Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via Associated Press
The man convicted of kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents last year told detectives in an interview that if he hadn’t abducted Jayme, “it would probably be someone else.”
Jake Patterson, 22, also said he had been thinking of kidnapping a girl for roughly two years before he finally took Jayme.
Patterson pleaded guilty to the crimes earlier this year and was sentenced to life in prison in May.
The interview with detectives was released by the Wisconsin Department of Justice on Friday, as part of hundreds of pages’ worth of documents from the police investigations into Jayme’s disappearance.
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The man convicted of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdering her parents told detectives that he would have tried to abduct a different girl if he hadn’t seen Jayme first, according to new documents released Friday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice released hundreds of pages’ worth of documents on Friday from local authorities’ investigations into Jayme’s disappearance and her parents’ deaths in October 2018.
Jake Patterson, 22, pleaded guilty to the crimes earlier this year and was sentenced to life in prison in May. Patterson held Jayme captive in his home for 88 days until she eventually escaped on January 10, 2019.
Patterson was arrested shortly afterward, and told the detectives he first thought about “just taking a girl” in 2016, two years before he abducted Jayme.
“I just thought about that a lot,” Patterson said. “Maybe a year after that, I was starting to think about how actually do I do this? Like more specifically, not just in general.”
But Patterson told the detectives he initially didn’t think he could ever get away with it, and that he never saw a girl he believed he could abduct until he saw Jayme.
“I was more like thinking I could kidnap a f—ing girl and just like keep her, and s—,” he said. “If it wasn’t Jayme it would probably be someone else.”
When detectives pressed Patterson about whether there was anything about Jayme, in particular, that made him believe he could take her, he said, “I don’t really know, it was kinda like, I just thought I could do it… I don’t know how to explain it other than that.”
Barron County Sheriff’s Department
Patterson also told the detectives he hadn’t given much thought as to his long-term plans, or whether Jayme would eventually escape.
“I’m really good at just not thinking about stuff… that I don’t want to think about,” he said. “Like I, honestly barely until right now thought about the murders, the murders.”
But Patterson also said as time went on, he believed he had gotten away with the kidnapping. He told detectives he frequently watched news coverage of Jayme’s disappearance, and began to believe police would never track her down.
Patterson also told detectives how he had covered up his tracks by shaving his head and facial hair, so as not to leave any DNA evidence behind at the scene.
He said he also refrained from doing things he believed might leave a digital trail behind, such as Googling Jayme’s address or bringing his phone to her home on the night of the kidnapping.
“Well after awhile I thought, well I could get away with this,” he said. “I mean, I understand how when there’s no connection, a person has no connection to someone, how that’s f—ing almost impossible to solve, or really hard to solve.”
Jayme has since spoken out about the ordeal, releasing a statement during Patterson’s sentencing urging the judge to give him the maximum sentence: life in prison. She also said she had reclaimed her freedom from Patterson, and that he would never take it from her again.
“Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn’t,” she said in her statement. “Jake Patterson will never have any power over me. I feel like I have some power over him.”
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