Jake Patterson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents in October 2018. In a statement written by the 13-year-old that was read at his sentencing, she claims that Patterson may have taken her parents from her, but there are many things she believes he could never steal.
After the death of her parents, Jayme was held captive by Patterson in a remote cabin in Wisconsin for 88 days before escaping and seeking help from a woman walking her dog. Authorities arrested Patterson shortly after. He confessed to the murders and kidnapping to authorities. Just over a month later, he sent a letter from jail to a TV reporter providing chilling details of his crimes, saying it was “mostly on impulse.” Court documents say Patterson attempted to kidnap her two times previously after seeing her get on a school bus before taking her from her home. In court, he pleaded guilty to all charges.
Moments before sentencing, the judge allowed for a statement from Jayme, who was not present at the court proceedings, to be read aloud. Described by the judge as the “embodiment of evil,” Patterson was given consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, reports the Associated Press.
“Last October, Jake Patterson took a lot of things that I loved away from me,” Jayme’s statement begins. “It makes me the most sad that he took away my mom and dad. I loved my mom and dad very much and they loved me very much. They did all they could to make me happy and protect me. He took them away from me forever. 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.”
According to Patterson’s confession letter, he knew all along that he would be caught. He would allegedly make Jayme hide under a twin bed for up to 12 hours at a time without food or water while he left the cabin. It was during one of these breaks that she made her escape.
“I have an alarm in the house now just so I can sleep. I used to love to go out with my friends. I loved to go to school. I loved to do dance. He took all of those things away from me too,” Jayme’s statement continues. According to the teen, he may have taken a lot from her, but there are things he could never steal.
“He can’t take my freedom. He thought that he could own me but he was wrong. I was smarter. I watched his routine and took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not,” her statement reads. “Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn’t. I feel like what he did is what a coward would do. I was brave. He was not. He can never take away my spirit. He thought that he could make me like him, but he was wrong. He can’t ever change me, or take away who I am. He can’t stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life. I will go on to do great things in my life, and he will not.”
Jayme’s statement ended by saying that she felt like she got justice in knowing that Patterson would be punished for his crimes. “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 me. He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I love 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,” her statement reads. “He should stay locked up forever.”