He’ll be behind bars until he dies. Jake Patterson, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents, James and Denise Closs, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on May 24. Six family members of Closs pleaded with the judge to give Patterson, 21, the maximum sentence of life without parole. The state also asked to sentence Patterson to life in prison for intentionally causing the death of the Closs parents.

On January 10, Wisconsin teen Closs was found alive after she went missing for three months and after she escaped from her captor. She was discovered missing on October 15, 2018, after her parents were found dead in the family’s home. Her kidnapper was arrested on January 10, on homicide and kidnapping charges, after reportedly holding her in the cabin he lived in alone and keeping her captive for 88 days.

Spokesperson Chris Grumstrup read the following statement from Closs at the sentencing: “Last October Jake Patterson took a lot of things away from me. It makes me the most sad that he took away my mom and dad away from me. I love my mom and dad so much and they love me very much. They did all they could to make me happy and protect me. He took them away from me forever.”

The statement continued, “I felt the safest in my home. I love my room and all my belongings — he took that from me too. I don’t even want to see my home because of that night. My parents and my home were the most important to me … I have to have an alarm now just so I can sleep. I used to go out with my friends, I used to love to go to school. I love to go to dance, but he took those away from me too. It’s so hard to go out in public. I get scared and anxious.

But Closs also said in her statement, “There is one thing he couldn’t take from me. He can’t take my freedom. I was smarter than him.  I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me but he couldn’t. It’s what a coward would do. I was brave, he was not. He thought he could make me love him but he was wrong. He can’t ever change me and take away who I am … I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not. Jake Patterson will never have power over me. I have power over him because I get to tell the judge what he should do to him … He should stay locked up forever.”

jayme closs
Courtesy of the Closs Family

Family member Sue Ann Allard also said at the sentencing, “On the morning of October 15, I received the worst phone call I can get. The lives of my beloved sister and brother-in-law were taken … I was hoping I was just waking up from a nightmare. It was one I lived for 88 days. Jayme has lost everything she has to start over. But she has a loving family behind her. We had to go through the motions of, their baby girl was still out there somewhere and we needed to bring her home.” And in the end, Closs did come home, and Patterson is stuck behind bars for the rest of his life.

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