LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) -- A community in northern Wisconsin is celebrating the safe return of Jayme and supporting their neighbors and friends, the Closs family. The city of Ladysmith has been coming together to support their friends since the beginning.
But now, they are celebrating a safe return for Jayme with welcome signs all over the community. "I am happy she is home, glad she is safe,” said Katie Hraban, from Ladysmith. Everyone in the community is breathing a sigh of relief. "I could hardly believe it,” added Nancy Hoesly from Ladysmith.
There is a sense of joy radiating throughout town. "Jayme is a strong girl, brave girl and she is a true inspiration to all of us,” Hraban said.
In late December the Ladysmith Lions Club hosted a tree of hope lighting ceremony for Jayme and about a week and a half later, Jayme made her brave escape. "Tears come out of our eyes; goosebumps ran up and down my body, it was just fantastic,” said Dick Moore, from Ladysmith.
The tree of hope will continue to stand tall as a reminder of support for the family, who is now reunited with Jayme. "Just even thinking about it brings tears,” Hoesly said. “We are so grateful."
Nancy Hoesly along with others from the Church of Christ in Ladysmith decided to make Jayme a prayer shawl. "This represents prayers that have been made for you from the very beginning and now it is thank you God but there will still be some tough days ahead I'm sure and so we're not done praying,” Nancy added.
This small community just shocked after the criminal complaint said 21-year-old Jake Patterson targeted Jayme without any connection to her or the family. "Nobody in their right mind would do something like that,” Hoesly said.
The case is leaving an unsettling feeling for local families. “It's really scary and then to know that we have a daughter the same age as her so yeah really scary,” said Leann Kuc, from Ladysmith.
In addition to celebrating Jayme’s return they are also comforting the family as they are grieving the loss of Jim and Denise Closs.