Family attorney: 1 year after abduction, Jayme Closs is 'moving forward courageously'

Updated: October 15, 2019 06:10 AM

Tuesday marks a year since now-14-year-old Jayme Closs was kidnapped and her parents were murdered in the western Wisconsin town of Barron.

Eighty-eight days after Oct. 15, 2018, Closs was able to escape from her abductor, identified as Jake Patterson and who was arrested and later convicted. 

According to the criminal complaint, the then-21-year-old Patterson told investigators he knew Jayme "was the girl he was going to take" after he saw her getting on a school bus near her home. He made two aborted trips to the family's home before carrying out the attack in which he killed Jayme's mother in front of her, the complaint said.

The kidnapping marked the longest-running active Amber Alert in Wisconsin history and the largest case for the Wisconsin crime lab.

On Monday, a ceremony was held to honor those who helped bring Jayme home.

Closs 1 year after abduction: 'I feel stronger every day'

Now, a year later, Jayme has returned to school and celebrated her birthday over the summer. 

Family attorney Chris Gramstrup read a statement from Jayme at a news conference at the Barron County Sheriff's Department Monday. Jayme said she is getting back to the activities she enjoys and loves hanging out with her friends.

"She continues to work very, very hard on her emotional well-being," Gramstrup said. "She's moving forward courageously and reclaiming her life. Her incredible spirit and strength continues to inspire everyone around her."

Those who worked on the case received a small memento with a plaque that read "Never give up hope."

Patterson pleaded guilty to killing Jayme's parents and kidnapping her. He was sentenced to life in prison and 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned he has been moved to an out-of-state facility, however, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections isn't disclosing where.

Complete Jayme Closs coverage

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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