement with ATVs.
The few neighbors who know Patterson’s family say he grew up in a cabin in a remote development that’s a mix of seasonal and year-round homes about 10 miles outside Gordon proper. Patterson’s high school teachers barely remember the now 21-year-old man who graduated only three years ago, and say they didn’t realize he still lived in the area.
Jayme Closs, 13, has told authorities since her escape on Thursday that she was held captive at that same remote woodland cabin after her abduction in October from her family home in Barron.
Authorities believe Patterson went to the Closs home intending to kidnap Jayme. But they haven’t been able to find any connection between him and the Closs family. The girl’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, insisted Saturday that none of them know him, raising questions about how Patterson became aware of Jayme. Investigators say they’ve found no evidence of any online conversations between the two.

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