How the Jayme Closs case brought awareness to the safety of children


FBI handout: photo for mass release

The abduction of Jayme Closs brings attention to the 400,000 reported missing children a year.

Kenzie Haberman, Writer

According to multiple news outlets, Jayme Lynn Closs, age 13, was abducted from her home in Barron, Wisconsin on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, around 1:00 a.m. Allegedly Jake Patterson brutally killed Closs’s parents, then drove her to his cabin 70 miles away in Gordon, Wisconsin. Closs was held captive for 88 days boarded under Thomas’ bed until Jan. 10, 2019 when she escaped and ran for help. Thomas was brought in as a suspect and confessed to kidnapping Closs and murdering her parents. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. Patterson will be back in court on Feb. 6 for a preliminary hearing. The state must decide on a probable cause before this date for the defense attorney.

Closs has been declared a hero for being extremely brave during her cruel and awful abduction. The public may never know the horrors that Closs might have experienced during her 88 days away from the world. Everyone must be informed of the fact that Jayme’s existence and well-being pass beyond the headlines on the internet. Her kidnapping raised many red flags on how safe children are from dangerous predators. This horrendous event was a shock to her community. Patterson and the Closs’s have never met before but he spent several weeks planning the cruel crime.  In an article on Associated Press, Patterson said, “I knew that was the girl I was going to take.”

It scares me that this happened so close to us and that it could easily happen to me or someone I know. It made me feel very nervous.

— Chloe Schmidt

This event has even made students at OHS feel uncomfortable. Junior, Chloe Schmidt said, “It scares me that this happened so close to us and that it could easily happen to me or someone I know. It made me feel very nervous.” High schoolers and middle schoolers are constantly warned about online relationships, but this case brings an even scarier reality.  After hearing about this heart-wrenching event, society is wondering how we can stop this from happening again.

Each year, 400,000 children are reported missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Many of the hundreds of children who have been abducted by strangers will never come home. Jayme’s survival is another beacon of hope for those families and parents who search endlessly for their abducted children. This is why society can never lose hope and never stop searching. Every child deserves to be found, and beyond that, to live their best life after recovering.