Ex-kidnapping victims: Jayme Closs wants area, time to heal


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CHICAGO (AP) — Katie Beers’ pleasure shortly turned to deep concern when she discovered 13-year-old Jayme Closs had been discovered alive in rural Wisconsin practically three months after police say a person shot and killed her dad and mom then kidnapped the woman from their dwelling.

“She goes to need to grieve the lack of her dad and mom and likewise come to phrases with the actual fact she was kidnapped, escaped and no matter (different) hell she went by means of,” mentioned Beers. “And it’s not going to be simple.”

Beers is aware of that higher than most.

Sunday will mark 26 years since a then-10-year-old Beers was rescued from an underground concrete bunker in Bay Shore, New York, the place she had been held captive for greater than two weeks by a household buddy who’d lured her to his dwelling with the promise of birthday presents.

As Jayme begins to course of her trauma, specialists and former victims say what she wants most is area and time to debate it on her personal phrases. And with the assistance of a supportive and understanding household, she probably will be capable to recuperate and reside a cheerful life.

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“One of many issues that helped me recuperate so shortly is that no person pressured me to speak about what occurred,” mentioned Beers, 36, who’s married and has two kids. “I didn’t even do interviews till I used to be 30. I didn’t need to relive it day by day.”

Authorities mentioned Jayme was skinny, raveled and sporting sneakers too large for her when she approached a stranger and pleaded for assist Thursday within the small northwoods city of Gordon, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) from her hometown of Barron. Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, was shortly arrested and jailed on kidnapping and murder fees.

It’s unclear precisely what Jayme skilled — together with whether or not she was coerced with threats or bodily abused — so folks have to be cautious how they work together along with her, mentioned Duane Bowers, a trauma therapist who works with households of lacking and exploited kids and adults.

Though family and friends is perhaps wanting to know particulars, the one management the sufferer has is when, to whom and the way they inform their story, Bowers mentioned, including that’s very true of Jayme, who has misplaced a lot.

For many baby kidnapping victims, they’ve the hope that their dad and mom will discover them, “however on this case she knew her people had been useless and couldn’t discover her,” Bowers mentioned. So now, “she must really feel … in management and expertise her recollections in a means that … doesn’t retrigger” her trauma.

Elizabeth Good, who was 14 when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake Metropolis dwelling in 2002, advised The Related Press that everybody endures totally different psychological and psychological trauma after kidnappings, however Jayme should confront the truth that there “is not any going again to the way in which issues had been.”

“In all probability one of many harder points goes to be discovering that new sense of normalcy in her life,” mentioned Good, a 31-year-old mom of three. “Not recreating the outdated however (creating) the brand new and studying to be OK with that.”

She cautioned questions which may appear innocent could possibly be hurtful.

Good mentioned she would get defensive when folks requested her why she didn’t run or scream when her captors generally traveled along with her out within the open. Good was discovered 9 months after her disappearance whereas strolling along with her kidnappers in a Salt Lake Metropolis suburb by individuals who acknowledged the couple from media reviews.

As an grownup she realized they didn’t imply any hurt, she mentioned.

“My mind heard that query as, ‘You need to have tried more durable. You need to have run, it is best to have yelled, that is someway your fault,’” Good mentioned. “So, I might simply warning her group and anybody in a position to work together along with her to actually take into consideration the questions they’re asking her.”

Beers and Good mentioned they’re proof that trauma survivors can go on to reside blissful and fulfilling lives.

“It’s by no means going to be simple, however with the right help, the right folks to speak to and folks there who love you, she’s going to have the ability to survive and thrive,” mentioned Beers, who was raised by a foster household after her rescue due to abuse she’d suffered inside her circle of relatives earlier than the kidnapping.

“They simply surrounded me with love and gave me a traditional dwelling and that to me … was an important factor,” Beers mentioned.

It received’t occur shortly, although, Bowers mentioned, and folks want to appreciate that Jayme will relive her trauma in several methods all through her life — together with if she varieties romantic relationships or has kids of her personal.

“Folks are likely to suppose, ‘OK, it’s been a yr now, try to be fantastic,’” Bowers mentioned. “You would possibly study to manage and take care of it, however it’s going to by no means go away.”

He mentioned it’s additionally essential for Jayme to know that “something you’re pondering and feeling is regular. Don’t be afraid of it; don’t suppose there’s one thing unsuitable with you. … You’re not the dangerous man right here.”

Good mentioned she would inform Jayme that “she is a survivor and she or he is a hero. She’s extremely sturdy and extremely courageous and there’s so many individuals who love her and are in awe of her and who wish to assist her and help her in any means.

“And I might inform her that this expertise would possibly really feel prefer it’s defining, it’d really feel like that’s who she is now, but it surely doesn’t need to be,” Good mentioned.

What’s extra, she mentioned, Jayme’s escape and rescue are “the rationale why we will by no means quit hope on any lacking baby.”


McCombs reported from Salt Lake Metropolis.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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