Jayme Closs, who was found on Thursday nearly three months after being allegedly abducted by a 21-year-old man who police say fatally shot her parents, continues to reunite with loved ones.
PEOPLE has obtained a photo of the 13-year-old girl spending time with her uncle Steve Naiberg on Friday. In the image, Jayme can be seen smiling with Naiberg, who is the brother of Jayme’s late mother.
The photo was taken on the same day as her first picture since she was found. In that image, Jayme can be seen smiling with her aunt Jennifer Smith and her dog Molly.
Smith, who is Jayme’s mother Denise’s sister, will act as the teen’s legal guardian.
Jayme had been missing after vanishing on Oct. 15 — the same night her parents, Denise, 46, and James Closs, 56, were found dead in their home in Barron, Wisconsin, nearly 70 miles south of Gordon. She had been declared “missing and endangered,” an AMBER Alert was issued for her and thousands of people joined investigators in their search for her.
Jayme was rescued on Thursday afternoon after escaping her alleged captor and approaching a woman with a dog for help. The woman, named Jeanne Nutter, brought Jayme to the nearby front door of Kristin and Peter Kasinskas, who opened their front door around 4 p.m. to the sound of frantic knocking from a female neighbor. “This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” the woman said, the pair recalled to the Star Tribune.
Nutter told reporters on Friday that she was out for a walk with her golden retriever when she noticed Jayme, who “wasn’t dressed for the weather,” and was without a coat or gloves, according to CNN.
“I went to her and she just sort of grabbed onto me and she told me who she was,” she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I’ve been a social worker my whole life. I was in child protection [services], so I believe my CPS personality just turned on.”
After hearing Jayme’s story, Nutter knew her next step was to get the child to safety as soon as possible.
“That’s when I said, ‘This child needs to be someplace safe and you need to get her there,’ ” Nutter explained, according to the Star Tribune. “I stayed calm so she stayed calm.”
Jennifer Havorson, who has become close friends with Jayme’s aunts, told PEOPLE on Friday that Jayme is “glad” to be reunited with her dog Molly.
“She is so glad to be home. And she is obviously thrilled to have her dog. Her dog was everything to her,” said Havorson, who is one of the administrators of the Facebook group called Light the Way Home for Jayme.
“She’s glad to have her dog back and get settled. She’s very close to her two aunts, Jennifer and Sue. Jennifer babysat for her all the time in her daycare that she ran. And they had daily contact. Her aunts were almost second moms,” she added.
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Also on Friday, a close friend of Smith told PEOPLE she is “beyond ecstatic” about Jayme’s homecoming.
“It’s so exciting,” Michelle Saffert, 45, said. “Jennifer is excited — beyond ecstatic. We have screamed and cried and screamed and cried some more. This community has just…the endless thing that this community has done, to support this family — vigils of prayer and tree lightings and donated reward money and selling of bracelets and lanterns and some lady paints rocks and paints Jayme’s face on them and leaves them around parks.”
Jayme’s second cousin, Jodie Arnold, called her a “complete badass,” telling PEOPLE on Friday, “As far as I’m concerned she saved herself,” and credits Jayme’s “perseverance and will to live” for her freedom.
Police announced on Friday that they’d arrested 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, of Gordon, and charged him with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.
Patterson is scheduled to appear in court on Monday to enter a plea. It was unclear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.
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