Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who was kidnapped in October by a home intruder who also killed her parents, will receive at least $25,000 in reward money after she managed to escape her abductor by herself. The abduction of Closs — and the brutal double-murder of her parents — had left her small hometown of Barron, a town of just over 3,400 people, in shock.
After 88 days of being held in a cabin by a suspect identified as 21-year-old Jake T. Patterson, who would leave her trapped beneath a bed surrounded with heavy items when he left the house, Closs managed to escape and run to a nearby road where she sought help from a passing woman.
“I’m Jayme Closs,” the woman said the girl told her. “I don’t know where I am.”
In wake of the young teenager’s disappearance, Hormel Foods, the Minnesota-based company that owned the Jennie-O Turkey Store in which her parents worked for the past 27 years, had offered $25,000 for information leading to her safe return. That money, according to Jennie-O president Steve Lykken, will now be used to set up a trust fund for the teenager.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald thanked Hormel for their support throughout the case.
“We also agree that Jayme is the hero in this case and are happy they have chosen her to receive the company’s reward contribution,” he said.
Another $25,000 in reward offered by the F.B.I. could potentially also be given to Closs, but public officials have said that they will not disclose what is done with the money “due to privacy considerations.”
A GoFundMe started by a family member of Closs’ has also raised more than $35,000 to help her as she recovers from her ordeal and the death of her parents.