A Minnesota television station reported on Thursday (US time) that the Wisconsin man charged with kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs says in a letter from jail that he plans to plead guilty.

KARE-TV reported that suspect Jake Patterson's February 28 letter was in response to a letter from a station reporter. Patterson wrote that he planned to plead guilty because he didn't want Jayme's family "to worry about a trial," the station said.

Jayme Closs. Photo / AP
Jayme Closs. Photo / AP

Patterson, 21, is also charged with killing Jayme's parents in an October 15 attack at the family's home near Barron, about 145 kilometres northeast of Minneapolis in western Wisconsin. Prosecutors say Patterson spotted Jayme getting off a school bus near her home and made up his mind to take her. He's accused of holding Jayme for 88 days in a cabin about an hour north of Barron before she escaped in January.

In the letter attributed to Patterson, he wrote to reporter Lou Raguse that he had "huge amounts" of remorse and "I can't believe I did this."

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A photo of one part of the letter posted on the station's website showed the words "I'm Sorry Jayme!" in large balloon letters, followed by "For everything. I know it doesn't mean much."

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told The Associated Press he could not comment on the report. KARE reported that Fitzgerald told the station he was aware that Patterson had sent a letter to a KARE reporter.

Jayme's family said they'd been told about the letter by police, according to KARE.

Patterson's attorneys did not immediately respond to messages from AP.

He is being held on US$5 million bail pending a March 27 arraignment, where he's expected to formally enter a plea.

- AP