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‘I took back my freedom:’ Oct. 15 marks 1 year since murder of Jayme Closs’ parents, her kidnapping

Data pix.

BARRON -- Tuesday, Oct. 15 marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of James and Denise Closs, and the kidnapping of Jayme Closs by Jake Patterson. On Monday, Oct. 14, Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald will speak to the media.

It was a crime that sent shockwaves across the country. A mother and father were murdered in their secluded Barron home, and their 13-year-old daughter was kidnapped. Police discovered the bodies of James and Denise Closs, and sent out an Amber Alert for Jayme. Volunteers searched for weeks. For 88 days, there was no word on Jayme's whereabouts.

James and Denise Closs

Jayme Closs

Prosecutors said Jake Patterson told investigators he drove to the Closs home twice with the intent to kidnap Jayme prior to Oct. 15, when the abduction occurred.

The complaint said that Patterson first spotted Jayme while on the way home from work when he was stopped behind a school bus, and watched Jayme get on the bus.

Patterson told police he had no idea who Jayme was, but "when he saw (Jayme), he knew that was the girl he was going to take."

Jayme Closs, Jake Patterson

CLICK HERE for more details from the criminal complaint filed against Jake Patterson.

Jayme Closs, Jennifer Smith

Then, on Jan. 10, Jayme Closs escaped from the Town of Gordon cabin in Douglas County, where she was held against her will.

The monthslong, nationwide search ended with the best possible news.

"'This is Jayme Closs,'" said the neighbor who helped rescue Jayme. "My jaw hit the floor."

Jayme Closs was reunited with her family and her community.

On Jan. 14, Jake Patterson made his initial appearance in court. Cash bond was set at $5 million. His attorney spoke on his behalf.

"We have a job to do, to represent our client, and protect his interests, but we understand the pain and emotion in this community," said Patterson's attorney.


An investigation revealed Jayme Closs was kept inside the Town of Gordon cabin -- forced to hide under a twin-sized bed, sometimes without food, water, or access to a bathroom for hours.

On March 27, Patterson pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, and one count of kidnapping/carrying without consent. A burglary charge was dismissed but read into the court record.

On May 24, Patterson was sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole.

"I'm just so sorry," said Patterson.

Jake Patterson at sentencing hearing

Jayme Closs wasn't in the courtroom, but her words were heard.

"He thought that he could own me, but he was wrong," said Closs in a statement. "I was smarter. I watched his routine and took back my freedom."

Jayme Closs, Jake Patterson

Jayme Closs, Jake Patterson

Patterson was moved to New Mexico from Dodge County Correctional Institution on July 15, the New Mexico Corrections Department confirmed.

In early August, FOX6 learned the home where these crimes happened was demolished. The bank that owned the home tore it down, officials confirmed.


On May 15, Jayme Closs received the Hometown Hero award from the Wisconsin Assembly at the Capitol in Madison. Surrounded by family, Jayme Closs stood silently as lawmakers rose to their feet, applauding the 13-year-old for her bravery.

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