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Elizabeth Smart’s Uplifting Words To ‘Brave’ Jayme Closs After She Was Found Alive

Elizabeth Smart sent words of encouragement to Jayme Closs, just a day after authorities found the 13-year-old who was missing for nearly three months.

Smart, a child safety activist who was abducted from her Salt Lake City home in 2002, called Jayme “brave, strong and powerful” in an Instagram post this week. 

“I hope we may all continue to support and embrace Jayme as she reclaims her life and comes to terms with the reality of her situation,” the 31-year-old wrote. “What a brave, strong, and powerful survivor!!!!”

“No matter what may unfold in her story let’s all try to remember that this young woman has SURVIVED and whatever other details may surface the most important will still remain that she is alive,” she added. 

Officials reported Jayme missing on Oct. 15 when deputies discovered the bodies of her parents in their Wisconsin home. James and Deniss Closs had been fatally shot, with the Barron County’s Sheriff’s Department concluding their deaths were homicides.

Authorities had issued an Amber Alert for Jayme’s disappearance and led several ground searches with thousands of recruited volunteers. She had been placed on the FBI’s Missing Person’s list on Oct. 15 and was considered “endangered.”

On Thursday evening, the sheriff’s department announced that Jayme had been located after she managed to escape her alleged abductor nearly 90 days after she went missing.

Police identified the man suspected of kidnapping Jayme as 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson.

Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, who was investigating her case, confirmed Jayme was found alive in Gordon, Wisconsin, about 60 miles north of her hometown of Barron. Jayme has since reunited with her aunt and other relatives, authorities stated.

Fitzgerald previously said in November that he kept Smart’s 2002 abduction in mind as he looked for Jayme, according to the Associated Press. He said at the time that he had a “gut feeling” Jayme was alive, the AP reported. 

Smart was 14 years old when she was abducted by her captors on June 5, 2002. She was found and rescued nine months later. 

Smart called Jayme’s rescue “a miracle” on Instagram. 

“What has been such a heart wrenching tragedy finally has some happiness in the story,” she added. 

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