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What Happened to Jayme Closs - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

What Happened to Jayme Closs?

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By Carlos Gamino

In October 18, Jake Patterson murdered two people – Denise and James Closs – and abducted their daughter, Jayme from the family’s Barron County home. Patterson confessed to the crimes when police pulled him over for a broken taillight and a non-functioning rear license plate light.

But that wasn’t what freed Jayme. The teen worked her way out from a makeshift cage Patterson created by stacking up weights and bins around her as she hid beneath a bed – a method he’d used for 88 days to hold her captive. 

Jayme ran through the woods and eventually met a woman walking her dog; the woman recognized the girl and brought her to a nearby home, where they called 911. 

How Did Patterson Abduct Jayme?

According to police reports, Patterson first saw the teen getting on her school bus while he was driving to work at the Saputo Cheese Factory in Almena. He plotted her abduction for weeks – but he never knew her name until he kidnapped her. He didn’t even know her parents’ names, which he eventually discovered through news reports after the abduction. 

Patterson told police that he bought a black balaclava mask from a local Walmart. He went to her home to kidnap her twice before the October 15 attack, but activity in the home scared him off on both occasions. Additionally, he stole license plates for his car, disabled the car’s interior lights and removed the trunk release cord so she wouldn’t be able to escape.

Finally, on October 15, Patterson chose a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun, shaved his facial hair and beard so as not to leave any DNA behind, and drove to the Closs’s home. Jayme woke up to her dog barking because Patterson was approaching the home in his vehicle with his headlights and engine off, and Jayme woke her parents – and her father, James, went to the door. 

Patterson shot him in the head at the door. Denise called 911 from her cellphone as she and Jayme hid in the bathtub.

Patterson ordered Denise to cover Jayme’s mouth with duct tape before he bound her wrists and ankles, according to police. Then, he shot Denise and dragged Jayme from the house to put her in the trunk of his car. He held her captive for nearly three months before she escaped and met Jeanne Nutter, who brought her to a nearby home and called 911.

Police say that Patterson encountered police searching for him while he was out searching for Jayme, and according to investigators, “it was at that point that he knew he was caught.”

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Carlos Gamino