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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Two Years After Fleeing Kidnapper, Where Is Jayme Closs Now?

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Jayme Closs was just 13 when her parents were murdered and she endured the three months of captivity that followed.

After spotting Jayme getting on a school bus in October 2018 in Barron, Wisconsin, 21-year-old Jake Patterson made plans to kidnap her, which he carried out early in the morning on Oct. 15.

Jayme showed she had grit when she broke out of the rural house she was being kept in 66 miles north after being trapped for almost three months and asked a passer-by for help.

“I’m lost, I don’t know where I am,” she told the woman, who was out walking her dog, according to NBC News. “I’m Jayme.”

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She couldn’t have picked a better person to ask for help. The woman was Jeanne Nutter, a social worker in child protection, and she immediately knew who Jayme was.

Nutter was able to usher Jayme to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas, which was nearby, and they called police.

Patterson was caught and charged with kidnapping and homicide. He pled guilty in late 2019 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to CNN.

Jayme was her own hero, and it’s thanks to her determination and quick actions — along with help from Nutter and the Kasinskas — that she’s free today.

Jayme is now 15, and her guardian and aunt, Jennifer Naiberg Smith, has issued a statement to let those concerned for her well-being know how she’s doing.

“We are very thankful for everything that happened on this day two years ago; for Jayme’s bravery and for Jeanne, Peter and Kristen for all being in the right place, at the right time and keeping Jayme safe,” the post, shared on the group “Healing for Jayme,” read.

“We’re still very thankful for the community, to the whole world for all caring and being there, and to law enforcement who worked tirelessly to seek justice.

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“Jayme is doing good. We take life day by day. She is enjoying dance, school activities and many other things as much as is possible in regards to now dealing with the covid restrictions. She is surrounded by lots of loved ones.

“We always want to say and remind others never take life for granted. You never know what tomorrow will bring. Always remember to take the time to tell your loved ones you love them.”

Thankfully Jayme had a family member who could take her in, thankfully her life was spared despite the horrific ordeal she was put through and hopefully she will be able to continue to thrive and heal.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking