Jayme Closs’s Return


Moira Sisco

The early morning of October 15, an inaudible 911 call from the Closs household in Barron, Wisconsin tipped off the police that something was terribly wrong. The scene they walked into was gruesomely unexpected. James and Denise Closs had been brutally murdered in their home. The father shot in the head with a shotgun, and the wife shot as well. Their daughter, Jayme Closs, had been kidnapped and thrown in the trunk of a car just moments before the authorities arrived.

    An amber alert was sent out that afternoon, and over the next several weeks, hundreds of volunteers combed through acres of pastures and wooded areas. They all hoped to find any clue to the whereabouts of Jayme. Just as people were fearing Jayme Closs would never return home, something amazing happened.

    On day 88 of Jayme’s kidnapping, Jeanne Nutter was walking her dog. There was snow on the ground and a chill in the air. Suddenly, a teenage girl ran up to her saying she was lost. Immediately, Jeanne realized the girl before her was none other than Jayme Closs. Jeanne took the freezing teen to her neighbor’s house where they warmed her up and called the police.

    Closs gave a description of the man who had abducted her and the car he drove. Police found and arrested him shortly after. The mystery man turned out to be 21 year old Jake Patterson. He had been keeping her in his secluded cabin in Douglas County; just shy of 70 miles from the place Patterson took her.

    It all started when Jake had lost his job and saw Jayme getting off her school bus. He then continued to stalk her for weeks, and claimed he even tried to kidnap her twice before. After those failed attempts, he took the house by force, killing both of her parents in the process. Patterson is being charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, and two accounts of homicide.