'I love you': Jayme Closs' kidnapper to family upon first court appearance since being accused

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 07, 2019
09:51 A.M.

Last year on October 15, James and Denise Closs were killed in their home in Barron and their daughter, Jayme Closs, was kidnapped. Their daughter eventually escaped from her abductor on January 10 and her kidnapper was arrested on the same day.


On Wednesday, the man appeared in court for the first time in person where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. While leaving the court, he told his family that he loved them, showing a different side to himself.

Jake Patterson, 21, is going to appear in court again for murdering James and Denise Closs and kidnapping their daughter, Jayme Closs, 13. The teenager managed to escape from captivity after 88 days.


While wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and restraints, Patterson listened to and addressed Judge James Babler. The proceeding only lasted less than five minutes.

The accused responded to the judge with yes-or-no answers before waiving his right to a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing requires prosecutors to show that they have enough evidence to warrant a trial.

Babler chose March 27 as the date for Patterson’s arraignment. There the accused was expected to formally enter a plea.


As Patterson left the courtroom, he smiled and nodded at his relatives saying, “I love you.” His father, Patrick Patterson, responded, “I love you.”

Jayme was represented by around 20 family members. An elder of the family told a reporter that the only request they had was to: “Pray for Jayme’s family.”

A criminal complaint revealed that Patterson told investigators that he knew Jayme “was the girl he was going to take” after he saw her boarding a school bus near her home. He subsequently aborted two trips to the family’s home before pulling off his plan on October 15.


Investigators said the accused had kept the victim in a remote cabin in Gordon, about 60 miles north of Barron. She eventually escaped last month and was assisted by a woman who was walking her dog.

Jayme shared with the police that on the night she was abducted, she had awoken to her dog’s barking. Her parents woke up as a car came up the driveway.

Her father went to the front door to investigate while Jayme and her mother hid in a bathtub. The teenager revealed that she then heard a gunshot and knew her father had been killed.


Patterson was dressed in black and he was wearing a facemask. He broke down the bathroom door taped Jayme’s mouth, hands, and ankles and pulling her out of the bathtub.

The accused then shot her mother in the head and dragged Jayme outside. She was thrown in the trunk of his car and he drove off.


He took her to a cabin and told her “bad things could happen to her,” if anyone found her whereabouts. Whenever he went out or had friends over, he would seal her under the bed with tote boxes and weights so she wouldn’t crawl out.

The criminal complaint revealed that sometimes he was "hiding her under his bed for hours, until she escaped." When Patterson’s father visited, the accused said he would turn the radio up so that Jayme wouldn’t be heard.


Jayme escaped when Patterson was away. Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald confirmed that on Saturday the teenager was freely playing outside. On Sunday, she had a steak dinner with her grandfather; keeping a promise he had made to her while she was missing.

On January 14, Patterson had his first court appearance via video link and he is currently being held on $5 million bail.


A Closs family friend, Michelle Saffert opened up about the teenager’s wellbeing since coming home. She shared that Jayme was spending time with loved ones, and attending therapy.

Saffert revealed that she felt the teenager was healing. She added:

"I don't think any of us can really know what she's going through but I think that if she has to be with a group of people that will love her and support her for the rest of her life, she's in the perfect family to do that.”.

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