Jayme Closs’ Aunt Opens Up About The Relief Of Finding Out Her Missing Niece Was Alive

Even though Jennifer Smith knew her abducted niece might not ever be seen again, she refused to give up hope.

Hands tied behind victims back with ropes.
By aradaphotography / Shutterstock

Even though Jennifer Smith knew her abducted niece might not ever be seen again, she refused to give up hope.

Thirteen-year-old Wisconsin girl Jayme Closs was abducted by a 21-year-old man, who allegedly shot and killed both of her parents. For three months there was no sign of the teen. Although her aunt, Jennifer Smith, knew she might not ever see Jayme again, she refused to give up hope. She just couldn’t shake the feeling that somehow her beloved niece was still alive. She bought Jayme Christmas presents, wrapped them, and left them under the tree with the hope that one day she’d be able to open them. All of her dreams came true this past week when she was reunited with Jayme on Friday, according to People.

As it turned out, the teen had been held captive in a home just four houses down from her own. The area of the home in which she was kept in was well concealed, blocking her from the view of visitors who stopped by. Although the community had searched far and wide for Jayme for months, she took the matter into her own hands and managed to escape while her captor was out of the home.

“As a family we will get through all of the healing process Jayme has. It will be a long road but we are family strong and we love this little girl so much!!” Smith wrote on Facebook on Saturday. She believes that her sister and brother-in-law can now rest in peace with their daughter home safe.

On Friday, police arrested Jake Thomas Patterson for the abduction of Jayme and the murder of her parents. Little information is known about Patterson, or his motive behind the cruel acts. Police do not believe he had any communication with the Closs family prior to the murders.

The remaining members of Jayme’s family are just glad to have her back home and vow to do whatever is necessary to keep her safe. The teen is in good health and recently settled back in at home. She was perhaps most excited to reunite with her beloved dog, Mollie.

Rod Fladten, the mayor of Jayme’s hometown of Barron, is overjoyed by her miraculous escape.

“It’s mind-blowing. When we first found out, it kind of sent everybody into a tailspin. It’s hard to go through 88 days of a cloud hanging over your community and all of a sudden it’s reversed. We’re very happy in Barron. We have high hopes for her recovery and adjustment back into school. Hopefully, she’ll have a good future,” he said.