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ABC Exclusive: Jayme Closs ‘feeling stronger every day,’ enjoying time with friends

(ABC NEWS) – Just shy of a year since Jayme Closs was kidnapped and held for months by the man who murdered her parents, the teen says she is feeling “stronger every day.”

“I really want to thank everyone for all the kindness and concern that people all over the country have shown me,” Closs said in an exclusive statement to ABC News. “I am very happy to be home and getting back to the activities that I enjoy. I love hanging out with all of my friends, and I feel stronger every day!”

It was October 15, 2018 when Jake Patterson shot his way into Closs’ rural Barron home – killing her parents James and Denise. Patterson abducted Jayme and took her to his Gordon home where he held her for 88 days.

“Jayme continues to work very hard on her emotional well-being,” the teen’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, and their family attorney, Chris Gramstrup, said in a statement to ABC News. “She is moving forward and courageously reclaiming her life.”

The exclusive statement to ABC News said Closs has taken trips to hiking trails with her friends and her aunts, and has enjoyed celebrating weddings and birthdays with her family.

“She has also been able to spend a good deal of time with her friends, just hanging out and being a typical teenager,” said Smith and Gramstrup. “Jayme’s incredible spirit and strength continue to inspire everyone around her.”

“Jayme has had a very busy summer enjoying time with her family and friends. She has celebrated family weddings and birthdays, including her own. Jayme has enjoyed many day trips hiking the trails of Wisconsin’s State Parks with her aunts and girl friends. She has also been able to spend a good deal of time with her friends, just hanging out and being a typical teenager,” said a statement from the family. “Jayme continues to work very hard on her emotional well-being. She is moving forward and courageously reclaiming her life. Jayme’s incredible spirit and strength continue to inspire everyone around her. She is truly “#JaymeStrong.”

Jayme said to ABC News: “I really want to thank everyone for all the kindness and concern that people all over the country have shown me. I am very happy to be home and getting back to the activities that I enjoy. I love hanging out with all of my friends, and I feel stronger every day!”

On Monday morning, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald will address the media – and once again thank the key stakeholders in the search and ultimate rescue of Closs. You can watch that press conference here. 

Clint Berge

Clint Berge is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager for Eau Claire’s Own WQOW News 18.
Report any website issues to him at cberge@wqow.com

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