Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old girl held captive for 88 days in Wisconsin before making a daring escape, says the man who kidnapped her and killed her parents had tried to ‘own her’ but she was smarter and braver.
The teenager’s attorney read a victim impact statement on her behalf as her kidnapper, 21-year-old Jake Patterson, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday in Barron County.
Patterson had pleaded guilty to abducting Jayme after brutally killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, at the family’s home near the small town of Barron on October 15 last year.
‘Jake Patterson took a lot of things that I love away from me. It makes me the most sad that he took away my mom and my dad,’ Jayme said, through her attorney, in her first public statement since she escaped.
Jayme described the night her parents were killed as a ‘horrifying memory’ that has left her too scared to go out in public and unable to visit her family home.
‘There are some things that Jake Patterson can never take from me. He can’t take my freedom. He thought he could own me and he was wrong. I’m smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not,’ she said.
Jake Patterson, 21, is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one of kidnapping
The case sparked a nationwide hunt for Jayme and mystified authorities until she managed to make her brave escape from the remote cabin where she had been held captive for three months
JAYME CLOSS’ VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
Last October, Jake Patterson took a lot of things that I love away from me. It makes me the most sad that he took away my mom and my dad. I love them very much and they love me very much. They did all they could to make me happy and protect me. He took them away from me forever.
I felt safe in my home and I loved my room and all of my belongings. He took all of that too. I don’t want to even see my home or my stuff because of the memory of that night. My parents and my home are the most important things in my life. He took them away from my in a way that will always leave me with a horrifying memory. I have to have an alarm in the house now just so I can sleep.
I used to love to go out with my friends. I loved to go to school. I loved to do dance. He took all of those things away from me too. It’s too hard for me to go out in public. I get scared and I get anxious. These are ordinary things that anyone like me should be able to do, but I can’t because he took them away from me.
There are some things that Jake Patterson can never take from me. He can’t take my freedom. He thought he could own me and he was wrong. I’m smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not.
Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me and he couldn’t. I feel like what he did is what a coward would do. I was brave and he was not.
He can never take away my spirit. He thought he could make me like him, but he was wrong.
He can’t ever change me or take away who I am. He can’t stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life.
I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not. Jake Patterson will never have any power over me. I feel like I have some power over him because I get to tell the judge what I think should happen to him.
He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I loved from me. For 88 days he tried to steal me and he didn’t care who he hurt or who he killed to do that. He should stay locked up forever.
‘Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me and he couldn’t. I feel like what he did is what a coward would do. I was brave and he was not.
‘He can’t ever change me or take away who I am. He can’t stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life.
‘I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not. Jake Patterson will never have any power over me.
‘He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I loved from me. For 88 days he tried to steal me and he didn’t care who he hurt or who he killed to do that.
Jayme urged the judge to lock Patterson up for life.
Patterson spoke briefly ahead of his sentencing, saying he would do ‘absolutely anything to take back what I did’.
‘I would die… absolutely anything to bring them back. I don’t care about me. I’m just so sorry.’
During the sentencing hearing, prosecutors revealed horrific details of the night he murdered Jayme’s parents and abducted the teenager.
Photos of the gun he used to kill Denise and James Closs, the bloody crime scene and the tiny space where Jayme was held captive under Patterson’s bed were shown to the court.
Patterson repeatedly shook his head in court when the prosecutor branded him a killer and said he showed no remorse for the killings or abduction.
The case sparked a nationwide hunt for Jayme in October and mystified authorities until she managed to make her brave escape from the remote cabin where she had been held captive for three months.
Jayme was found near Patterson’s cabin in the isolated town of Gordon, some 60 miles from her home, by a woman walking her dog. She had begged the woman for help, telling her that she had escaped from Patterson’s home when he left her alone.
Neighbors called 911 and Patterson was arrested within minutes.
Despite Patterson admitting his guilt, his motivations for the horror ordeal still remain a mystery. The crime traumatized the close-knit community and his sentencing is said to be a milestone in its recovery.
Multiple members of Jayme’s family gave emotional victim impact statements to the court during Patterson’s sentencing.
Her aunt Jennifer Smith, who now takes care of the teen, said Jayme no longer has a 13-year-old’s life and said their family lives in fear every day.
Patterson’s court appearance on Friday was his final chance to explain why he shot the girl’s parents at close range and then held the eighth grader captive.
During Patterson’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors revealed horrific details of the night he murdered Jayme’s parents and abducted the teenager. This photo of the tiny space where Jayme was held captive under Patterson’s bed was shown to the court on Friday
Patterson broke down the bathroom door where Jayme and her mother Denise were cowering in the bathtub on October 15. He shot Denise dead before kidnapping Jayme. This photo of the bloody crime scene was shown to the court on Friday
How kidnapper abducted Jayme after spotting her on school bus and murdered her parents in cold blood
Patterson, who was kicked out of the U.S. Marines after five weeks, carefully planned out the crime and told police that he decided Jayme ‘was the girl he was going to take’ after he saw her getting on a school bus near her home.
He had previously made two aborted trips to the Closs family home. He broke off one attempt because too many cars were in the driveway and called off another because the house was too active.
Patterson finally carried out his planned attack when he pulled into the Closs driveway in the early hours of October 15 dressed in black and wearing a face mask, hat and gloves.
In her own account of that terrifying night, Jayme told police that her barking dog woke her and she went to alert her parents as Patterson’s car came up the driveway.
While her father went to the front door, Jayme said she hid in the bathroom clutching her mother with the shower curtain pulled shut.
Shining a flashlight through the window of the front door, Jayme’s father James had asked to see Patterson’s badge after assuming that he was law enforcement. Patterson said he shot James through the window and then fired at the doorknob to blast his way in.
He stepped over James’ lifeless body before searching for Jayme and her mother.
Patterson broke down the bathroom door as Jayme’s mother was calling 911 while wrapping the teenager in a ‘bear hug’. He told her to hang up the phone and ordered her to tape her daughter’s mouth shut.
He told detectives that Denise struggled with the tape so he wrapped it himself around Jayme’s mouth and head. He then taped her hands behind her back and taped her ankles together before pulling her out of the bathtub and shooting her mother in the head.
The criminal complaint against Patterson noted that James had suffered ‘significant trauma to his face and head’, while the back of his wife’s head and skull plate were found lying next to her body in the bathtub.
Patterson dragged Jayme outside, nearly slipping in pooled blood on the floor, and threw her in the truck of his car.
As he was driving off, Patterson recalled pausing to yield to three squad cars speeding toward the house with flashing lights. Asked during a police interview what he would have done if he was stopped the officers, Patterson said he probably would have shot at them with the shotgun.
Patterson took Jayme to his remote cabin in rural Wisconsin where he held 13-year-old Jayme Closs prisoner for nearly three months
Following his arrest, photos obtained by DailyMail.com showed the squalid basement ‘cell’ where police believe Jayme was held for 88 days
Other images of Patterson’s home showed a shabby living area with a couch, refrigerator, an old television set and an unfinished ceiling
A prisoner for 88 days: Jayme was forced to hide under her kidnapper’s bed for hours without food or water
Patterson took Jayme to his remote cabin where he removed the tape from her mouth, hands and ankles and told her to go into the bathroom and remove all her clothes.
He told investigators that Jayme was ‘scared and crying’ and that she had urinated on herself. He gave Jayme a pair of his sister’s pajamas and then threw her clothes into a fireplace in the cabin’s basement while making a comment about ‘not having evidence’.
Patterson was arrested soon after Jayme managed to escape his home on January 10. He was charged with kidnapping and two counts of first-degree murder
Whenever Patterson had friends or relatives over, he made it clear to Jayme that nobody was to know she was there or ‘bad things would happen’ to her.
Patterson made Jayme hide under his bed – which is about 2 1/2 feet off the ground – in the corner of his bedroom and sealed it off with tote boxes and weights so she could not crawl out.
Jayme also had to remain under the bed whenever he left the house and would sometimes go hours without food, water or using the bathroom.
When his father visited, Patterson told investigators that he turned up the radio in the bedroom to cover any noise she might make.
On one occasion, Jayme said Patterson was mad and ‘hit her really hard on the back with the handle of something he used to clean blinds’.
Patterson said that Jayme had tried to escape his makeshift lair at least twice and when she had done so, he ‘struck a wall and screamed a lot to the point where he knew she was scared and… she better never try that again’.
He believed her to be ‘fearful enough not to leave the bedroom without him’.
Patterson admitted to abducting Jayme on October 15 after killing her parents, James and Denise Closs (pictured above), at the family’s home near the small town of Barron
Patterson finally carried out his planned attack when he pulled into the Closs driveway in the early hours of October 15 dressed in black and wearing a face mask, hat and gloves. He kicked down the door and shot dead Jayme’s parents. Their home is pictured above
‘He killed my parents. I want to go home. Help me:’ Jayme’s daring escape after 88 days held captive
TIMELINE OF JAYME CLOSS’ ABDUCTION
Oct. 15, 2018: James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, are found shot to death in their home in Barron, a town in western Wisconsin. Authorities issue an Amber Alert for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, and the search for her begins.
Oct. 16, 2018: Investigators say they don’t consider Jayme a suspect in her parents’ deaths and say they believe the girl is in danger.
Oct. 17, 2018: Authorities announce that investigators believe Jayme was in her family’s home when her parents were fatally shot.
Oct. 18, 2018: About 100 people join a ground search for Jayme after Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald requests the help of volunteers. The search turns up nothing useful.
Oct. 23, 2018: About 2,000 volunteers from as far as Minneapolis help with another ground search.
Oct. 24, 2018: The FBI offers a $25,000 reward for information leading to Jayme’s location. The amount is later doubled to $50,000.
Oct. 27, 2018: Funerals are held for James and Denise Closs.
Jan. 10, 2019: Jayme is found alive in Gordon, a town about an hour’s drive north of Barron. She is skinny, disheveled and wearing shoes too big for her when she approaches a stranger and pleads for help. A man driving around the rural area is soon taken into custody.
Jan. 11, 2019: Investigators say the suspect, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, is jailed on homicide and kidnapping charges.
Jan. 14, 2019: Prosecutors formally charge Patterson with two counts of intentional homicide and one count each of kidnapping and armed burglary. A judge sets bail at $5 million cash. A criminal complaint says Patterson saw Jayme get on a school bus one day, decided he would take her and then kept her trapped in his remote cabin until she escaped.
Feb. 6, 2019: A judge orders Patterson to stand trial after Patterson waives his right to a preliminary hearing.
March 27, 2019: Patterson pleads guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. Sentencing is set for May 24.
May 25, 2019: Patterson is sentenced.
Jayme made her daring escape on January 10 when Patterson made her go under the bed and told her he would be gone five or six hours. She pushed the boxes away, crawled out, put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes and fled the house.
A woman walking her dog spotted Jayme along a road near the home and said she was begging for help. The woman, Jeanne Nutter, said the girl told her Patterson had been hiding her in a nearby cabin and that she had escaped when he left her alone.
Nutter immediately took Jayme to the nearby home of Kristin Kasinskas and called 911. The women recognized Jayme from missing person posters distributed by police in their wide-scale search for her.
‘Hi. I have a young lady at my house right now and she has said her name is Jayme Closs,’ Kasinskas told the 911 operator.
The two women both spoke to the 911 operator and told them the kidnapper’s name and gave a description of his car.
The dispatcher asked: ‘OK. Have you seen her photo, ma’am?’
‘Yes. It is her. I 100 percent think it is her,’ Kasinskas said.
According to the audio, Jayme’s first words to the woman walking her dog was: ‘He killed my parents. I want to go home. Help me.’
The two women both took turns speaking to the 911 operator to explain how Jayme approached them and to provide details about the teen’s kidnapper, including his name and a description of his car.
At one point, the two women told the 911 operator they feared the kidnapper could find them in the home if he was out looking for Jayme.
‘I was walking my dog and we were almost home and she’s walking towards me crying saying, ‘you gotta help me, you gotta help me,’ Nutter told the dispatcher.
‘I didn’t want to go into my cabin because it’s too close to Patterson’s house.
‘His name is Jake Thomas Patterson and apparently his house is two doors down from our cabin… So we’re kind of scared because he might come.
The dispatcher asked the women to lock the doors and stay on the line because multiple deputies were en route to the area in search of Patterson.
‘She has no idea where he is. She told me that when he leaves her she doesn’t know that he’s gone. He turns the music up real loud. He has people to come over and watch her, or no, wait… he pushed you/hides you under a bed, he has hidden her under a bed,’ Nutter could be heart saying.
‘He doesn’t work and I asked her what kind of car. It’s a red – he used to be in the military.’
Jayme, pictured after she was rescued, escape after Patterson made her go under the bed and told her he would be gone five or six hours. She told police she pushed the boxes away, crawled out, put on a pair of Patterson’s shoes and fled the house
While the women were speaking to the dispatcher, Patterson had returned home to find Jayme missing and began a frantic search for her in his car. Police arrested him 10 minutes after the 911 call was place after spotting his car.
Patterson told police that he assumed he had gotten away with the slayings and kidnappings after two weeks went by.
He said he put stolen license plates on his car the night of the kidnapping and removed an anti-kidnapping release cord from his trunk. Patterson also shaved his head so he would not leave any hair behind and chose his father’s Mossberg shotgun because he thought it was a common model that would be hard to trace.
Following his arrest, photos obtained by DailyMail.com showed the squalid basement ‘cell’ where police believe Jayme was held for 88 days.
The secret den beneath his home contained a scruffy mattress and had soft toys and women’s clothes strewn everywhere. Other images of Patterson’s home showed a shabby living area with a couch, refrigerator, an old television set and an unfinished ceiling.
Exterior photographs showed a lean-to loaded with firewood, a three-car garage and an empty box of adult female diapers in a trash can. A sign over the cabin’s front door reads ‘Patterson’s Retreat’.
Patterson, who had no prior criminal history in Wisconsin, was described by people who knew him as a quiet and good student who participated in quiz bowl in high school.
The teenager was seen publicly for the first time last week when she was presented with a Wisconsin Hometown Hero award at the State Capitol
Jayme was spotted smiling as she was given a standing ovation by members of the Wisconsin State Assembly after being honored for her bravery and strong will. Her aunt Jennifer Smith spoke on Jayme’s behalf and thanked the people of her hometown for their support
He graduated from Northwood High School in Minong in the spring of 2015. He wrote in his high school yearbook of wanting to join the Marines. Patterson lasted just a little more than month in the corps before washing out in October 2015.
He spent his time holed up in his home poring over outdoor survival guides and books about the military.
Patterson lived at the $110,000 dwelling since he was a child with his mom Deborah, 49, dad Patrick, 55, sister Katie, 26, and older brother Erik, 24.
His mother left after divorcing his father in 2007. In the years that followed, Katie, Patrick and Erik all moved out, leaving Patterson by himself.
Patterson held a job at Barron’s Jennie O Turkey Factory – where Denise and James Closs worked for more than two decades – for just one day some three years ago. His latest job prior to his arrest was at the Saputo Cheese Factory and lasted just two days.
He had applied for a job online at the Saratoga Liquor Co. the same day that Jayme escaped. In the application, he called himself ‘an honest and hardworking guy’.
Prosecutors announced early on in the court case that he had no plans to file additional charges against Patterson. He was charged with two counts of intentional homicide and one of kidnapping.
Authorities decided not to bring charges related to anything that might have happened in the cabin, a move that was widely seen as aiming to spare Jayme further pain and keep details private.
Patterson (pictured with his mother Deborah, 49, and sister Katie, 26) was described by people who knew him as a quiet and good student who participated in quiz bowl in high school
During the court hearing when he pleaded guilty to the charges, Patterson bizarrely yelled out ‘bye Jayme’ as he was led away in handcuffs.
Jayme, who is now legally being cared for by her aunt Jennifer Smith, has rarely been seen in public since she escaped but her family said early on that she was in ‘exceptionally good spirits’ despite the horror ordeal.
‘She’s doing exceptionally well for what she went through,’ her grandfather Robert Naiberg said soon after she was rescued. ‘She’s in exceptionally good spirits.’
In a rare statement released by Jayme’s family, they said she was taking comfort in the cards and letters she has received from supporters.
The teenager was seen publicly for the first time last week when she was presented with a Wisconsin Hometown Hero award at the State Capitol.
Jayme was spotted smiling as she was given a standing ovation by members of the Wisconsin State Assembly after being honored for her bravery and strong will.
Her aunt Jennifer Smith spoke on Jayme’s behalf and thanked the people of her hometown for their support in the past few months. Jayme stood behind her aunt but did not speak.
‘She greatly appreciates the honor… and the kindness of everyone involved,’ Smith said. ‘Speaking for her entire family, I have to say, Jayme is totally deserving of the hero part of this award.
‘Her courage, her bravery and her spirit are things that inspire us and make us stronger and better. Just like you, we want Jayme to know how much we love her.’