After being reunited with Jayme Closs nearly three months after a 21-year-old man allegedly abducted her and killed her parents, the teen’s aunt is vowing to do whatever it takes to keep her safe.
In a Facebook post written by Jennifer Smith, who is Jayme’s late mother Denise’s sister, the teen’s aunt opened up about how wonderful it is to have Jayme back at home.
“Jayme had a pretty good night sleep,” Smith, who will act as the teen’s legal guardian, wrote in a post that was shared by the Facebook group called Healing for Jayme Closs on Saturday. “It was great to know she was next to me all night what a great feeling to have her home.”
“As a family we will get through all of the healing process Jayme has. It will be a long road but we are family strong and we love this little girl so much!! We will do anything and everything!!” she wrote, adding that her “beloved sister” and brother-in-law can rest in peace knowing that their daughter “is safe.”
“We will make sure forever,” she added.
In the first photograph shared of the teen since she was found, which was taken on Friday, Jayme was seen smiling with her dog Molly and Smith on Friday.
In more images from the happy day, which were provided to PEOPLE, Jayme can be seen smiling with her uncle Steve Naiberg, who is the brother of Jayme’s mother. In another, she and her cousin Lyndsey Smith, Jennifer’s daughter, have their arms wrapped around each other.
Jennifer Halvorson, who has become close friends with Jayme’s aunts, told PEOPLE that both Jayme and her family had a “really good night” on Friday.
“I heard Jayme had a good night. She slept well,” Halvorson shared. “They’re doing well. I think everyone just finally had a sense of some peace. They all had a really good night.”
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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.”
Halvorson told PEOPLE on Friday that Jayme is “glad” to be reunited with her dog Molly.
“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,” said Halvorson, who has also created a P.O. Box for people to send cards or gifts to Jayme.
Also on Friday, Jayme’s second cousin, Jodie Arnold, called her a “complete badass,” telling PEOPLE, “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.
He is currently in the Barron County Jail and police are not looking for additional suspects, authorities said at a Friday press conference.
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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