Jayme Closs wrote a bold statement for her parents' killer which was read in court during his sentencing last week. "He took them away from me forever," she said.
Jake Patterson, 21, pleaded guilty to killing Jayme's parents, James and Denise Closs on October 15, 2018, then abducting the young girl and holding her for 88 days at his home in Gordon.
He was sentenced to two life terms as well as 40 years in prison for the kidnapping. Jayme herself did not attend the sentencing. Instead, her family lawyer read the statement on her behalf.
As reported in the full statement by Time, Jayme began by remembering her parents, who she loved very much. "They did all they could to make me happy and protect me," Jayme said, before noting that they were now gone "forever."
She highlighted her inability to go back to her Barron, Wisconsin home because of what happened:
“I felt safe in my home, and I loved my room and all of my belongings. He took all of that too. I don’t want to even see my home or my stuff because of the memory of that night. My parents and my home were the most important things in my life. He took them away from me in a way that will always leave me with a horrifying memory."
The 13-year-old revealed that she needed an alarm to sleep. Before the traumatic event, she loved going out with friends, going to school, and dancing. Now, "it's too hard for [her] to go out in public."
"These are just ordinary things that anyone like me should be able to do, but I can’t because he took them away from me."
However, Jayme was resilient, and there were certain things she would never allow Patterson to take from her. That included her "freedom," especially following her captivity.
"He thought that he could own me but he was wrong. I was smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not."
She insisted that Patterson would not take her courage or control her and that he was a coward. "I was brave, he was not," she said. "He can never take away my spirit... I will go on to do great things in my life, and he will not."
"Jake Patterson will never have any power over me. I feel like I have some power over him, because I get to tell the judge what I think should happen to him. He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I loved from me. For 88 days he tried to steal me, and he didn’t care who he hurt or who he killed to do that."
Jayme told the judge that Patterson "should stay locked up forever." Judge James Nadler, who called Patterson "the embodiment of evil," clearly agreed.
The convicted killer also spoke in court, showing remorse and emotion as he said he wished he could "take back what I did... I don't care about me, I'm just so sorry."
His attorney requested that Patterson be allowed therapy sessions, pointing to his decision to plead guilty, which helped avoid a lengthy, emotionally-grueling trial.
Yet Patterson, who latched on to Jayme when he saw her getting on a school bus two months before killing her parents, was denied the mental health assistance.
As for Jayme, she will receive $25,000 for rescuing herself. The reward was raised by Hormel Foods, the parent company of Jennie-O-Turkey, who employed Jayme's parents before their death.
The money might go to a trust fund for the young girl, who not only escaped but helped police catch Patterson the same afternoon she left his home by making her way out from under a bed caved in with heavyweights.
Jayme now lives with her relatives, where she is reportedly doing well. Our hearts go out to her and her entire family.
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