Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old girl in Wisconsin, was kidnapped for 88 days after witnessing both her parents being killed by her abductor, Jake Patterson.
Patterson, 21, was sentenced to life in prison Friday for murdering James and Denise Closs, kidnapping their daughter, and keeping the teen captive in his remote cabin in Gordon, Wisconsin, for nearly three months before she managed to escape in January.
While Jayme was not present in court for Patterson’s sentencing, she wrote this powerful statement that was read out by her attorney:
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. I love my mom and my dad very much and they love me very much. They did all they could to make me happy and protect me. He took them away from me forever.
I felt safe in my home and I loved my room and all my belongings. He took all of that too. I don’t want to even see my home or my stuff because of the memory of that night. My parents and my home were the most important things in my life. 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. I used to love to go out with my friends. I loved to go to school. I loved to dance. He took all of those things away from me too.
It’s too hard for me to go out in public. I get scared and I get anxious. These are just ordinary things that anyone like me should be able to do but I can’t because he took them away from me.
But there are some things that Jake Patterson can never take from me. He can’t take my freedom. He thought he that he could own me but he was wrong. I was smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not.
Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me but he couldn’t. I feel like what he did is what a coward would do. I was brave and he was not.
He can’t ever take away my spirit. He thought that he could make me like him, but he was wrong. 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. I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not.
Jake Patterson will never have any power over me. I feel like I have some power over him because I get to tell the judge what I think should happen to him.
He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I love from me. For 88 days he tried to steal me and he didn’t care who he hurt or who he killed to do that. He should stay locked up forever.