In October 2018, US teen Jayme Closs was abducted from her Wisconsin home by Jake Patterson and was kept hostage for 88 days. But how did she, at only 13 years of age, manage to escape on her own?
On January 10, 2019, some months after her kidnapping, Jayme Closs managed to free herself from beneath the bed of her captor, who allegedly secured her beneath his bed by placing barbells in laundry baskets around her. She fled from Patterson’s home, walking down the street until she found a woman walking nearby.
The story of Jayme Closs’s abduction is horrific and heartbreaking, so it is amazing she was able to escape to safety all on her own.
Attack on Closs and Parents
On October 5, 2018, the Barron County Sheriff’s office received a mysterious 911 call from an address in the town of Barron, Wisconsin. Yelling and crying could be heard on the call.
Upon arriving at the address, dispatched police found the bodies of James and Denise Closs. They had both been shot and killed, though no weapons were found at the crime scene.
Their 13-year old daughter, Jayme, was missing from the family home. She was immediately pronounced missing, and a search began for the teenager.
She was spotted as far away as Miami, Florida, later on, the same day of the attack and abduction.
The perpetrator of these crimes was a 21-year-old man named Jake Patterson. He lived in a cabin in the Northwoods of Barron County at the time.
The man had previously seen young Jayme Closs board a school bus one morning while he was driving, and decided that he “he knew that was the girl he was going to take.” Patterson had never met Jayme before and had no previous connections to or knowledge of her family.
After breaking into the Closs family home and murdering James and Denise, he then locked Jayme in the trunk of his car and drove past the same police responding to the 911 call.
Patterson had been planning such a kidnapping for some time, telling police “If it wasn’t Jayme, it would probably be someone else.”
Abduction and Captivity
Though the specific details of Jayme’s ordeal had been kept restricted to police and close family for some time, more information has since been shared with the public. Patterson kept the young girl captive in his family’s wood cabin in Eau Claire Acres Circle, in Gordon, for a total of 88 days.
Jayme Closs was locked in a bedroom throughout her kidnapping. She was threatened frequently by her captor and on a handful of occasions allowed to walk with him in the woods around the house.
Whenever he would leave, Patterson would force Jayme beneath the bed, placing dumbbells inside plastic bins and laundry baskets that were too heavy for her to move without him noticing.
Most shockingly, he was visited multiple times by friends and family throughout her captivity, none of whom heard or saw signs of the kidnapped girl.
On January 10, 2019, Jayme escaped from her captor’s home in Gordon. After shifting the bins around her enough to escape, she found a pair of shoes and walked out of the cabin.
She soon found a woman walking her dog in the woods nearby. After pleading with the stranger for help, they went straight to the nearest residence, a house owned by Kristin and Peter Kasinkas.
The Gordon residents immediately contacted local police, and Jayme was taken to a nearby hospital to be held under observation.
Jayme Closs gave a description of Jake Patterson to Barron County Police, and he was quickly found and taken into custody.
In May of 2019, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, for the murder of James and Denise Closs. He was also given forty years for the kidnapping of Jayme Closs, with twenty-five in prison and fifteen on parole.
Jayme Closs is now living with her aunt and uncle and has reconnected with her school friends and community.
During Jake Patterson’s court case, Closs gave a statement that was read out by her attorney, saying “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. [Patterson] should be locked away forever.”
Below is an NBC video report of Patterson’s sentencing.