Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs receives local hero award after she escaped man who had killed her parents and abducted her
Closs smiled as the members of the Wisconsin State Assembly gave her a standing ovation after she was honored for her bravery and strong will
Jayme Closs, the kidnapped teen who managed to escape from the Wisconsin cabin where she was held as a captive for three months, was publicly seen for the first time at an award function in her hometown. The 13-year-old teen escaped her captor on January 10 after she was abducted in October last year following her parents' murder. Closs was presented with a Wisconsin Hometown Hero award at the State Capitol on Wednesday, May 15.
CBS News reported that Closs smiled as the members of the Wisconsin State Assembly gave her a standing ovation after she was honored for her bravery and strong will. This was the first time Closs has been out for this long in public ever since she escaped the clutches of her kidnapper.
Closs' aunt, Jennifer Smith, spoke on behalf of the teen as she thanked all the people of her hometown for their support in the past few months. The teen stood behind her aunt but did not say anything.
Smith said: "She greatly appreciates the honor... and the kindness of everyone involved. Speaking for her entire family, I have to say, Jayme is totally deserving of the hero part of this award. Her courage, her bravery and her spirit are things that inspire us and make us stronger and better. Just like you, we want Jayme to know how much we love her."
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that a criminal complaint which was released on January 14 revealed distressing new details in the kidnapping case of Closs who was reported missing for almost three months after both her parents were shot to death in October last year.
The suspect in the murder of Jayme's parents and her kidnapping, 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, has been charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping, and one count of armed burglary.
The complaint revealed Patterson had allegedly told the authorities he worked at a cheese factory in the south of Almena for two days before he quit. He told investigators that when he was on the way to the cheese factory, one of the two mornings he was there, he stopped behind a school bus on Highway 7 and that's where he saw Jayme getting into the bus.
The complaint read: "[Patterson] stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house. [Patterson] stated, when he saw [Jayme], he knew that was the girl he was going to take."
The criminal complaint also stated Patterson confessed to killing Jayme's parents, James and Denise Closs, and to kidnapping the teen. A post-mortem exam stated James' cause of death was a shotgun wound to the head and neck and it was ruled homicide. In addition to this, Denise had significant head trauma and the cause of death was a shotgun wound to the head.
Patterson has pleaded guilty to both the crimes and he faces life in prison when sentenced on May 24.
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