She’s been there. Elizabeth Smart shared her relief over missing teen Jayme Closs’ return following a scary kidnapping.
“What a miracle!!! Jayme Closs has been found!!!!” Smart, 31, wrote via Instagram on Friday, January 11. “I’m so thrilled to hear the news. What has been such a heart wrenching tragedy finally has some happiness in the story.”
The My Story author, who survived a similar abduction in 2002, went on to ask for empathy and understanding from the public. “I’m praying for Jayme and all her family that they can have a joyous reunion and as the rest of the country celebrates alongside this happy occasion we all are mindful to give the family their space and privacy on their road to finding a new sense of normal and moving forward,” she continued. “I have no doubt Jayme and her family will forever appreciate the efforts and prayers of the many thousands of people who contributed and kept them in their thoughts and prayers! 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.”
Smart concluded: “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. May god bless you Jayme Closs and may we all continue to search for every missing child. #miracleshappen #novictimblaming #hope #findingnormal #survivor #strong #brave.”
According to authorities, Closs asked a woman walking her dog in Wisconsin for help on Thursday, January 10, leading to her suspected abductor Jake Thomas Patterson’s arrest. The 13-year-old went missing in October, at which time her parents, James and Denise Closs, were found dead in their home two counties away from where Jayme was later discovered. Police believe the 21-year-old man killed the young girl’s parents and kidnapped her, though specifics of the case are still under investigation.
Similarly, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee held Smart captive for nine months in 2002. She was taken from her home at age 14.
The case returned to the headlines in September 2018 when Barzee was released from prison. (Mitchell is serving a life sentence.) The activist addressed her captor’s release that same month, declaring: “I am not going to let these people or this woman stop me from living the life I want to live.”
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