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Jayme Closs kidnapping suspect applied for job at liquor distributor on day she escaped

Chilling details in Jayme Closs case

Minneapolis — The man accused of kidnapping a Wisconsin teenager and killing her parents filled out an online job application to work at a liquor distributor just hours before she escaped, CBS Minnesota reported. Jake Patterson described himself as "an honest and hardworking guy" who shows up to work and is "a quick learner." 

The 21-year-old wasn't considered for the night warehouse position at Saratoga Liquor Company in Superior, Wisconsin, due to lack of experience. The business made the connection after a press conference Friday when Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald announced the girl's escape.

"Jayme is the hero in this case, there's no question about it," Fitzgerald said. "She's the one who helped break this case."

A criminal complaint filed Monday details Patterson's confession of killing James and Denise Closs and kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs on October 15. He told investigators he took her to a remote cabin, sometimes hiding her under his bed for hours, until she escaped. 

In the criminal complaint, a deputy reports seeing a maroon car while responding to the original 911 call. Patterson told investigators he pulled over while deputies sped by. 

Jake Patterson accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl after murdering her parents, appears via live video from jail during his first court appearance in Barron Wisconsin
Jake Patterson appears via live video from jail, wearing an orange jumpsuit, during his first court appearance in Barron, Wisconsin, U.S., January 14, 2019.  Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Minneapolis Star Tribune/Pool via REUTERS

Sheriff Fitzgerald told CBS Minnesota on Wednesday they didn't release information about that car early in the investigation because the deputy wasn't certain what kind of car it was or the year. It's now among evidence in Barron County, and Fitzgerald said if dashcams caught Patterson driving the car that October night, it will come out as part of the court process.

Patterson's defense attorneys, Richard Jones and Charlie Glynn, said in an interview with The Associated Press this week that they face an uphill struggle. Glynn said the criminal complaint contains "a very thorough confession." Jones said they will look at Patterson's statements and figure out whether they are true and were made voluntarily.

Jones also doubted that Patterson can receive a fair trial in Barron County. 

"(Barron) is a small community," Jones said, the AP reported. "So many different people have had not only an interest in the case, but an actual involvement in the case, being part of the search, those things, being part of fundraisers. They've had physical, tangible involvement in the case."

"The question becomes, 'Can you lay that involvement, that emotion aside and render a verdict based on this case?' In that county, I think that could be extremely difficult," he added.

Patterson is due back in court on February 6 for a preliminary hearing. It's an important date for the defense because that's when the state must establish probable cause.