Jayme Closs Ordeal: Man, 21, Pleads Guilty To Kidnap And Murder
A US man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs, killing her parents and holding her captive in a remote cabin for three months.
Jake Patterson, 21, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. A count of armed burglary was dropped.
The intentional homicide counts carry a sentence of life in prison.
Patterson had said he would plead guilty in a letter sent earlier this month to a Minneapolis TV station, saying he didn't want the Closs family "to worry about a trial".
Patterson admitted kidnapping Jayme after killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, on October 15 at the family's Wisconsin home near Barron, about 145 kilometres northeast of Minneapolis.
Jayme escaped in January, after 88 days in Patterson's cabin in near the small, isolated town of Gordon, 97km from her home.
According to a criminal complaint, Patterson told authorities he decided Jayme "was the girl he was going to take" after he saw her getting on a school bus near her home.
Jayme told police that on the night of the abduction, the family dog's barking awoke her, and she went to wake up her parents as a car came up the driveway.
While her father went to the front door, Jayme and her mother hid in the bathroom, clutching each other in the bathtub, with the shower curtain pulled shut.
They heard Jayme's father get shot. Patterson then found Jayme and her mother.
He told detectives he wrapped tape around Jayme's mouth and head, taped her hands behind her back and taped her ankles together, then shot her mother in the head.
He told police he dragged Jayme outside, threw her in the boot of his car, and took her to his cabin, the complaint said.
During Jayme's time in captivity, Patterson forced her to hide under a bed when he had friends over and penned her in with tote boxes and weights, warning that if she moved, "bad things could happen to her". He also turned up the radio so visitors couldn't hear her, according to the complaint.
Authorities searched for Jayme for months and collected more than 3500 tips. On January 10, Jayme escaped from the cabin while Patterson was away.
She then flagged down a woman who was out walking a dog and pleaded for help. Patterson was arrested minutes later.
Jake Patterson: 'I Love Her'
CBS: Less than two weeks before Jake Patterson was set to be arraigned, a man identifying himself as Patterson called reporter Jennifer Mayerle, of CBS Station WCCO in Minneapolis, after she wrote him a letter.
Mayerle got the call from the Polk County Jail Friday. The caller said he wants to talk to Closs but knows he can't.
"I love her," he said.
The call lasted only a few minutes. During that time the man answered questions about the case, revealing why he confessed to kidnapping Closs and murdering her parents.
"Part of me, like, really knows I shouldn't be [expletive] talking to you. But like, I just didn't wanna cause any more trouble," he said.
When asked whether he had regrets, he said, "Of course," but would not elaborate, reports correspondent Jamie Yuccas.
According to investigators, Patterson confessed to breaking into Closs' home last October and shooting both of her parents in the head.
He kept her at his remote cabin, often forcing her to stay under the bed for several hours at a time.
"We were just watching TV, playing board games, talking about stuff," he said.
"We cooked a lot; everything we made was homemade."