It’s been a year since Jayme Closs was kidnapped and held captive in a remote Wisconsin cabin, and the teen says she is getting stronger daily.
“I am very happy to be home and getting back to the activities that I enjoy. I love hanging out with all of my friends, and I feel stronger every day!” Jayme said during an exclusive interview with ABC.
Jayme was just 13 when convicted murderer Jake Patterson, 21, broke into her family’s Barron, Wisconsin, home, and abducted her. Patterson, who is now serving a life sentence without parole, shot and killed Jayme’s parents, James and Denise Closs, on October 15, 2018, before duct-taping Jayme’s mouth and forcing her into his car.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, for 88 days, Jayme involuntarily lived inside Patterson’s home in a secluded area in Gordon County. Patterson “made it clear [to Jayme] that nobody was to know she was there or bad things would happen to her,” according to court documents.
When friends or relatives visited the Gordon home, Patterson forced Jayme to hide under a small bed. He also forced her to obey his rules and would physically abuse her if she didn’t. When Patterson got angry, he “hit her ‘really hard’ on her back with what she described as a handle for something used to clean blinds…”
In January 2019, Jayme managed to escape the home while Patterson was away. While walking in a pair of Patterson’s shoes in blistering cold weather, Jayme spotted a woman with a dog and asked for help. Police found Patterson the same day and arrested him.
Jayme now lives with her aunt, Jen Smith, according to the family’s lawyer, Chris Gramstrup.
“Jayme continues to work very hard on her emotional well-being,” Gramstrup said. “She is moving forward and courageously reclaiming her life.”
The teen spends time with friends, “just hanging out and being a typical teenager,” Smith and Gramstrup added.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald plans to hold a press conference Monday to honor the team who helped rescue Jayme, according to KARE 11. He hopes to turn the “bad day” into something positive.
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[Feature Photo: Jayme Closs/Handout; Facebook]