BARRON, Wis. (WCCO) — Just over a month ago, the people of Barron put up a tree for the holidays that was based on hope — hope for Jayme Closs. Now they have certainty.

In all, 3,318 people call Barron home. For the last three months, they’ve been one person short. They cried in hopes of finding Closs, and they prayed. And on Friday, they rejoiced.

“It was so exciting, so awesome, so awesome. It’s the talk of the pharmacy,” resident Jen Hardina said. “They come in, ‘Did you hear the news? Did you hear the news?'”

“Everybody called everybody. Everybody was happy, especially the family who lives here. They put the cross up for Jayme,” resident Gene Anderson said.

 

Lee Methany is the father of one of Closs’s friends from jazz class. He said he gave his daughter the glorious update and she started crying.

And after three months of tears of sadness, there are now tears of gladness.

“It’s like a little piece of heaven just dropped on us,” Methany said.

That is the feeling all around this town — gratitude, answered prayers and great relief.

Cindy Wright is the organist at New Salem Lutheran. They’ve been praying week after week, and now those prayers are answered.

“We didn’t know how God was going to answer that prayer, but He answered it in the most positive way possible,” Wright said. “We’re just so excited.”

 

Jayme Closs should be halfway through the 8th grade, but she’s missed several months and the students have missed her.

“At school today, it was really happy and a lot of rejoicing. Jayme was back,” said Ryan Etlicher, Jayme’s classmate.

Jayme’s fellow 8th graders watched the sheriff’s press conference and tried to grasp what even adults can’t understand.

The school district plans to have a celebration for the young woman classmates call quiet, sweet and kind.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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