The Story of Jayme Closs

Priscilla Le, Managing Editor

In this age and time, the safety of minors from adult predators has been an increasingly rising issue. One name that has been surfacing in the media all across the nation is Jayme Lynn Closs (pictured below), a thirteen-year-old girl who disappeared Monday, October 5th, 2018 in Barron Wisconsin.


Jayme Closs (via


The search for her began soon after Wisconsin police received a call from the Closs residence around 1 a.m. and arrived to find that Jayme’s parents, James (age 56) and Denise Closs (age 46) were found dead due to gunshot wounds. It was clear that Jayme had been in the house at the same time as her parents’ murders, but no clear trail led to actual whereabouts. Police would soon find out that the girl had been abducted. Before the sun rose the next morning, local authorities had declared Jayme to be in danger and sought help from the public, which soon led to her case gaining attention nation-wide through social media, television news, and more.



She escaped from a cabin in the South Eau Claire Acres Circle in Gordon, Wisconsin after 88-days of captivity, about an hour north of the Closs residence where tragedy first struck. Found by Jeanne Nutter, a local woman who was walking her dog at the time, Jayme was described as looking “ghost-like” when she was brought into a nearby home while authorities were being contacted. The FBI has offered a $25,000 reward for information to help with her rescue and Jayme’s parents’ company employer, Jennie-O-Turkey Store of Hormel Foods, has also offered a $25,000 reward. There was at first controversy about the couple who helped Nutter care for Jayme after being found accepting the reward money, but it has since been confirmed that Jayme Closs will receive Jennie-O-Turkey Store’s half of the reward for rescuing herself from captor, Jake Thomas Patterson. The FBI is still in the process of determining whether or not they will reward Closs.


Jake Thomas Patterson, the primary suspect for the murders of James and Denise Closs, and Jayme Closs’ kidnapping.

Jake Thomas Patterson (age 21), the man convicted of the first-degree murder of James and Denise Closs along with the armed burglary of the Closs residence and kidnapping of Jayme Closs, is currently being held at the Polk County jail on a $5 million bail. He has been ordered to court in Barron County to be charged with intentional homicide and kidnapping/armed burglary. Judge James C. Babler had also ordered for a DNA sample to be collected and for Patterson to not come into contact with anyone involved in Jayme’s escape and to not possess any firearms.


According to authorities, Jayme was kept under a bed, locked in by various storage containers, while Patterson held a Christmas party. The four guests in the cabin, Patterson’s father, sister, and their two significant others (respectively) were oblivious to the fact that the girl was being held hostage in the same roof. Patterson threatened to kill Jayme if she “made a noise or tried to escape”.  Currently, Jayme is staying with relatives and is said to be making an improvement both mentally and physically.


This case has been labeled “unusual” and “out of the ordinary” by both investigators and researchers working on convicting Patterson due to the fact that he has shown “no guilt, no remorse, [and] no empathy” for the killings of Jayme’s parents. He simply viewed them as obstacles in having Jayme for himself. Others observations have shown that he believes he is criminally sophisticated and is “smarter than anybody else”, according to Gregg McCrary, former special FBI agent.


Jayme Closs enjoying a steak dinner with her grandfather. (via

Since hearing about the story of Jayme Closs, families all across America have been reminded of how dangerous society really is. Jake Patterson chose Closs as his target after seeing her at a school bus stop on his way to work, which later led to the actions that followed; if such a simple action for millions of children partake in on a daily basis can lead to such extreme outcomes, what does this mean for the safety of America’s youth?