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Jayme Closs Is Getting Reward Money After Escaping Kidnapper Herself

Her parents' former employer, which originally offered the $25,000 reward, wants to put the money in a trust fund for her.
January 24, 2019, 4:41pm
Jayme Closs
Closs image via FBI. Patterson mugshot via Barron County Sheriff's Dept.

Thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs is set to receive $25,000 in reward money after successfully escaping her kidnapper and rescuing herself, NBC News reports.

On October 15, both of Closs's parents were murdered in their home in rural Barron, Wisconsin, and she was abducted, kicking off a nationwide manhunt for the teen. At the time, Hormel Foods and its subsidiary, Jennie-O Turkey Store—where Closs's parents formerly worked—put up a $25,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.

But earlier this month, after over 88 days in captivity, Closs managed to successfully escape from under the barricaded bed where she was being held and made a break to safety on her own—so Hormel has promised the $25,000 to Closs herself.

"On behalf of the entire Jennie-O and Hormel Foods family, we are overjoyed at the news of Jayme’s safe return," Hormel President Jim Snee said in a statement. "Here in Barron our Jennie-O family is dealing with a very tragic situation. While we are still mourning the loss of longtime family members Jim and Denise, we are so thankful for Jayme’s brave escape and that she is back in Barron. The company has expressed its wishes to donate the $25,000 to Jayme."

Snee said that Hormel is currently working with law enforcement to hand the money over to Closs. "Our hope is that a trust fund can be used for Jayme’s needs today and in the future," he added.

The FBI had previously promised a separate $25,000 reward for Closs's rescue, but it's unclear what might happen to the money.

Jake Thomas Patterson, the 21-year-old accused of kidnapping Closs and killing her parents, is currently in custody for allegedly keeping Closs prisoner in his secluded cabin for months—during which time he reportedly threw a holiday party for his unwitting relatives in the house. He's facing homicide and kidnapping charges, and—while he hasn't yet entered a plea—according to a criminal complaint against him, he's already admitted to the crimes.

"I did it," he told authorities, according to the complaint.

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