Kidnapped girl faces long, hard recovery
CHICAGO — Katie Beers’ joy quickly turned to deep concern when she learned 13-year-old Jayme Closs had been found alive in rural Wisconsin nearly three months after police say a man shot and killed her parents then abducted the girl from their home.
“She is going to have to grieve the loss of her parents and also come to terms with the fact she was abducted, escaped and whatever (other) hell she went through,” Beers said. “And it’s not going to be easy.”
Beers knows that better than most.
Sunday will mark 26 years since a then-10year-old Beers was rescued from an underground concrete bunker in Bay Shore, N.Y., where she had been held captive for more than two weeks by a family friend who’d lured her to his home with the promise of birthday presents.
As Jayme begins to process her trauma, experts and former victims say what she needs most is space and time to discuss it on her own terms. And with the help of a supportive and understanding family, she probably will be able to recover and live a happy life.
Authorities said Jayme was skinny, disheveled and wearing shoes too big for her when she approached a stranger and pleaded for help Thursday in the small town of Gordon, about 60 miles from her hometown of Barron. Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, was quickly arrested and jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges.
Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home in 2002, told the Associated Press that everyone endures different mental and psychological trauma after kidnappings, but Jayme will have to confront the fact that there “is no going back to the way things were.”