Jake T. Patterson, charged with kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs from her home in Barron, Wis., and killing her parents, wrote in a letter to a KARE 11 reporter that he has “huge amounts” of remorse for the crimes he committed and intends to plead guilty at his next court date, scheduled for March 27.
KARE reported Thursday that Lou Raguse wrote Patterson two letters at the Polk County jail, where he’s been held since mid-January. Prosecutors say Patterson confessed to law enforcement almost as soon as they caught up with him, after an intense search for Jayme ended when she escaped his house near Gordon, Wis., three months after her disappearance.
The TV station reported that it received a response Thursday morning, in a handwritten letter answering some of the case’s lingering questions. Two red stamps on each side of the envelope appear to verify its authenticity. It was postmarked Feb. 28.
When reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald declined to comment beyond saying, “I knew a letter was sent to Lou. But that’s all I knew.”
Asked what he intends to do now, Patterson wrote that he will plead guilty (and had planned to sooner), because he doesn’t want Jayme’s family “to worry about a trial.”
He appeared to struggle with articulating why he chose to kidnap Jayme, framing the situation as “complicated,” and “not black and white.”
“This was mostly on impulse,” Patterson wrote. “I don’t think like a serial killer.”
Patterson admitted to following some of the media coverage related to Jayme’s disappearance on his cellphone, but said if it came on TV he quickly changed the channel.
KARE 11 reported that Patterson claimed he’d never confided in anyone about his crimes and swore his family was unaware.
“No one knew,” he wrote. “My dad only came on Saturdays, the same time every day. So it was a routine. Jayme hides on Sat. [PEN SCRIBBLE REDACTION] My family respects privacy so no one even went in my room.”
Patterson also told the TV station that he never returned to Barron after breaking into the Closs home on Oct. 15.
Asked whether he has any remorse or regrets for his actions, Patterson replied: “Huge amounts. I can’t believe I did this.”
“No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much,” he said. “Can’t express it.”