Kidnapping of Jayme Closs

Coordinates: 45°24′06.0″N 91°53′54.3″W / 45.401667°N 91.898417°W / 45.401667; -91.898417
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Kidnapping of Jayme Lynn Closs
Barron - Site of Kidnapping is located in Wisconsin
Barron - Site of Kidnapping
Barron - Site of Kidnapping
Barron - Site of Kidnapping (Wisconsin)
Abduction: 1268 U.S. 8,
Barron, Wisconsin, U.S
Confinement: 14166 South Eau Claire Acres Circle,
Gordon, Wisconsin, U.S.
Coordinates45°24′06.0″N 91°53′54.3″W / 45.401667°N 91.898417°W / 45.401667; -91.898417
DateOctober 15, 2018 (2018-10-15)
January 10, 2019 (2019-01-10)
Attack type
Double-murder by shooting, home invasion, child abduction
James Closs, aged 56 (father)
Denise Closs, aged 46 (mother)
Jayme Lynn Closs
PerpetratorJake Thomas Patterson[1]
MotiveSexual gratification[2]
VerdictPleaded guilty
ConvictionsFirst-degree intentional homicide (2 counts), kidnapping[a]
SentenceTwo consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus 40 years
Gordon - Jayme Found is located in Wisconsin
Gordon - Jayme Found
Gordon - Jayme Found
Gordon - Jayme Found (Wisconsin)

On October 15, 2018, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson abducted 13-year-old Jayme Lynn Closs from her family's home in Barron, Wisconsin. The attack took place at 12:53 a.m. after he forced his way inside and fatally shot her parents.[3] Patterson took Closs to a house 70 miles (110 km) away in rural Gordon, Wisconsin, and held her in captivity for 88 days until she escaped on January 10, 2019.[4][5]

Police took Patterson into custody; shortly after, he told them he kidnapped Closs and murdered her parents.[1][6][7] He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.[1] On May 24, 2019, Patterson was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional consecutive 40 years.[8] After her recovery, Jayme Closs now lives with an aunt and an uncle.[9]

Jayme has become an advocate for other missing and exploited children. Her story has been widely reported on and has raised awareness about the issue of child abduction and the need for greater support for victims and their families.[10]


Jayme Lynn Closs (born 2005) is the only child of James and Denise Closs of Barron, Wisconsin.[11][12] On October 5, 2018, Jake Patterson drove to the Closs home to kidnap Jayme Closs. Activity in the home deterred him, as he was afraid he would leave witnesses. Patterson made a second attempt two days later but again aborted for the same reason. On October 15, he made a third visit, this time armed with a shotgun. Shortly before 12:53 a.m. Central Time (05:53 UTC), Patterson parked his car at the end of the driveway. Wearing a black coat and ski mask, he approached the front door of the home, carrying the shotgun.[13] James Closs, 56, shone a light on Patterson through a glass pane in the front door and asked him to show him his badge. Patterson called out, "Open the fucking door!" Patterson fired once, fatally shooting Closs. Forcing his way into the house, Patterson checked every room in the house because he wanted "no witnesses left behind."[14] He found the bathroom door locked and began shooting it down.[13] Inside the bathroom were Denise Closs, 46, and Jayme.[13] Denise was comforting Jayme, who was crying loudly.[12] At 12:53 a.m., Denise Closs made a 911 call.[15][16]

While Denise Closs did not speak, the operator heard a disturbance and yelling before the phone call disconnected. When the dispatcher called the number back, they reached the voicemail of Denise.[17] Patterson bound Jayme's wrists and ankles using duct tape, then fatally shot Denise Closs.[13] He dragged Jayme outside, almost slipping on blood,[12] placed her in the trunk of his car, and drove away.[13] The police arrived four minutes after the 911 call.[18] Patterson later told investigators that he pulled over 20 seconds down the road from the house.[13] Deputies sped by with emergency lights and sirens on.[19] Neighbors said they heard two gunshots but dismissed them since hunting was common around their homes.[20][21] After arriving at his cabin, Patterson made Closs change into a different pair of pajamas, then forced her under his mattress and sealed off all exits before going to sleep.[2]

Less than two weeks after Jayme's abduction, a man burglarized the Closs family home, stealing some of Jayme's clothing. He was arrested, but not considered a suspect in the abduction and double murder.[22]


Patterson believed that Closs was too afraid of him to make any escape attempts. He "never put special locks on doors because she wouldn’t escape." They also slept on the same bed.[2] Patterson would rarely let Closs out of the cabin, only for brief walks on the lawn after checking for bystanders.[2] On the afternoon of January 10, 2019, Patterson told Closs he was leaving for a couple of hours. He put her under his bed before boxing her inside with his belongings, per his usual routine. After he departed, Closs pushed out the objects around the bed. She ran from the house wearing a light shirt, leggings, and a pair of Patterson's sneakers. Closs came across a local woman, Jeanne Nutter, walking her dog. Nutter recognized Closs from news reports and immediately took her to a neighbor's house.[23] After police were called, Closs told them "Jake Patterson" had killed her parents, taken her, and kept her prisoner just a few houses away from her current location in the neighborhood.[15] The neighbors described Closs as calm, quiet, dazed, and surprised that they recognized her from news coverage.

The police arrived around 4:45 p.m. and removed Closs from the area for her safety.[24] The description Closs provided for Patterson and his vehicle enabled deputies to spot his car just minutes afterwards when Patterson drove by the house.[25] After a deputy stopped him, Patterson exited his vehicle and said, "I did it."[24][26]

A hospital admitted Closs under guard. The next morning, they released her to the custody of her aunt, Jennifer Smith.[12] Hormel, the parent company of the Jennie-O store where Closs's parents worked, announced on January 24 that they would grant $25,000 reward money to Closs for rescuing herself.[27]


Jake Thomas Patterson
Born (1997-06-17) June 17, 1997 (age 26)
EducationNorthwood High School
Height5.9 ft (180 cm)
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Criminal chargeTwo counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping
PenaltyTwo consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 40 years

Patterson's parents divorced in 2007. He graduated from Northwood High School in nearby Minong, Wisconsin in 2015. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, but was discharged after one month at MCRD San Diego.[28][29]

Police did not believe Patterson had any social media contact with Closs or her family[30] and relatives of Closs did not recognize Patterson's name.[31] Patterson told authorities he saw Closs getting off a school bus outside the family residence in September while he was driving home from work and that he "knew that she was the girl I wanted to take".[32] Patterson's grandfather stated, "Something went terribly wrong, nobody had any clues... We are absolutely heartbroken. It's wrenching to deal with. He was shy and quiet, he backed off from crowds, but a nice boy, polite. Computer games were more of a priority than social interaction."[33]


Patterson confessed to police that he had kidnapped Closs and killed her parents.[1][15] He had no previous criminal history in Wisconsin.[34] He was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary on January 14, 2019, with bail set at $5 million.[35][36] On March 27, he pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional first-degree homicide and one count of kidnapping.[37][38]

The judge agreed to dismiss the armed burglary count.[38] On May 24, Patterson was sentenced to the maximum of two consecutive life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders plus an additional 40 years for the kidnapping.[8] Douglas County authorities did not pursue charges against Patterson related to Closs's 88 days in captivity because they did not want to bring Closs in for questioning and believed there was sufficient evidence to pursue a life sentence without parole without needing additional charges.[39][36][40]

While in jail in March, Patterson wrote a letter in response to questions sent to him by a reporter from a television station in Minneapolis. He apologized for his crimes and stated they were committed "mostly on impulse," contrasting with reports from the police that he had taken various measures in preparation for the crime.[41][42][43] He added that his intention from the beginning was to plead guilty in order to spare Closs and her family the trauma of the case going to trial.[43][44] Later that month, a television reporter in Minneapolis received a cell phone call from Patterson in which he briefly answered questions sent to him in a letter. Regarding the time Closs spent in captivity, Patterson said, "We were just like watching TV, playing board games, talking about stuff. We cooked a lot, everything we made was homemade, you know".[45]

At Patterson's arraignment, his father had told a reporter that he had a note of apology that he was trying to get to Closs.[33] On June 20, Jake Patterson was registered officially as a sex offender.[46] In July, he was transferred from the Dodge Correctional Institution to an out-of-state prison in New Mexico. In August 2019, while in the New Mexico prison, he got into a fight with another inmate.[47][48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Levensen, Eric; Baldacci, Marlena (January 15, 2019). "Suspect in Jayme Closs case confessed to killing her parents and kidnapping her, complaint states". CNN. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Dedaj, Paulina (December 22, 2019). "Jayme Closs' captor manipulated her, admitted to having sexual fantasies of the teen, new documents reveal". Fox News. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  3. ^ Moreno, Ivan (November 21, 2018). "Missing Wisconsin girl's family faces painful holiday season". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  4. ^ Barron County Sheriff. "Jayme Closs has been located". Facebook. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Fieldstadt, Elisha (January 11, 2019). "Jayme Closs: Everything we know about Wisconsin teen's abduction and escape". NBC News. Retrieved August 9, 2023.
  6. ^ Jones, Sheena; Chavez, Nicole (January 10, 2019). "Missing 13-year-old Jayme Closs found alive in Wisconsin". CNN. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  7. ^ May, Ashley; Miller, Ryan W. (January 11, 2019). "Missing Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs found alive: What we know about how she escaped". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  8. ^ a b ""You are the embodiment of evil": Judge hands down life without parole to Jake Patterson for Closs kidnapping and murders". KARE (TV). May 24, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  9. ^ Finn, Natalie (January 10, 2020). "How Jayme Closs is Doing 1 Year After Her Incredible Escape from the Kidnapper Who Killed Her Parents". E!.
  10. ^ "Where is Jayme Closs now?". April 25, 2023. Retrieved August 21, 2023.
  11. ^ King, Gayle; Van Sant, Peter; Axelrod, Jim; Diaz, Adriana (June 13, 2019). "Jayme Closs: Hometown Hero". CBS News. Retrieved August 9, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c d Li, David K. (May 24, 2019). "Man who kidnapped Jayme Closs and murdered her parents sentenced to life in prison". NBC News. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Baumhardt, Alexandra; Rosenberg, Eli; Bever, Lindsey (January 14, 2019). "He spotted Jayme Closs at a bus stop, then launched a deadly plan to kidnap her, police say". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  14. ^ "Man who kidnapped Jayme Closs and murdered her parents sentenced to life in prison". NBC News. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Sanchez, Ray (January 19, 2019). "The Jayme Closs case: A chilling tale of murder, kidnapping and escape in rural America". CNN. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  16. ^ May, Ashley (October 18, 2018). "Wisconsin girl missing 4 days: What we know about Jayme Closs' disappearance and her parents' death". USA Today. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  17. ^ Simon, Darran (October 23, 2018). "Sheriff seeks 2,000 volunteers in search for missing girl -- that's two-thirds of the town's population". CNN. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  18. ^ BeMiller, Haley (October 17, 2018). "Missing Wisconsin girl's parents died from gunshots, Jayme Closs may have been there, sheriff says". USA Today. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  19. ^ "Jayme Closs kidnapping suspect applied for job at liquor distributor on day she escaped". CBS News. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  20. ^ BeMiller, Haley (October 22, 2018). "Jayme Closs: Police seek two vehicles seen near Wisconsin slaying, girl's disappearance". USA Today. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  21. ^ "Neighbors of missing Wisconsin girl heard gunshots 20 minutes before 911 call". CBS News. October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  22. ^ "Suspect charged in theft of missing Wisconsin teen's clothes, underwear". CBS. October 30, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
  23. ^ "Jayme Closs located alive, suspect in custody". KSTP 5. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Sanchez, Angelica. "'I did it:' $5M cash bond for Jake Patterson, charged with kidnapping Jayme Closs, killing her parents". Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  25. ^ "Rescuers recount dramatic moments Jayme Closs was rescued". KARE. January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  26. ^ "The Latest: Cabin's ownership changed days after abduction". WRAL. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2019. Ownership of a remote cabin where a Wisconsin teenager was apparently held during a nearly three-month disappearance passed to a credit union soon after the girl's abduction. Records show that defendant Jake Thomas Patterson's father transferred the title of the cabin near Gordon to Superior Choice Credit Union on October 23, eight days after the October 15 attack at the Closs family's home near Barron, which is about 60 miles (97 km) south of Gordon. It was appraised at $79,300.
  27. ^ Grinberg, Emmanuella (January 24, 2019). "Jayme Closs to get $25K reward money after saving herself". CNN. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  28. ^ "Suspect in Jayme Closs Kidnapping Was Discharged from MCRD". Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  29. ^ Staff, A. O. L. "Accused Jayme Closs kidnapper shaved his head before abduction, authorities say". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  30. ^ Corbin, Cristina (January 12, 2019). "Neighbor who came to Jayme Closs' aid: 'We were armed and ready' for suspect to come looking". Fox News. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  31. ^ "Jayme Closs Located Alive". Fox 9. January 12, 2019.
  32. ^ "He spotted Jayme Closs at a bus stop, then launched a deadly plan to kidnap her, police say". Washington Post.
  33. ^ a b Goelz, Jennifer. "Father of kidnap suspect has a letter for Jayme Closs's family". Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  34. ^ "Missing Wisconsin teen found alive: What we know about the kidnapping suspect, Jayme Closs's escape". USA Today. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  35. ^ "Suspect in Jayme Closs disappearance moved to different jail". KSTP-TV. January 15, 2019. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  36. ^ a b Schneider, Doug (February 6, 2019). "Jake Patterson, accused of abducting Jayme Closs, makes first appearance in courtroom". Green Bay Press Gazette. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  37. ^ Karnowski, Steve (March 27, 2018). "Jake Patterson pleads guilty to kidnapping Jayme Closs, killing her parents". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  38. ^ a b Burke, Minyvonne (March 27, 2019). "Wisconsin man pleads guilty to kidnapping Jayme Closs, murdering her parents". NBC News. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  39. ^ "Jayme Closs case: Douglas County DA has no plan to file charges related to 88-day captivity". Green Bay Press-Gazette. January 25, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  40. ^ "Jake Patterson, 21, Wrote Letter About Jayme Closs: Report". Waukesha, WI Patch. February 21, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  41. ^ BeMiller, Haley; Thompson, Andy (March 21, 2019). "Jake Patterson's letter, phone interview 'pierce Jayme's soul' as he molds narrative". Green Bay Gazette. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  42. ^ Lang, Amy B. (March 9, 2019). "'It was really stupid': Jayme Closs kidnapping suspect reportedly confesses in letter from jail". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  43. ^ a b Raguse, Lou (March 7, 2019). "'I can't believe I did this' – Accused Jayme Closs kidnapper writes letter from jail". KARE 11. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  44. ^ "Station: Suspect in Closs abduction says he'll plead guilty". Associated Press. March 8, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  45. ^ Mayerle, Jennifer (March 15, 2019). "Accused Closs Kidnapper Jake Patterson Calls WCCO's Jennifer Mayerle". WCCO-TV. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  46. ^ "Jayme Closs Kidnapper Officially Registered Lifetime Sex Offender". RadarOnline. June 20, 2019. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  47. ^ "Video shows kidnapper of Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs in prison fight". NBC News.
  48. ^ "Jake Patterson deleted from Wisconsin prison records as he's quietly moved to New Mexico". Retrieved July 25, 2019.


  1. ^ One count of armed burglary dropped.

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