Kidnapped Girl, 13, Rescued Herself – Should She Get The $50,000 Reward Money?

Jayme Closs and the man who abducted her after killing her parents, 21-year-old Jake Patterson

Authorities are deciding what to do with a $50,000 reward offered for information about 13-year-old Jayme Closs, the Wisconsin girl who was found alive nearly three months after authorities say she was abducted from her home and her parents killed by an intruder.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald and Milwaukee FBI spokesman Leonard Peace said the reward remains under review and will be determined later.

The FBI offered a $25,000 reward on Oct. 24 for information about Jayme’s whereabouts. The Jennie-O Turkey Store, where James and Denise Closs worked, later doubled the amount to $50,000.

Jayme was discovered on January 10 by a woman walking her dog near the small northwestern Wisconsin town of Gordon, 60 miles (100 kilometers) away from her hometown of Barron. The woman, Jeanne Nutter, took Jayme to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas, who called 911.

Peter Kasinskas told The Associated Press that the couple does not want the reward. He says if anyone gets it, Jayme should because “She got herself out.”

21-year-old Jake Patterson, is charged with kidnapping Jayme and fatally shooting her parents after breaking into their home near Barron on Oct. 15.

According to a criminal complaint, Patterson told investigators that he broke into the house in the middle of the night, gunned down Jayme’s parents and made off with the teen, hiding her in a remote cabin for nearly three months. Jayme escaped Jan. 10, and deputies arrested Patterson minutes later relying on her description of him and his car.

Patterson graduated from Northwood High School in Minong in the spring of 2015. His activities between then and the day he was arrested have largely not been made public, including his employment and how he supported himself. He had been living in the cabin in Gordon, Wisconsin, where he kept Jayme captive.

Officials with Saratoga Liquor Co. in Superior, Wisconsin, said Thursday that they received an online job application from Patterson around midday on the day Jayme escaped.

According to the application supplied to The Associated Press by the company, Patterson was trying to land a night position at the company’s warehouse. Company officials said they wouldn’t have hired him due to his lack of experience.

On the resume Patterson submitted in his application, he describes himself as an “honest and hardworking guy. Not much work experience but I show up to work and am a quick learner.” He notes he worked as a “laborer” from April 2018 to November 2018, but Saratoga officials redacted the employer’s name in the provided resume.

Patterson states he served in the U.S. Marines for nine months from April 2017 to December 2017. Marine spokeswoman Yvonne Carlock has told AP that Patterson did serve, but only for about five weeks in the fall of 2015. Carlock said his early discharge indicated the “character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards.”

Patterson also stated he was a “production worker” from October 2016 to January 2017, specializing in packaging screens. His employer has been redacted. He goes on to say he graduated from high school in 2016, even though he actually graduated in 2015.

Patterson’s defense attorneys haven’t responded to an email request to confirm the resume.

Patterson worked for little more than a day in 2016 at the Jennie-O turkey plant in Barron where Jayme’s parents worked. Investigators have said he did not know them. He also worked for two days at a cheese factory near Almena, Wisconsin, just west of Barron. He was on his way to work there in October when he spotted Jayme getting on a school bus and decided he wanted to kidnap her.

Patterson faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, both punishable by life in prison, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary. He’s due back in court Feb. 6 for a preliminary hearing.