BARRON -- It's a reunion months in the making. After nearly 90 days of being held against her will, Jayme Closs is finally home. New images released Saturday, Jan. 12 show the 13-year-old comforted by her aunt and beloved pets.
"We knew she was still there. We knew. We had faith every day," said Jayme Closs' aunt, Kelly Englehardt.
Jayme's aunt wrote on the teen's return to normalcy saying, "It will be a long road but we are family strong and we love this little girl so much."
At Season's Cafe in Barron, that feeling is visible right below the daily special sign it reads, "A blessed day for Barron - Jayme found alive."
"We just prayed she was alive and would be found," said a woman at Season's Cafe.
Closs was found nearly 70 miles from the home where her parents were brutally murdered. Thousands of volunteers had been searching for her for weeks. They never lost faith.
"I don't know her but I have been praying for her. We see her picture everywhere and we have bracelets that we buy," said the woman at the cafe.
Across town, signs celebrating Jayme's return show just how sweet of a homecoming this is. Englehardt couldn't stay standing when she learned Jayme was finally found.
"I knew. I knew it was good news. I cried, cried, cried," said Englehardt.
It's the end of an ordeal the Barron County community has been searching for.
"The fact that Jayme did what she did and got out is unbelievably awesome," said the woman at the cafe.
Jayme's aunt says the healing process will be long but they are dedicated to putting her first. Jayme's hometown hopes to one day have a big ceremony to celebrate the teen's fighting spirit.