BARRON, Wis. — She has personally walked the painful path a Wisconsin community is on, and now Elizabeth Smart is coming to Barron to lend insight and understanding in the wake of the Jayme Closs abduction.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says Smart, survivor of a high-profile kidnapping and sexual assault ordeal, will come to Barron on Friday, March 15, to host a program called "Moving Forward with Elizabeth Smart."
The event was originally planned at the Barron Area Community Center, but due to "an overwhelming response," it has moved to the Barron High School Gym. The program is Friday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
The Closs family and residents of Barron have been in healing mode since the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme on Oct. 15, 2018. Jayme's parents James and Denise were murdered, allegedly by Jake Patterson of Gordon, Wis., and the teen was kidnapped. She was held prisoner in a cabin outside the Town of Gordon until she managed to escape Jan. 10, 2019, and was led to safety by a woman out walking her dog.
Smart lived through a similar ordeal, after she was kidnapped from her family's home in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 5, 2002. She was held by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Eileen Barzee at campsites and remote locations just miles from her home until she was spotted and recognized walking down the street with her kidnappers in March of 2003.
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