Earlier today, Jake Patterson plead guilty to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs, as well as murdering her parents.
Patterson, 21, killed Closs’ parents last October and abducted the young girl from her family’s home in Barron, Wisconsin. Jayme was taken to a remote cabin and was held against her will for 88 days. In January, she was able to escape from Patterson and ran for help.
Shortly after, Patterson was taken into custody, where he told law enforcement that he had kidnapped Closs and murdered her parents. At the time, he was charged with one count of kidnapping, and two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46.
As NBC News reports, Patterson appeared in court today and plead guilty to all three crimes. He cried during his court appearance.
While Jayme herself did not appear in court today, several of her close family members — including her current guardians, Bob and Jen Smith — were present for Closs’ arraignment. While Patterson himself remained relatively quiet, his attorney spoke on his behalf.
“Mr. Patterson has wanted to enter a plea since the day we met him,” Jake’s lawyer said.
“He has always been consistent in his statements and belief that this is what he wants to do.”
Less than two weeks before scheduled arraignment, a man identifying himself as Jake Patterson, the Wisconsin 21-year-old accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs, called a @WCCO reporter after she wrote him a letter; "I love her," the caller said of Closs https://t.co/zzhQyrJn2B pic.twitter.com/aZcrZIeEFT
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 18, 2019
Despite his relatively quiet demeanor, Jake Patterson did speak up as he was leaving the courtroom. As he was being escorted by court officers, he turned to cameras (from news outlets covering the proceedings) and said, “bye, Jayme.”
As NBC News notes, Jayme’s family members were shocked by Patterson’s actions, and his guards quickly escorted him outside of the courtroom.
This isn’t the first time that Patterson has acknowledged his feelings toward young Jayme. As previously reported by FOX 8, weeks back, Jake Patterson reached out to a reporter from jail and recounted his feelings towards Closs.
While speaking to Jennifer Mayerle (of WCCO Minneapolis), Patterson proclaimed his love.
“I love her,” he said of Closs, in a phone call with Mayerle. Patterson also explained how he wanted to talk to Jayme himself, and that he was skeptical about talking to reporters in the first place.
“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.
Patterson also made light of the time he held Closs captive.
“We were just watching TV, playing board games, talking about stuff,” Patterson recounted.
As NBC News notes, Jake Patterson faces up to 40 years in prison.