In the days since Jayme Closs escaped from her alleged kidnapper, the 13-year-old has been spending time with family and is in “good spirits,” her grandfather says.
Closs managed to escape from captivity Thursday and approached a woman walking her dog for help in Gordon, Wisconsin after she had spent three months being held against her will in a nearby cabin.
After spending Thursday night in the hospital for observation, she was released Friday and reunited with her family, including several aunts and her grandfather.
Her grandfather Robert Naiberg told NBC News he was just excited to be able to hug his granddaughter again and has seen her every day since she came home on Friday.
“Oh, it was so good to just hug her,” he said. “How wonderful that she was back and I could hug her again.”
He told the Associated Press that despite the traumatic ordeal she was doing “exceptionally well” since her return.
“She’s in exceptionally good spirits,” he said.
Authorities have arrested Jake Patterson, 21, and charged him with kidnapping and murder after he allegedly broke into the Closs home on Oct. 15 and killed both of Jayme’s parents before abducting the teen.
Authorities believe the abduction was the motive for the break-in, but haven’t determined how Patterson knew of Jayme Closs.
Naiberg told the Associated Press no one in the family knew Patterson and said Jayme told the FBI she didn’t know him at all before the kidnapping.
Investigators have also said there don’t appear to be any online connections between Patterson and the teen.
Closs’ family bought her a new bed and clothing and decorated her room in butterflies before she came home. Jayme will live with her aunt, Jennifer Smith, who is her legal guardian, People reports.
Smith said during an episode of 48 Hours Saturday that she had kept unopened Christmas presents for Closs at her home and never gave up hope that the teen would be found alive.
“My heart was shattered. Left a hole in our heart and we just wanted to find her,” she said on the show. “I just had to hope that she was alive out there somewhere and we'd get her home.”
Closs hasn’t spoken much about her ordeal but has been spending time watching movies, cuddling with her dog and reading messages and albums the family put together over the last few months.
“She smiles, she laughs, she talks. Not a lot you know, not a lot,” her aunt Suzi Allard told NBC News. “She has a lot in her little brain. A lot to process.”
When the teen is ready to talk about what she’s been through in the last three months, her family will be ready.
“When she’s ready to talk she will,” Allard said. “But we haven’t asked her anything yet.”
Patterson is expected to be formally charged in the case Monday.
[Photo: FBI, Barron County Sheriff’s Department]
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