A couple who called 911 to report that Jayme Closs had been found says they do not want reward money and think that Closs herself is more deserving of the $50,000.
Closs — a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who had been missing for three months after a home intruder killed her parents — was found in Gordon, Wisconsin on Jan. 10 by Jeanne Nutter, a local walking her dog. Nutter took Closs to her neighbors, Peter and Kristin Kasinskas. The group would go on to contact authorities to report Closs had been found.
Although authorities are still deciding what to do with a $50,000 reward, the couple does not want it, Peter Kasinskas told The Associated Press on Tuesday. If anyone, Jayme should get it because “she got herself out,” he said.
Jayme was found after authorities say she escaped the home of Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, who is accused of killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, on Oct. 15 and taking the teen against her will.
Patterson held Jayme in the Gordon residence for nearly three months after the carefully planned abduction, prosecutors allege. He’s accused of concealing her when he had people over.
Patterson left the home Thursday and forced Jayme to lay under a bed while he was gone, as had been his practice throughout her captivity, court documents say. Jayme pushed away the bins stacked with weights he used to block the bed, put on a pair of his shoes and fled the home.
Of the $50,000 in reward money, $25,000 is from the FBI and $25,000 is from The Jennie-O Turkey Store, where Jayme Closs’ parents worked.
The reward remains under review, Milwaukee FBI spokesman Leonard Peace said Tuesday. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says the reward is being discussed with the FBI.
As the question of the reward money began gaining media attention, numerous social media users chimed in with their opinions, many saying that Closs is deserving of the reward:
Contributing: Haley BeMiller, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin; The Associated Press