A survivor of a high-profile 2002 kidnapping will speak in Barron next week, two months after abducted 13-year-old Jayme Closs was found alive near Gordon, Wis.
Elizabeth Smart, 31, who was 14 when she was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home, will speak at the Barron Area Community Center, 800 Memorial Dr., Barron at 6 p.m. Friday, March 15.
“Moving Forward with Elizabeth Smart” is free and open to the public, according to the Barron County Sheriff’s Office.
Prosecutors have accused 21-year-old Jake Patterson of breaking into Jayme’s home just outside Barron in October, killing her parents James and Denise Closs with a shotgun and abducting Jayme. They say he held her in a remote cabin for three months before she escaped in January.
Closs’ family has said Jayme had no connection with Patterson at the time of the incident.
Patterson waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a court appearance Feb. 6 and was ordered to stand trial. Judge James Babler set a March 27 date for arraignment, where Patterson is expected to formally enter a plea.
Smart will talk about her experience and moving forward, according to the Barron County Sheriff’s Office.
Smart was found and rescued nine months after she disappeared after witnesses recognized her abductors on an “America’s Most Wanted” episode. She has become a child safety advocate and is married with three young children.
Smart told The Associated Press in January that Jayme will struggle to regain a sense of normalcy.