Federal Bureau of Investigation

Jayme Closs Updates: Teen Describes Life in Captivity After Escape From Kidnapper

Closs was kept under the bed for as many as 12 hours at a time without food, water or bathroom breaks, officials alleged

For the last three months, Jayme Closs was held captive, beaten, threatened and forced to hide under a bed for hours with no food or water, in a remote home by the man who allegedly killed her parents.  

On Oct. 15, Closs was dragged from her home, her ankles and hands taped together, and placed into the trunk of a vehicle after a man she had never met shot and killed her parents, a criminal complaint filed in Barron County Circuit Court Monday stated. 

After sitting in the trunk of the car for about two hours, she told authorities arrived at a home where she was placed in a bedroom and told to remove her clothing. Her captor placed her clothes in a bag while making a comment about not having any evidence, the complaint states. 

In the following months, Closs was kept hidden from the outside world, told to hide under a bed and stay hidden or "bad things would happen to her," according to the complaint. The bed, which was in the corner of a room, was barricaded with totes and laundry bins filled with weights. Her captor would play loud music to keep her from being heard and to keep her from hearing if anyone else was in the home.

Closs was kept under the bed for as many as 12 hours at a time without food, water or bathroom breaks, officials alleged. 

The teen told police that, on at least one occassion, her alleged captor Jake Thomas Patterson "got mad" and hit her "really hard" on her back with something she described as a handle for an item used to clean blinds. She told authorities she didn't remember what she did to anger Patterson, but that he told her if it happened again, the punishment would be worse next time. 

The New York Post published photos of the cabin on Monday. They show a shabby living area with a couch, refrigerator and old television set. The ceiling is unfinished. Exterior photographs show a lean-to loaded with firewood, a three-car garage and an empty box of adult female diapers in a trash can. A sign over the cabin's front door reads "Patterson's Retreat."

Closs escaped after Patterson told her "he was going to be gone for five or six hours," according to the complaint. She told police she was able to push the bins and weights away from the bed and crawl out before putting on a pair of Patterson's shoes and fleeing the house. 

Closs was finally found Thursday, when a woman walking her dog spotted the teen along a road near Gordon, a town about an hour's drive north of Barron. The woman says the girl begged her for help, saying Patterson had been hiding her in a nearby cabin and that she had escaped when he left her alone.

Neighbors called 911, and officers arrested Patterson within minutes. He has no criminal history in Wisconsin.

When police stopped his vehicle, Patterson told authorities he knew why he was being stopped and said, "I did it," the complaint states. 

Patterson told police while allegedly confessing to killing Closs' parents, James and Denise Closs, and kidnapping the 13-year-old girl that he didn't know the family and had only seen Jayme Closs when he witnessed her boarding her school bus on his way to work one day.

"[Patterson] stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house," the criminal complaint read. "The defendant stated, when he saw [Closs], he knew that was the girl he was going to take." 

The charging documents are the first to shed light on why he targeted the teen girl and what happened to her in the months she was held captive. 

Patterson made his first court appearance Monday afternoon. Prosecutors formally charged the 21-year-old with two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping before his afternoon court hearing in Barron County Circuit Court. His bail was set at $5 million. 

Patterson told police he put "quite a bit of thought into the details" of how he would abduct Closs, according to the complaint, stealing license plates from another vehicle and modifying his Ford Taurus, disconnecting the dome light and trunk light and removing "what he described as the glow in the dark kidnapping cord" from inside the trunk.

Patterson's defense attorneys, Charles Glynn and Richard Jones, said they believe Patterson can get a fair trial, but they're not sure where. The public defenders didn't reveal many specifics about what they expect from Monday's court hearing, but they acknowledged the case was "a tragic situation from every perspective."

Glynn and Jones issued a statement Saturday saying they were relying on the court system to treat Patterson fairly.

"It's been an emotional time for this community and a difficult time for this community. We don't take that lightly. But we have a job to do in protecting our client," Jones said.

Closs has spent every day since her escape with extended family, according to her aunt. Her family has decorated her room with butterflies, bought her a new bed, pillows and clothing and showed the girl messages sent to her from far and wide.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he met Closs for the first time Sunday, and that she had an "awesome" smile on her face. He said she showed him her room at her aunt's home in Barron.

"It was a moment I'll never forget," Fitzgerald said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us