Jayme Closs says her kidnapper took away 'the most important things in my life' in a powerful statement read at his sentencing hearing

Barron County Sheriff’s Department

Jayme Closs vowed never to let her kidnapper control her in a powerful statement read at the sentencing hearing of Jake Patterson, who has pleaded guilty to killing the 13-year-old’s parents and holding her captive for months.

In a statement read by her attorney, Chris Gramstrup, Closs said Patterson took away her home and her parents, which she called “the most important things in my life.”

“He took them away from in a way that will always leave me with a horrifying memory,” she said in the statement, published by CNN. “I have to have an alarm in the house now just so I can sleep. I used to love to go out with my friends. I love to go to school. I love to dance. He took all of those things away from me too. It’s too hard for me to go out in public. I get scared, and I get anxious. 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.”

Patterson pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. He was sentenced on Friday to life without parole.

He kidnapped the girl on October 15 after killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, at the family’s home near Barron, Wisconsin, telling investigators that he targeted her after seeing her get on a school bus.

She escaped in January after being held captive for 88 days in Patterson’s cabin in Gordon, some 60 miles from her home.

She told investigators she was often forced under Patterson’s bed for hours without food or bathroom breaks. She said she was able to escape Patterson’s house by pushing the storage boxes that barricaded her under the bed while he wasn’t home.


Read more:
The man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents has pleaded guilty

“I watched his routine, and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom, and he will not,” Closs’ statement said. “Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn’t.”

Closs was not in court for the sentencing but asked the judge for the maximum sentence.

“Jake Patterson will never have any power over me. I feel like I have some power over him,” she said in her statement, asking the judge to sentence Patterson to life in prison.

Patterson had faced up to life in prison for each homicide count and up to 25 years for the kidnapping charge. Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence on each charge, with no chance of release, The Associated Press reported.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.