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Authorities examine cellphone of alleged Wisconsin kidnapper

Posted: 4:33 PM, Jan 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-29 17:33:16-05
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BARRON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin authorities have examined call logs, photos and videos stored on the cellphone of the man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and killing her parents, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

The search warrant documents filed in Barron County Circuit Court don’t reveal the nature of the photos and videos stored on the phone of 21-year-old Jake Patterson , who is charged with killing James and Denise Closs on Oct. 15 and kidnapping their daughter, Jayme Closs. But the documents said evidence on the phone could be used “to determine the chronological context” of what happened.

Jayme escaped from a cabin in Douglas County on Jan. 10 after 88 days in captivity and flagged down a woman for help. She was able to provide a description of the car Patterson was driving, and he was arrested minutes later.

According to a search warrant affidavit, the red Ford Taurus Patterson was driving was taped up and taken to a secure evidence garage. The FBI’s evidence response team searched the car the next day and found his cellphone on the front seat.

The phone was released to the Wisconsin Department of Justice to be analyzed by someone trained in the forensic extraction of data.

The documents said authorities were looking for a contact list, a log of incoming and outgoing calls and the dates and times of those calls, texts or other messages and social media communications. They were also seeking emails that were sent to or from the cellphone, evidence that would tell them where the phone was during their months-long investigation, and any pictures or videos on the device.

According to the criminal charges , Patterson told investigators he saw Jayme getting on a school bus near her home and decided to abduct her. The complaint said Patterson went to the Closs home Oct. 15 with the intention of abducting Jayme and with plans to kill if necessary. He allegedly told authorities he shot Jayme’s father, James Closs, through the front door, then went inside and found Jayme and her mother huddled together in a bathtub. He shot Denise Closs, then dragged Jayme to a car, the complaint said.

He took her to his cabin near Gordon, a township of 645 people in thickly forested Douglas County, according to the complaint.

His next court date is Feb. 6.