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Jake Patterson Speaks Out About Jayme Closs, Girl He Admitted Kidnapping: ‘I Love Her’

By Zachary Stieber

The man who authorities said confessed to abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs said in a new telephone call from jail: “I love her.”

Jake Patterson, 21, was arrested on Jan. 10 after Jayme escaped from the cabin where she was held for 88 days.

He’s being held on two counts of intentional homicide for allegedly killing Jayme’s parents on Oct. 15, 2018, before kidnapping the girl and whisking her away to his cabin in Gordon.

Patterson said he wants to talk to Jayme but realizes that would be impossible.

He also said he confessed. “I just didn’t want to cause any more trouble I guess,” he told a WCCO reporter on Friday.

Describing what he and Jayme did during her time in captivity, Patterson added: “We were just watching TV, playing board games, talking about stuff.”

“We cooked a lot,” he added. “Everything we made was homemade.”

The conversation with the reporter from jail comes after Patterson sent a letter to a KARE 11 reporter earlier in March in which he confessed to the murders and kidnapping.

“I knew when I was caught (which I thought would happen a lot sooner) I wouldn’t fight anything. I tried to give them everything,” he wrote. “[I] (wasn’t completely honest) so they didn’t have to interview Jayme. They did anyways [sic] and hurt her more for no reason.”

Jayme Closs and her aunt Jennifer Smith
Jayme Closs (R), 13, with her aunt Jennifer Smith, in a photograph taken on Jan. 11, 2019, one day after Closs escaped from captivity in Gordon, Wis. (Jennifer Smith)

Asked what his plan is now, Patterson said, “Plead guilty.”

“I want Jayme and her relatives to know that. Don’t want them to worry about a trial,” he said.

Patterson said he planned to enter the guilty plea in a previous court appearance but was advised it wasn’t allowed so he plans to enter the plea on March 27 when he appears again in court.

Patterson said he is remorseful. “Huge amounts,” he said. “I can’t believe I did this.”

Jayme Closs house in Barron Wisconsin
The home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents, James and Denise, in Barron, Wis., Oct. 17, 2018. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)

He also insisted that the murders and kidnapping were done “mostly on impulse” and that “no one knew,” including none of his family members.

According to police officials, Patterson told officers he would force Jayme under his bed when people came over to the cabin.

He’d shove crates to block her in and place weights on top of the crates, then turn on music so no one could hear her if she made noise.

The cabin where 13-year-old Jayme Closs was held by Jake Thomas Patterson, is surrounded by law enforcement vehicles, Jan. 12, 2019 in the town Gordon, Wis.  (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune/AP)

Smart Speaks to Community

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart traveled to Barron, where Jayme lives, to speak to the community on March 15 to give them advice on how to help the girl move on with her life.

Smart, 31, was abducted when she was 14 and was captive for nine months.

Smart told people at Barron High School that when she was rescued, she had to find a way to move forward.

“In my mind, I thought that I could just go back to who I was before I was kidnapped,” she said, reported the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “At that point in time, I didn’t realize that actually, that girl, Elizabeth Smart, who existed before I was kidnapped, didn’t exist anymore.”

She encouraged people to respect Jayme’s privacy and suggested that people who wanted to share thoughts with the girl could write her a letter.

“If you see her, it’s OK to smile, but don’t stare,” Smart said, reported the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “If you see her, it’s OK to walk by and just let her go on her way. If you feel compelled to talk to her, write her a letter, and she can choose to read it whenever she’s ready.”

Something people shouldn’t do, according to Smart, is ask questions that starts with, “Why didn’t you?”

“Whatever they have done, they did the right thing, because they survived,” she said, reported the Press-Gazette. “Despite the horrors that she saw, despite the terrible things that she suffered that are hers and hers alone to share, she still escaped … she is a survivor.”