The hometown company that offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to Jayme Closs is planning to give the money to the Wisconsin teen herself.
Jennie-O Turkey Store said Wednesday that it’s working with law enforcement officials to set up a trust fund for the 13-year-old from Barron, Wis., who escaped her alleged abductor Jan. 10 after being held in captivity at a remote Wisconsin cabin about an hour north of Barron for 88 days.
“On behalf of the entire Jennie-O and Hormel Foods family, we are overjoyed at the news of Jayme’s safe return,” said Jim Snee, CEO of Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods, which owns Jennie-O.
“Her bravery and strength have truly inspired our team members around the world.”
Jake T. Patterson, 21, of Gordon, Wis., faces murder, kidnapping and burglary charges in the case. Patterson allegedly abducted Jayme from her home on the outskirts of Barron early the morning of Oct. 15 after fatally shooting her parents, Denise and James Closs. The couple had been longtime employees of the Jennie-O plant in Barron, a community of about 3,400 residents 90 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.
According to court records, Jayme escaped from Patterson’s cabin after he left for the afternoon, and was helped by neighbors who called police. Deputies arrested Patterson within minutes.
The neighbors who helped Jayme have said they wouldn’t accept any reward money.
“We also agree that Jayme is the hero in this case and are happy they have chosen her to receive the company’s reward contribution,” said Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.
The FBI also had offered a $25,000 reward in the case. There was no word Wednesday on what the agency planned to do with its reward money.