By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This week marks one year since Jayme Closs was kidnapped and her parents were murdered in their western Wisconsin home.

The brave teenager was missing for 88 days before ultimately saving herself.

WCCO’s Bill Hudson shows us how the town of Barron is choosing to focus on the healing and not the hurt.

Barron’s fall colors appear more vibrant this season — thanks not so much to nature, but the safe return of Jayme Closs.

One year ago Tuesday, this was a community gripped by shock, horror and grief over the tragic events that took place on October 15.

“This community has a new normal, but came together unlike anything I’ve ever seen or dealt with in the past, and hope to never again,” said Barron County Sherriff Chris Fitzgerald.

To the ten lead agents on the case, statue mementos were presented for never giving up hope. But the biggest compliment was for the girl who proved what courage really is.

“She continues to work very very hard on her emotional well-being,” said Chris Gramstrup, Closs family attorney.

On this eve of the anniversary, Jayme’s court-appointed guardian marveled at the strength she’s shown reclaiming her life. And read Jayme’s own words of thanks.

“She says I really want to thank everyone for all the kindness and concern that people all over the country have shown me. I’m very happy to be home and getting back to the activities that I enjoy. I love hanging out with all my friends and I feel stronger every day,” said Gramstrup.

Barron is clearly striving to move forward and away from last year’s tragedy, choosing instead to use Jayme’s safe return as a way of giving hope to other families that missing children do come home.

Bill Hudson

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