Jayme Closs will receive $US25,000 in reward money after kidnapped teen freed herself

Jayme Closs will receive $US25,000 in reward money after kidnapped teen freed herself

January 25, 2019

Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old girl who spent 88 days in captivity after her parents were shot dead in northwest Wisconsin, will receive $US25,000 ($35,270) in reward money pledged for information leading to her safe return.

Hormel Foods, a Fortune 500 company based in Minnesota, put up the money last October, doubling the reward promised by the FBI after Closs disappeared on October 15. The girl's parents had worked for a local turkey plant operated by Jennie-O Turkey Store, which is a Hormel subsidiary.

As the community reeled from news of the disappearance, the company helped coordinate the response, including a tree-lighting ceremony before Christmas. Meanwhile, a manhunt involving local, state and federal authorities drew thousands of tips and inspired volunteers to participate in a massive ground search. Jayme's image was plastered across the state, and her visage became known nationwide.

Jayme Closs went missing after her parents were found fatally shot.Credit:AP

That was the conclusion reached by Jim Snee, Hormel's CEO. The FBI has not said what the agency plans to do with the $US25,000 it pledged in the case.

"On behalf of the entire Jennie-O and Hormel Foods family, we are overjoyed at the news of Jayme's safe return," Snee said in a statement on Wednesday. "Her bravery and strength have truly inspired our team members around the world. Barron is an incredibly strong community and one that never lost hope. We celebrated with the community, and the world, that Jayme is home."

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference about 13-year-old Jayme Closs.Credit:AP

Steve Lykken, the president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, said he hoped that the money would go into a trust fund supporting "Jayme's needs today and in the future."

"While we are still mourning the loss of long-time family members Jim and Denise, we are so thankful for Jayme's brave escape and that she is back in Barron," Lykken said.

Jayme's aunts and other family members celebrated her safe return this month.

"It's such an overwhelming, amazing happy ending to such a horrible beginning," Lynn Closs, an aunt, told CBS This Morning in the family's first television interview after welcoming the 13-year-old home.

The Washington Post

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