Man pleads guilty to kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents
A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty Wednesday to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs, killing her parents and holding her captive in a remote cabin for three months. Jake Patterson, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.
A count of armed burglary was dropped. The intentional homicide counts carry a sentence of life in prison.
Patterson had said he would plead guilty in a letter sent earlier this month to a Minneapolis TV station, saying he didn’t want the Closs family “to worry about a trial.”
Patterson admitted kidnapping Jayme after killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, on October 15 at the family’s home near Barron, about 90 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Jayme escaped in January, after 88 days in Patterson’s cabin.
Closs told police that the night she was abducted she was asleep in her room when the family dog started barking, a criminal complaint said. She woke her parents as a car came up the driveway.
She and her mother hid in the bathroom, clutching one another in the bathtub with the shower curtain pulled shut. They heard Jayme’s father get shot as he went to the front door. Patterson then found Jayme. He told detectives he wrapped tape around her mouth and head, taped her hands behind her back and taped her ankles together, then shot her mother in the head, according to the complaint.
Patterson told authorities he decided Jayme “was the girl he was going to take” after he saw her getting on a school bus near her home, the criminal complaint said. He allegedly threw her into the trunk of his car and drove to a remote cabin.
During her time in captivity, Patterson forced Jayme to hide under a bed when he had friends over and penned her in with tote boxes and weights, warning that if she moved, “bad things could happen to her.” He also turned up the radio so visitors couldn’t hear her, according to the complaint.
Authorities searched for Jayme for months and collected more than 3,500 tips. In January, she escaped when Patterson was away from the cabin and flagged down a woman who was walking her dog for help. Patterson was arrested minutes later.