A small, white-paneled room – strewn with stuffed animals, makeup accessories, a panda backpack and mattress – is believed to be the hellish makeshift prison where Jayme Closs was held for 88 excruciating days before her miraculous Thursday escape.
It’s not yet known whether the 13-year-old’s alleged captor, Jake Thomas Patterson, kept her solely confined to the room of his remote house in Gordon, Wisconsin, for the three months she spent in his clutches, or if she was only hidden away there when other people were in the area.
The house from which Closs escaped appeared, from the outside, as just another nondescript, two-story home. It had a trampoline and swing in the backyard and was located in a sparsely populated forest town in northern Wisconsin.
But police said it was the lair of a killer and kidnapper. Authorities said they recovered a shotgun that is consistent with the gun used on Oct. 15, when Patterson is alleged to have blasted through the front door of the Closs house and gunned down Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs.
Patterson is set to make his first court appearance Monday after he was captured Thursday and booked on murder and kidnapping charges. The 21-year-old had “specific intentions to kidnap Jayme and went to great lengths to prepare to take her,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a prior news conference.
Jayme, wearing an oversized top and shoes, made her daring escape on Thursday and flagged down Jeanne Nutter, who took the teen to a neighbor’s house for safety. Kristin Kasiskas told Fox News that she and her husband immediately recognized the teen, whose picture had been posted on billboards nationwide.
“When our neighbor Jeanne came in with Jayme, she said: ‘Get a gun. We don’t know if he’s after us,’” Kasinskas said. “So we were armed and ready in case this person showed up.”
Jayme’s aunt, Kelly Engelhardt, told Fox News that Patterson had “absolutely” no contact with the Closs family prior to the murders and kidnapping. She added that they are “not asking” Jayme questions right now following her rescue on Thursday.
“We know the truth and they had nothing to do with it,” Engelhardt told Fox News. “Police proved it on Thursday when they told us who he was.”
Engelhardt told Fox News the family is “looking for more answers” and moving forward she plans on being at every court proceeding for Patterson. “Now it’s about getting him the harshest sentence possible,” she said.
Fox News’ Cristina Corbin and Matt Finn contributed to this report.