Jayme Closs kidnap suspect pleads guilty

Man poses in mug shotImage copyright
AFP

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Police say Patterson took steps to conceal his identity before kidnapping Jayme.

A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs, killing her parents and holding her captive for three months.

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, is charged with two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. A charge of armed burglary was dropped.

Jayme escaped in January after she was held for 88 days in a remote cabin about an hour north of her home.

Mr Patterson faces more than two life sentences in prison if convicted.

At the end of his court appearance on Wednesday, Mr Patterson turned and said, “bye Jayme”, before he left the room.

The Wisconsin teenager first disappeared in October, on the day her parents were found murdered at their home in Barron, Wisconsin, a town of about 3,400 residents.

Mr Patterson told officials after spotting Jayme he began scouting the Closs home to plan for her abduction.

On the night of the murder-kidnapping Mr Patterson made efforts to conceal his identity, shaving his head, stealing a licence plate and wiping his shotgun of fingerprints.

According to the criminal complaint Mr Patterson then stormed the family’s home, shooting Jayme’s father before killing her mother.

During her captivity, Jayme told officials when Mr Patterson went out or had visitors he forced her to hide under his twin bed, where she would be confined behind weighted containers for up to 12 hours with no food, water, or bathroom breaks.

On 10 January, Jayme said she was able to escape, moving the weights and fleeing on foot, after Mr Patterson left the house.

She eventually encountered a neighbour who helped her contact police, 70 miles (113km) from where she was kidnapped.

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Jennifer Smith

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Jayme Closs, her aunt Jennifer Smith and Molly the dog pose together after being reunited on 11 January.

Jayme has been reunited with other family members and is now in the care of her aunt, Jennifer Smith.

Mr Patterson had indicated he would plead guilty in a letter sent to a Minneapolis TV station earlier this month, expressing remorse for his actions.

He will be sentenced on 24 May.

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