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Jake Thomas Patterson is accused of murdering Jayme Closs' parents before kidnapping the 13-year-old Wisconsin girl

By Greg Hanlon
March 08, 2019 11:58 AM
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The man accused of kidnapping Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs after murdering her parents reportedly wrote in a letter to a news station that he “acted on impulse,” adding that he plans to plead guilty to the charges against him.

Local Minneapolis-based station KARE 11 reports it received a letter purporting to be from Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, who allegedly abducted the 13-year-old Jayme from her Barron home last Oct. 15 after murdering her parents, Denise, 46, and James Closs, 56.

In his cabin in Gordon, about 70 miles away, Patterson allegedly held Jayme captive for 88 days until she escaped on Jan. 10.

Wisconsin Department of Justice communications director Gillian Drummond did not immediately return PEOPLE’s attempt to verify the letter came from Patterson, but told KARE11, “I don’t know I would have a reason to assume it is not [authentic].”

The letter writer, apparently responding to written questions sent to Patterson by KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse, wrote that his reasons for the alleged crime are “not black and white.” Later in the letter, he added, “At the time I was really pissed. I didn’t ‘want’ to. … The reason I did this is complicated.”

The criminal complaint against Patterson alleges he planned the kidnapping in advance and had made two prior attempts to kidnap her after spotting her getting on a school bus.

But the letter writer disputed the allegation of premeditation, writing, “The cops say I planned this thoroughly, and that I said that. They’re really good at twisting your words around, put them in different spots, straight up lie. Little mad about that. Trying to cover up their mistakes I guess.”

Missing Teen Found Alive After 3 Months
Jayme Closs
| Credit: Courtesy Barron County Sheriff

He added, “This was mostly on impulse. I don’t think like a serial killer.”

He wrote he has “huge amounts” of remorse. “No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much,” the letter reads. “Can’t express it.”

On the back of the letter, large bubble letters that take up nearly half the page state, “I’m Sorry Jayme!” In smaller letters, the letter reads, “For everything. I know it doesn’t mean much.”

When asked if anyone close to him knew about the kidnapping, Patterson wrote, “No one knew. My dad only came on Saturdays, the same time every day. So it was a routine. Jayme hides on Sat. … My family respects privacy so no one even went in my room.”

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In response to a question about what he plans to do now, he responded, “Plead guilty. I want Jayme and her relatives to know that. Don’t want them to worry about a trial.”

The criminal complaint alleges Patterson sometimes ordered Jayme under the bed for as long as 12 hours at a time — depriving her of food, water or bathroom breaks.

“When he left the house, the defendant stated he would tell [Jayme] that she better not leave and told her bad things would happen if she tried,” the complaint alleges. “The defendant stated she knew she shouldn’t come out from under the bed when he was not there. The defendant stated that because of his anger outbursts [Jayme] complied and did as she was told.”

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Jake Thomas Patterson
| Credit: Barron County Sheriff's Dept

It alleges Patterson told police he assumed he “had gotten away” with the kidnapping two weeks after the killings. “The defendant states he never would have been caught if he would have planned everything perfectly,” the complaint states.

He allegedly said he only learned Jayme’s name when he got her back to his home, and only learned the names of her parents from local news coverage of their murders.

In the letter that the television station attributes to Patterson, he wrote he followed news coverage of Jayme’s disappearance “through my phone. If something popped up on TV about it, I would change the channel. … Would tell Jayme, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t watch this.’”

Since his first court appearance via video link on January 14, Patterson has been jailed on a $5 million bond.

His arraignment is scheduled for March 27.

He has not yet entered a plea to the charges against him, which include two counts of first-degree murder — both of which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison — along with counts of kidnapping and armed burglary.

His public defenders, Charles Glynn and Richard Jones, did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment about Patterson’s letter. But in a January statement, the attorneys said: “This is a very tragic situation. There is a substantial amount of information, interest, and emotion involved in this case. Mr. Patterson’s legal team will be relying on the integrity of our judicial system to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected and respected.”