Awaiting Jayme Closs: Her Dog Molly, a Steak Dinner

Abducted teen whose parents were murdered returns to Wis. hometown and an ecstatic family
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2019 7:30 AM CST
First Pic of Jayme Closs: a Beaming Teen With Her Dog
This Friday photo shows Jayme Closs, right, with her aunt Jennifer Smith in Barron, Wis.   (Jennifer Smith via AP)

Friday was a "glorious day" in Barron, Wis., as officials offered details on Jayme Closs' escape from her captor. The good news continued after the Friday presser with a long-awaited reunion between Jayme and her family, and there's a new photo of the smiling 13-year-old that's making the rounds. The picture in People, the first one of Jayme since she was found, shows her beaming next to her aunt Jennifer Smith, both huddled over Jayme's dog, Molly. "She is so glad to be home," says family friend Jennifer Havorson, who's said to be tight with Jayme's aunts. "And she is obviously thrilled to have her dog." Havorson adds that Jayme had begged her mom, Denise—who was murdered, along with Jayme's father, James, the day Jayme was abducted—for the dog and that "finally, Denise caved. That dog was super important to her." Havorson also notes that Jayme was very close with Smith, who is Denise Closs' sister and will now serve as Jayme's legal guardian.

"Jennifer babysat for her all the time in her day care that she ran," Havorson notes. "And they had daily contact. Her aunts were almost second moms." Another aunt, Sue Allard, tells FOX 9 that she "just had this feeling" something big was going to happen on the day Jayme was found, and she's marveling over how her niece made a break for it. "For her to get away and to do this, it's not her character," Allard says. "She's just so shy." Another aunt, Kelly Engelhardt, tells the Star Tribune the extended family plans on keeping things low-key for Jayme's return home so she doesn't get overwhelmed. "We're going to do whatever it is that makes her comfortable and not bombard her with everything," she says, adding she personally plans to whip up her niece's favorite meal: steak. (More Jayme Closs stories.)

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