The Wisconsin company where 13-year-old Jayme Closs’ parents worked for decades announced it will donate $25,000 of the reward fund set aside for whoever located the girl, to Jayme herself.
The Green Bay Gazette reports that Hormel Foods announced the decision on Wednesday to allow its company Jennie-O, where slain victims James and Denise Closs worked, to donate half of the $50,000 reward fund set up to help find Jayme. The young girl was abducted from her Barron County home in October after suspected killer, 21-year-old Jake Patterson, reportedly shot her parents to death.
“Her bravery and strength have truly inspired our team members around the world,” Hormel Foods CEO Jim Snee said. “Barron is an incredibly strong community and one that never lost hope. We celebrated with the community, and the world, that Jayme is home.”
Jennie-O previously matched the $25,000 reward fund already set in place by the FBI, which doubled the amount to $50,000. The company is working with authorities to ensure Jayme gets its half of the donation. The company also said James and Denise Closs worked for Jennie-O in Barron for 27 years.
“Our hope is that a trust fund can be used for Jayme’s needs today and in the future,” Jennie-O Turkey Store president, Steve Lykken, said.
“While we are still mourning the loss of longtime family members Jim and Denise, we are so thankful for Jayme’s brave escape and that she is back in Barron.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jayme was kidnapped on October 15, after she heard her dog barking on the night in question, and walked out of her room to alert her parents. She told authorities that’s when noticed Patterson driving up her family’s driveway with the headlights of his car turned off. Within minutes, Patterson reportedly shot the front door in, and shot and killed Jayme’s father, James Closs.
Jayme said she ran to bathroom with her mother and hid, but the suspect forced his way in. Patterson found the pair hiding inside the bathtub, with Denise Closs’ arms wrapped protectively around her daughter. He then forced Denise Closs to put tape over Jayme’s mouth. Patterson allegedly taped Jayme’s arms, wrists, and ankles together afterward.
According to the suspect, after he wrapped Jayme in black duct tape, he aimed the shotgun at Denise’s head and pulled the trigger. He then dragged the girl out of her home. At one point, she almost slipped in her father’s pool of blood as the suspect dragged her with one hand, while holding a shotgun in his other hand.
When Patterson reached his car, he put Jayme in the trunk and drove away, the complaint read. He brought Jayme to his home in Gordon and realized the girl was scared as she “urinated herself and her clothing was wet.”
Once he had Jayme secluded, Patterson “made it clear that nobody was to know she was there or bad things would happen to her,” according to the complaint. When friends or relatives visited the Gordon home where Jayme was held captive, Patterson made her hide under a bed, the complaint read.
“When he made her hide under his bed, (Jayme) stated he stacked totes and laundry bins around the bed with weights (like weights for barbells) stacked against them so she could not move them without his being able to detect it if she did.”
Jake Patterson Complaint, J… by on Scribd
When Patterson got angry, he reportedly hit Jayme. In one incident, he “hit her ‘really hard’ on her back with what she described as a handle for something used to clean blinds,” according to the complaint.
On one occasion during Christmas, Patterson reportedly left Jayme under the bed for 12 hours while he visited family members in Superior. According to the complaint, he told her she would have to “hold it” if she had to go to the restroom, as she was not allowed to get out from under the bed. She was left on several occasions without food or water for hours.
On January 10, the day of his arrest, the suspect reportedly drove to Haugen to visit his mother. When he returned home, he noticed Jayme had fled. After driving around looking for her, he returned home, where authorities were waiting to arrest him.
Jayme is Discovered
On January 10 at around 4:45 p.m., a woman was walking a dog in a housing development just outside of Gordon, when a girl with matted hair wearing men’s shoes and tattered clothing approached her for help. The woman, former social services worker, Jeanne Nutter, took the girl, identified as Jayme, to a house further down, hoping to get as far away from the home Jayme escaped from before asking for help.
They arrived at the home of teacher Kristin Kasinskas and her husband, Peter, who live off of S. Eau Claire Acres Circle with their children.
“I was terrified, but I didn’t want to show her that,” Nutter said, according to Macon Telegraph. “She just yelled please help me I don’t know where I am. I’m lost. My only thought was to get her to a safe place.”
The neighbor, frantic, explained that the girl was Jayme, who was abducted after her parents were shot to death inside their Barron home.
“This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!”
Peter Kasinskas described Jayme’s demeanor as “flat,” according to the outlet. While inside Kasinskas home, Jayme was offered food and drink but declined. The girl explained she had no idea where she was or anything about the area.
“I honestly still think I’m dreaming right now. It was like I was seeing a ghost,” Peter Kasinskas told the outlet. “It was scary and awesome at the same time. My jaw just went to the floor.”
The Kasinkas told CBS that Jayme appeared dirty and unkempt, wearing leggings, oversized men’s shoes and a sweatshirt.
“She looked the same as in all the photos and little thinner. Her hair was still the same color and length. She just looked a little unkempt like she hadn’t been able to take care of herself or something,” Peter said.
The Bemidji Pioneer reports that prior to police arriving, Jayme reportedly told Nutter that the man who abducted her was once in the military, killed her parents, and “turns the radio up and sometimes has people come over while he is gone.”
Authorities arrived and blocked area off surrounding to a cabin off of the 14100 block of S. Eau Claire Acres Circle, then apprehended Patterson close to his home.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said during a press conference on Friday that he wasn’t sure if Jayme was restrained in the home or how she managed to escape. The suspect was not in the home when she ran for help.
According to Fitzgerald, Patterson was driving around looking for Jayme when authorities pulled him over, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Police took Jayme to the Essentia Health-St. Mary’s hospital in Superior shortly after her rescue. She was held overnight for observation, then reunited with her aunt in her hometown of Barron.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Closs Family/Facebook]