A GoFundMe fundraiser set up for 13-year-old Wisconsin girl Jayme Closs, who escaped her captor last week after being kidnapped from her own home, has far exceeded the original goal. The fundraiser is now closed, but there are still ways people can help the young girl.
ABC 13 reports that Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, gave suggestions to the outlet after numerous people reached out wanting to help young girl. According to Smith, Jayme loves the colors blue and green, and would appreciate any arts and crafts, DVDs, and books and magazines. She also wears size small in women’s clothing. Greeting cards are also encouraged.
Gifts and letters can be mailed to:
Light the Way Home for Jayme Closs
P.O. Box 539
Rice Lake, WI 54868
In the meantime, Susan Bach, the Better Business Bureau’s Northeast Wisconsin regional director, warns people to take extra precaution when donating to other GoFundMe campaigns set up for Jayme.
“The problem is that scammers will take advantage of the situation as well and they’ll use the tragedy — they’ll use Jayme Closs’ name — to create their own fundraiser and instead of giving the funds to Jayme or her family, we’re afraid that they might use the funds, keep them to themselves,” Bach explained to Post Crescent.
Bach also sai the best way to send monetary donations to Jayme is through a bank set up to accept donations on her behalf. As of now, only one such bank exists, which was set up in October, after Jayme disappeared.
Sterling Bank is accepting monetary donations for Jayme, which can be sent to P.O. Box 70, 234 E. LaSalle Ave., Barron, Wisconsin, 54812. President of the bank, Aaron Weber, indicated that donations have been coming in since Jayme’s abduction and have steadily increased since her return home, according to WPR.
“Now that it’s hit the media again and it’s been a real positive thing, we’ve gotten a lot more support and donations coming in from locally and also from all over the nation,” Weber explained.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, kidnapping and murder suspect, 21-year-old Jake Patterson, told authorities that he spotted Jayme getting off of a school bus and said “he knew that was the girl he was going to take.” Afterward, Patterson began planning the plot to take the young girl captive. The suspect admitted Jayme was a random target and he hadn’t had contact with her before.
On October 15, the suspect allegedly shot down the door of Jayme’s home in Barron, before shooting and killing her father, James Closs, with a Mossberg pump shotgun. Jake Patterson then made his way to a bathroom, where he found Denise Closs hiding in a bathtub with her daughter Jayme, with her arms wrapped protectively around the young girl. Patterson reportedly shot Denise in the head, then dragged the girl to his car, a red Ford Taurus, and shoved her into his trunk.
READ More: BREAKING: Jayme Closs suspected kidnapper confesses, explains why he targeted her
Jayme was held captive for 88 days inside the suspect’s home. On January 10, she managed to escape while Patterson was away. She ran to a woman, Jeanne Nutter, that she spotted walking a dog nearby and asked for help.
Jayme is now back home in Barron, living with an aunt. Prosecutors announced earlier this week that Jayme will not be asked to testify at Patterson’s trial, at least as far as they know. Instead, the prosecution plans to build their case on Patterson’s confession, evidence, and the information Jayme gave police.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs & Jennifer Smith/Handout]