BARRON COUNTY, Wis. — There is a feeling of relief in Barron County, Wis. as people learn that Jayme Closs will soon be heading home after the 13-year-old was found alive Thursday.
"Honestly for about a minute it was pure disbelief and then I sobbed. I was so moved and excited for the family," Jennifer Halvorson said.
Halvorson helped create a Facebook page called "Light the way home for Jayme." She and friend Melissa Salmonson say the focus in the community these past three months has been on hope and positivity.
There have been many gatherings at the "Tree of Hope" in Barron, which sits outside of Riverview Middle School. For weeks it has been lit in green, blue and gold to represent the hope that Jayme would be found.
Now that Jayme is coming home, Salmonson and Halvorson say this community will continue to support and respect the family, giving them time and room to heal and reset.
"We just need to remember to be patient with them and to just keep you know praying for Jayme and understand they need privacy right now. She’s obviously been through a lot and so it's important to just keep our thoughts with them, pray for them and hope they can heal," Salmonson said.
Barron Area Public Schools Superintendent Diane Tremblay told KARE 11's Ellery McCardle that staff members will be watching students closely and assessing their needs to see which resources are required to help them adjust to the news Jayme is coming home. Tremblay says all schools will have counselors on hand to help students deal with the dramatic turn in Jayme's story, as there will be “a variety of emotions” among students.
On a personal level, Tremblay says she got the call about Jayme being found alive last night at 7:15 p.m. “I didn’t go to sleep because I didn’t want to think it was a dream,” she reflected.
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