Jayme Closs' house torn down months after girl kidnapped, parents killed

BARRON, Wis. -- The house where Jayme Closs was kidnapped and her parents were fatally shot has been torn down in northwestern Wisconsin.

The bank that owns the house near Barron had it demolished Tuesday after consulting with relatives about the property. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald tells the Star Tribune his department released the crime scene back to the estate several months ago.

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A 21-year-old man is in jail and accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents.


Jayme, 13, was abducted Oct. 15, 2018, after Jake Patterson shot his way into her home and killed her parents, James and Denise Closs. Patterson held Jayme captive at his cabin in Douglas County, about 60 miles northeast of Barron, until she escaped in January.

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Patterson admitted to the kidnapping and murders. Jayme escaped in January, after 88 days in Patterson's cabin near the small, isolated town of Gordon.

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. He told investigators he plotted carefully, including wearing all-black clothing, putting stolen license plates on his car and taking care to leave no fingerprints on his shotgun.

Jayme told police that 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 trunk 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.

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Authorities searched for Jayme for months and collected more than 3,500 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.

Patterson is serving life without the possibility of parole.

In a statement read in court, Jayme said Patterson "thought that he could own me, but he's wrong. I was smarter." She said she wanted to see Patterson "locked up forever."

She did not appear in court, and her guardian read the statement.

Patterson was sentenced to life in prison without possibility for release on each homicide count and 25 years in prison on the kidnapping count. The sentences will be served consecutively. Those were the maximum sentences the judge could impose. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.

WATCH: Jayme Closs kidnapping suspect Jake Patterson's father speaks: 'Our hearts are broken for their family'

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The father of Jake Patterson, the 21-year-old man accused of holding 13-year-old Jayme Closs captive for nearly three months after killing her parents, is asking people to pray for the girl's healing.



Prosecutors in the county where Jayme was held decided not to bring charges related to anything that might have happened in the cabin, a move that was widely seen as aiming to spare Jayme further pain and keep details private.
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