Jayme Closs kidnapping: Jake Patterson jailed for life for killing girl’s parents and keeping her prisoner

Peter Stubley

The kidnapper of 13 year-old Jayme Closs has been jailed for life after she told the judge she wanted him “locked up forever” for murdering her parents and keeping her prisoner for 88 days.

Jake Patterson, 21, targeted the teenager after spotting her getting on a school bus in a rural area of Wisconsin while he was driving to work at a cheese factory.

After two aborted attempts to kidnap her, he dressed up in black clothing, armed himself with his father’s shotgun and drove to her home in Barron in the early hours of 15 October.

Her shot her father James Closs through a window in the front door, blasted the lock and entered the house. After finding the bathroom locked he broke down the door and discovered Jayme and her mother clinging to each other in the bathtub.

Patterson tied Jayme up with tape and shot Denise Closs in the head as she sat next to her daughter.

He then dragged Jayme through her father’s blood and put her in the truck of his car before driving to his remote cabin about 60 miles away in Gordon, Douglas County.

Patterson kept her captive under a bed and hit her with a curtain rod, Wright said.

“He kept her in constant fear, threatening her, telling her things would get worse,” said district attorney Brian Wright.

Jayme’s disappearance mystified authorities until she finally escaped on 10 January while Patterson was away.

Thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs, who was reported missing from Barron, Wisconsin in October 2018 (EPA)

She flagged down a neighbour and Patterson was arrested by police minutes later as he returned to the cabin.

The killer pleaded guilty last month to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.

Jayme did not appear at the sentencing but her statement was read out in court by a family attorney.

“He thought that he could own me but he was wrong. I was smarter,” the statement said. “I was brave and he was not. ... He thought he could make me like him, but he was wrong.

“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 be locked up forever.”

Judge James Babler called Patterson the “embodiment of evil” before sentencing him to consecutive life sentences without the possibility of release on the homicide charges. He also ordered Patterson to serve 25 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision on the kidnapping count.

“There’s no doubt in my mind you’re one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet,” Babler said.

Offered a chance to speak, Patterson offered an apology: ”I would die,” he said. “I would do absolutely anything ... to bring them back. I don’t care about me. I’m just so sorry. That’s all.”

In statements written while in prison, the killer said he had succumbed to fantasies about keeping a young girl and torturing and controlling her.

He started looking for an opportunity to kidnap someone, even deciding he might want to take multiple girls and kill multiple families.

After seeing Jayme, he decided then that “she was the girl he was going to take.”

Patterson’s attorneys, Richard Jones and Charles Glynn, told the judge that Patterson was isolated and that he overreacted to loneliness.

The killer was also ordered to register as a sex offender.

Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, said after the sentencing that this was an important step in helping Jayme to move forward.

She said the family believes the outcome will give Jayme some “much needed peace of mind".

Additional reporting by Associated Press