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'A bright light in a time of sadness': Jayme Closs honored at Capitol

Jayme Closs receives award 4.jpg

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin State Assembly honored Jayme Closs, a Barron native and kidnap survivor who escaped her captor in northern Wisconsin after 88 days, as a Hometown Hero Wednesday.

Speaker Robin Vos said during the Assembly session Wednesday that Jayme is one of several people to be honored.

Rep. Romaine Quinn called Jayme's escape "miraculous" and said she represents hope.


"Jayme, your strength, your resolve and your bravery is beyond incredible," Quinn said. "You are truly an inspiration and a bright light in a time of sadness."

Jayme, 13, appeared with family members and friends to receive her honor in the Assembly chamber.

It was a rare public appearance for Jayme, who escaped her kidnapper in January after being held captive in a remote northwestern Wisconsin cabin for three months.

Her aunt, Jen Smith, accepted the award and said Jayme's bravery and spirit are inspiring. The teen stood behind her aunt but didn't speak.

"Speaking for her entire family, I have to say that Jayme is totally deserving of the hero part of this award," Smith said. "Her courage, her bravery and her spirit are things that inspire us and make us stronger and better."


Jake Patterson has pleaded guilty to kidnapping Jayme and killing her parents on Oct. 15. He faces life in prison when sentenced May 24.

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