Barron, WI – The company that contributed $25,000 as a reward for the safe return of kidnapped 13-year-old Jayme Closs has announced that the funds will be released to her, because she was the one who managed to escape and rescue herself.
“We are overjoyed at the news of Jayme’s safe return,” Hormel Foods President and CEO Jim Snee told CNN. “Her bravery and strength have truly inspired our team members around the world.”
Hormel Foods is the parent company of the Jennie-O Turkey Store, which is where the teen’s parents, Denise and James Closs, were working when 21-year-old Jake Patterson burst into their home and murdered them with a shotgun on Oct. 15, 2018.
He then kidnapped Jayme, and held her captive in a cabin in the rural community of Gordon for the 88 days that followed.
“While we are still mourning the loss of longtime family members Jim and Denise, we are so thankful for Jayme’s brave escape and that she is back in Barron,” Jennie-O President Steve Lykken Told CNN. “Our hope is that a trust fund can be used for Jayme’s needs today and in the future.”
Kristin and Peter Kasinskas, the couple who called police after Jayme showed up at their house with a woman who was out walking her dog, said that they would not accept any reward money if it were to be offered to them, CNN reported.
“She got herself out,” Kristin said.
Patterson has since been charged with kidnapping, armed burglary, and two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, the New York Daily News reported.
According to court documents, Patterson told detectives that he was driving to work at a cheese factory near Almena when he stopped behind a school bus and spotted Jayme.
The complaint said that when he first saw her, and that “he knew that was the girl he was going to take,” WMTV reported.
Patterson also told investigators that he had gone to the Closs home twice before Oct. 15, 2018 to kidnap Jayme, but both times there were too many people around, according to the complaint.
Patterson told police that he stopped to steal license plates on his way to Jayme’s house and disabled his trunk light and “what he described as a glow-in-the-dark kidnapping cord… so that no one could pull the trunk release once inside,” the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.
He had shaved his head and other facial hair in anticipation of the abduction, and wore two pairs of gloves, so he would not leave DNA at the scene of his crime, the complaint said.
Jayme told police that she was woken up that night by her dog barking.
She saw a vehicle coming up the driveway and woke up her parents, James and Denise Closs, to tell them. Her father went to the door to see who it was.
They saw a man standing at the door with a gun, according to the complaint.
Patterson blew open the front door of the Closs home with a shotgun, WMTV reported.
Jayme told investigators that she and her mother hid in the bathroom, and that they heard a gunshot, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.
Her mom used her cell phone to call 911 but that was when Patterson broke down the bathroom door, according to the criminal complaint.
He told Denise Closs to hang up the phone, and then made her put duct tape over her daughter’s mouth.
And then he shot Denise.
Patterson taped Jayme’s hands and ankles together and dragged her out to his car, and put her in the trunk.
The criminal complaint said that Patterson told detectives that he didn’t even know Jayme’s name when he took her.
He “only learned her name after the abduction and when he got back to his house,” the complaint said. Patterson learned the details about his victims by watching the news about his crimes.
Police responded to the anonymous 911 call from the Closs home and arrived to find James and Denise dead, and Jayme missing, according to WJW.
Jayme told investigators that she could hear police sirens from inside the trunk as Patterson was driving away from her house, according to the criminal complaint.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said from the start of the investigation that Jayme was not a suspect in her parents’ murders, and that investigators did not believe that she ran away.
Patterson held the thirteen-year-old girl in an unfinished, ramshackle cabin in Gordon, a rural community of about 30 cabins located roughly an hour away from the Closs home.
The New York Post released photos taken of the cabin where Patterson held Jayme captive for months.
The yard was littered with trash and police found a discarded female adult diaper box.
Jayme told investigators that Patterson kept her underneath a bed for 12 hours at a time, and surrounded the bed with tubs and weights to keep her underneath.
She was held for 88 days before she managed to escape and sought out help from a passing dog walker.
On the day of her escape, Patterson told Jayme that he was going to be away for a few hours so she pushed the bins and weights away from the bed and crawled out.
Jayme put on a pair of her captor’s tennis shoes and left the house, effecting her escape.
Shortly thereafter, at approximately 4:43 p.m. on Thursday, a woman was out walking her dog when a filthy girl with matted hair and shoes too big for her feet approached her, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“[She] came up to me and said she wanted help,” Jeanne Nutter recounted.
“I was terrified, but I didn’t want to show her that,” said Nutter, a social worker who previously worked in child protection, according to the Associated Press. “She just yelled please help me I don’t know where I am. I’m lost.”
Nutter said she had seen photos of Jayme and knew she was missing, and that she was fairly certain that the girl in the fliers and posters was the same girl standing before her, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Jayme confirmed her identity, and the two immediately headed for a nearby residence and began pounding on the door.
“My only thought was to get her to a safe place,” Nutter said, according to The Associated Press.
“This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” Nutter yelled to the people inside.
The homeowner, Peter Kasinskas, said he was in disbelief when he opened the door.
He and his wife ushered Jayme and the woman into their home and tried to make her comfortable while they waited for police to arrive, they said.
Peter stood by the door with his gun at the ready in case Patterson showed up looking for Jayme.
Jayme was able to provide deputies with a description of one of Patterson’s vehicles, which they located within minutes, Sheriff Dalbec said.
“I know what this is about. I did it,” he told the Douglas County deputies who stopped him, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.
Police said that Patterson has no criminal history, and that the town of Gordon was not on their “radar” during the search for the missing teen.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo said they were in need of a “break” in the case.
“It was Jayme herself who gave us that break,” SAC Tolomeo said.