Jayme Closs honored with Hometown Hero Award by Wisconsin State Assembly

 – The Wisconsin State Assembly is honoring 13-year-old Jayme Closs with a Hometown Hero award Wednesday. Jayme is in the Assembly chamber to accept the honor, according to the Associated Press.

Closs was nominated for the award by Rep. Romaine Quinn

On Oct. 15, Jayme Closs was kidnapped from her home in Barron, Wisconsin, and both her parents were killed. She escaped on Jan. 10, and shortly after, her kidnapper Jake Patterson was arrested. The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to the murders and abduction and will be sentenced on May 24.

Many in the Barron community consider the guilty plea the end of a nightmare.

“It’s over,” said Barron Area Schools Superintendent Diane Tremblay. “My hope and prayer is that this helps everybody move forward and we’re ready.”

Residents of Barron had been consumed by the case since Jayme first went missing on Oct. 15. With the court proceedings coming to a close, they say life can get back to ‘normal’ and Jayme can hopefully find peace.

“I mean everyone is happy that it’s not going to go to trial because it would have been a lot more strain on the family,” said Bill Balts.

Balts works with Jayme’s uncle, Bob Smith. Smith and his wife Jennifer have been Jayme’s guardians since she returned home.

Closs has not made many public appearances, but did appear at a fundrasier on May 4 in Barron.