The 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who was held captive for 88 days before escaping while her kidnapper was out, thanked supporters for the numerous gifts and donations she’s received.
Jayme Closs’s case attracted nationwide attention after police officers arrived at her family’s home in Barron on Oct. 13, 2018, to find her parents shot dead and the girl missing. She wasn’t found until she fled her captor on Jan. 10.
In a statement, Jayme’s guardian wrote that Jayme and her family “wish to extend their deepest gratitude for the incredible gifts and generous donations that she has received from all over the country and around the world.”
“Jayme greatly appreciates each and every gift, as well as the many cards and letters. The many kind words have been a source of great comfort to her,” they added.
Packages from across the country have been arriving at the new home of Jayme, who is living with her aunt Jennifer Smith since her parents are dead.
Among the packages have been cash donations and gift cards. Everything is screened by the Barron County Sheriff’s Office before being delivered to Jayme, according to Fox 9.
Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said that a homemade gift even arrived recently from Italy.
In one picture, approximately 20 packages are seen piled on a couch and a table inside Jayme’s new house.
Packages piling up for #JaymeCloss in Barron. Organizers tell me gifts have been sent from all over. Cash donations, gift cards also coming in steadily. Still no official word on what FBI will do w/ the $50k reward though I have heard from many who feel it should go to Jayme. pic.twitter.com/sxVnsBatip
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) January 17, 2019
In addition to the packages, a fundraiser through the Closs family account at Sterling Bank was launched after Jayme was returned safe, while two others, one on GoFundMe and one on Facebook, have garnered over $50,000 each.
Angela De Andriano, one of Jayme’s cousins, who started the GoFundMe fundraiser, said that she’s increased the goal twice at the request of donors.
“Each time I get close to a goal I have just like an overload of messages coming in, ‘This isn’t going to close is it? We would like to help.'” De Andriano told Wisconsin Public Radio. “And I’m like, ‘OK, nope it doesn’t just close. You can go ahead and go on there and I’ll just keep adjusting it.'”
The donations ebb and flow but seem to spike when a new facet of Jayme’s story is reported on.
“There’s a lot of people out there that want to help and that are really concerned and following along as these hearings begin, and I think that Jayme has a lot of support from all over the world,” De Andriano said.
On the fundraiser page, De Andriano said that the money would be directly delivered to the family.
“Our family is working very hard to help out in any way possible. Whether it be that they use these dollars toward medical appointments, general care, or any other basic needs Jayme may have going forward; every dollar is a blessing,” she wrote.
A recent picture showed Jayme enjoying a steak lunch with her grandfather with both smiling for the camera.
Robert Naiberg, the grandfather, said a few days after the escape that his granddaughter was “good spirits.”
“She’s doing exceptionally well for what she went through,” Naiberg said. “She’s in exceptionally good spirits.”
In the first picture shared after Jayme’s escape, she was seen with her dog, Molly, and her aunt Jennifer Smith.
Jake Patterson, who authorities said admitted to kidnapping Jayme after killing her parents, was arrested shortly after Jayme escaped and is currently being held on charges of kidnapping and intentional homicide.
Patterson is expected to be arraigned on March 27, where he will enter a plea.