On Friday, May 24, 2019, Jake Patterson, the man who kidnapped Jayme Closs and murdered her parents, was sentenced to life in prison.
Thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs was in her Barron, Wisconsin, home on Oct. 15, 2018, when Patterson broke in, shot both of her parents and abducted her. She was held captive in an isolated cabin 60 miles away from her home until she bravely escaped and sought help from strangers 88 days later.
Closs’ story is one of true courage and bravery.
Even her local state representatives recognize how inspiring this incredible teen is and presented her with a Hometown Hero award on May 15.
“Jayme, your strength, your resolve, and bravery is beyond incredible. You are truly an inspiration and a bright light during a time of sadness,” Wisconsin state representative Romaine Quinn said.
#FBI Milwaukee salutes Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs today, surrounded by family and friends after being honored as a Hometown Hero before the WI State Assembly. Jayme was abducted from Barron County for 88 days before escaping her captor and found help. #JaymeClossStrong pic.twitter.com/guoNDZrBcr
— FBI Milwaukee (@FBIMilwaukee) May 15, 2019
Just over a week later, a sentencing hearing was held on May 24 for the 21-year-old man responsible for the horrific crimes.
Closs was not present in court, but her family attorney, Chris Gramstrup, read a powerful statement penned by her, showing how much wisdom this teen girl already has.
“Last October, Jake Patterson took a lot of things that I love away from me. It makes me the most sad that he took away my mom and my dad,” she wrote.
“My parents and my home are the most important things in my life,” she continued. “He took them away from me in a way that will always leave me with a horrifying memory. I have to have an alarm in the house now just so I can sleep.”
She also talked about the “ordinary things” she used to enjoy, like going out with friends and dancing, that her anxiety prevents her from doing now.
But instead of solely focusing on the things that were unfairly taken from her, Closs also recognized the things that Patterson could never take away.
“There are some things that Jake Patterson can never take from me,” she wrote. “He can’t take my freedom. He thought he could own me and he was wrong. I’m smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not.”
— KARE 11 (@kare11) May 24, 2019
She also listed her courage and spirit as things he couldn’t take away, attributes that she was recognized for a week prior to the sentencing.
“He can’t ever change me or take away who I am. He can’t stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life,” Closs continued. “I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not. Jake Patterson will never have any power over me.”
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