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Home / Legal News / Jayme Closs: 1 year after abduction, ‘I’m feeling stronger’ (UPDATE)

Jayme Closs: 1 year after abduction, ‘I’m feeling stronger’ (UPDATE)

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2018, file photo, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference about 13-year-old Jayme Closs who had been missing since her parents were found dead in their home in Barron, Wis. Fitzgerald, who led the investigation into the kidnapping of Closs and the slaying of her parents hopes the courage and resilience of the 13-year-old girl is the focus on the one-year anniversary of the crimes. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP, File)

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference on Oct. 17, 2018, about Jayme Closs. Fitzgerald, who led the investigation into the kidnapping of Closs and the slaying of her parents hopes the courage and resilience of the 13-year-old girl is the focus on the one-year anniversary of the crimes. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP, File)

BARRON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin girl whose parents were fatally shot before she was kidnapped and held captive for 88 days before escaping from her abductor said she’s feeling stronger every day and is thankful for the kindness and concern expressed to her from people all over the country in the year after the crime.

Jayme Closs issued a statement Monday, a day before the one-year anniversary of the fatal shootings and abduction at her home near Barron in northwest Wisconsin. Closs said she is getting back to doing what she enjoys and that she loves spending time with her friends.

The statement was read by her family attorney, Chris Gramstrup, at a news conference at the Barron County Sheriff’s Department.

“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.”

Grampstrup says Jayme, who has celebrated her 14th birthday, inherited her strength and soft heart from her father and mother. James and Denise Closs were killed at their home Oct. 15, 2018 by Jake Patterson who abducted Jayme.

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.

In the days that followed, thousands of people volunteered to search for Jayme. Patterson hid Jayme in a remote cabin in Gordon, about 60 miles north of Barron, before she escaped and got help from a woman walking her dog.

Jayme told police that on the night she was abducted, she awoke to her dog’s barking, then woke her parents as a car came up the driveway. Her father went to the front door as Jayme and her mother hid in a bathtub, according to the complaint. Jayme told police she heard a gunshot and knew her dad had been killed.

Patterson — dressed in black and wearing a facemask — broke down the bathroom door, according to the complaint. He taped Jayme’s mouth, hands and ankles before pulling her out of the bathtub and shooting her mother in the head, the complaint said.

He dragged Jayme outside, threw her in the trunk of his car and drove off, according to the complaint.

When Patterson left the cabin or had friends over, he sealed her under the bed with tote boxes and weights so she couldn’t crawl out, sometimes for hours, according to the complaint. When his father visited, Patterson told investigators, he turned up the radio to conceal any noise she might make.

She escaped Jan. 10 when Patterson was away.

Patterson is serving life in prison with no chance of parole.

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