The Fate of Jayme Closs's Reward Money Is Still Up for Debate -- Despite Her Rescuing Herself

Jayme Closs

During the months-long search for Jayme Closs, police offered a $50,000 reward for anyone with information regarding her whereabouts. Now that the brave 13-year-old has escaped captivity and been rescued, many are wondering what will become of the reward money. But Kristin and Peter Kasinskas, the couple who called police when a disheveled Jayme showed up at their door last week, say there's no question what should be done with the reward money: It should go to Jayme.

  • Kristin Kasinskas told CNN she thinks Jayme deserves the reward money "because she got herself out."

    Jayme, who was allegedly kidnapped and held captive for three months by 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson, managed to escape her captor on foot on January 10. Patterson allegedly fatally Jayme's parents before abducting her on October 15 near Barron, Wisconsin.

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  • During the search for Jayme, the FBI offered a $25,000 reward for any information about her disappearance that led to her rescue.

    The Jennie-O Turkey Store, where Jayme's parents worked, matched the offer, bringing the total reward to $50,000. The Kasinskases told CNN that authorities haven't approached them regarding the reward money yet, but they're hopeful that Jayme will be the recipient. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told CNN that he will meet with the FBI soon to make a decision about what happens with the reward money.

    Although it's still not clear if the money will be rewarded at all in this situation, it seems that Fitzgerald shares the Kasinskases' admiration for the young girl's independent escape. "Jayme was the hero in the case. Jayme was the champion that finally said enough is enough," Fitzgerald said after her rescue. "We can't be more proud of Jayme."

  • Jayme told investigators she was kept at Patterson's house and was often forced to hide under her his bed, blocked in by weights.

    jake thomas patterson
    Barron County Sheriff's Department

    But when he left the home for several hours last week, Jayme managed to move the weights that were blocking her in, put on a pair of her kidnapper's shoes, and ran outside looking for help. She encountered a neighbor who was walking a dog, and together they went to the Kasinskas home to call police.

    Jake Patterson has reportedly confessed to killing Jayme's parents and kidnapping her after two failed attempts. He has been charged with two counts of intentional homicide and a count of kidnapping and armed burglary. 

  • Despite the lack of official decision, people on social media already seem to unanimously agree that Jayme should be the one who gets the money.

    "Can you believe that there’s a 50k 'reward' for the person who had information of Jayme Closs, when she literally SAVED HERSELF? Like there’s an actual debate on who it should go to. SHE’S the one who ESCAPED, SHE’S the one that FOUND HELP. She DESERVES all the help she needs," another person tweeted. 

  • But for now, the reward money decision remains under review, according to Milwaukee FBI spokesman Leonard Peace.