MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Finding Jayme alive has brought up a lot of emotions for kidnapping victims and families of missing children.
Elizabeth Smart posted on Instagram after Closs was found calling her brave, strong and a powerful survivor.
Kate Raddatz spoke with a victim specialist at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center to find out why Jayme’s case is so meaningful.
The search for Jacob Wetterling lasted 27 years, but the Wetterling family never gave up looking. They have continued that mission of searching for missing children through the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.
“All along, Patty (Wetterling) was saying, ‘I knew it, I knew she was OK,'” said Jane Straub, victim assistance specialist at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.
JWRC staff members say finding Jayme Closs brings up several emotions for the 100 families they work with who are still waiting for answers regarding missing loved ones.
“They’re probably experiencing a lot of feelings because although they’re so overjoyed for the Closs family, there is still that, ‘But I’m waiting for my loved one to come home,'” Straub said.
Still, Straub says Jayme’s case gives several lessons. First, to celebrate her homecoming but also realize she will need time and space to adjust to life after what she’s been through.
The search for Jayme shows the power of collaboration between law enforcement, media and the public. But most of all, how Jayme fought to save herself.
“When we talk to kids, we talk about if someone is breaking your safety rules, you look for someone who is not breaking your safety rules, so Jayme escaped and went to the first person she saw and said that she needed help,” Straub said.
But the biggest outcome from Jayme’s survival? Hope, to never give up.
“She was a survivor. She survived for 88 days and we were just overjoyed,” Straub said.
Straub also said Jayme’s case brings up the issue of victim privacy. While the world may wonder what she went through in captivity, typically if a minor has suffered abuse their identities are kept private.
With Jayme, the nation knows her, her captor and will learn of any charges.