In October 2018, a then-unknown suspect kidnapped 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdered her parents. Closs bravely escaped her kidnapper 88 days later, in January 2019, and he was captured soon after. In March, Jake Thomas Patterson plead guilty to kidnapping Jayme Closs, as well as two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for shooting her parents, according to the Post-Crescent. Patterson is now in jail awaiting his final sentencing.
According to FOX 6, Patterson confessed to the crimes shortly after his January arrest. A criminal complaint released by the Barron County district attorney stated that Patterson said, "I did it," and described his actions that fateful October night in detail. Patterson also reportedly said he thought he would get away with the crimes because two weeks went by and he still hadn't been caught.
The Post-Crescent reported that one day when Patterson was away from his home, Closs escaped and ran to the safety of a neighbor who was walking her dog. Closs was able to identify her captor by name, and, once the police were called, he was arrested. Patterson was initially held in the Barron County Jail in Barron, Wisconsin, according to inmate records. You can see his processing mugshot below:
In mid-January, Patterson was transferred to the nearby Polk County Jail in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin, because one of Closs' relatives worked at the Barron jail, FOX 7 reported. According to ABC 27, he was moved again in late March to the Dunn County Jail in Menomonie, Wisconsin. The outlet reported that it was an "administrative decision" to move him. That's where he'll remain until his May 24 sentencing.
In an unusual move, Patterson didn't wait until his court hearing to enter his plea. According to KARE 11, Patterson wrote KARE 11 a letter from the Polk County Jail detailing his plans to plead guilty. "I want Jayme and her relatives to know that," he wrote. "Don't want them to worry about a trial." Patterson also wrote that he had "huge amounts" of regret about committing the crimes.
In late March, Patterson formally entered that guilty plea. He was then sent back to jail to await his May 24 sentencing. NBC News reported that the judge said Patterson is likely to be sentenced to life in prison for the murders and given an additional 40 years for kidnapping Closs. According to the Press Gazette, he will not be charged in relation to the 88 days Closs was in his custody. The outlet reported that this is likely so that Closs doesn't have to testify about her time in captivity. And, with the murder and kidnapping charges, the outlet reported that prosecutors likely believe they already have enough to send Patterson to prison for life. However, prosecutors retain the right to add charges later if they so choose, the Press Gazette continued.
After his sentencing, Patterson will likely be moved out of the county jail and into a state prison in Wisconsin to serve out his days there.