Kidnapping Survivor Jaycee Dugard to Jayme Closs: 'The Road Ahead Will Have Many Ups and Downs'
"Allow yourself to grieve and move forward," Jaycee Dugard said to Jayme Closs
Jaycee Dugard was just 11 when she was abducted on her way to school in June 1991. Convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, held Dugard in captivity for 18 years before she was rescued in 2009 in California.
Nearly a decade later, Dugard is reaching out to Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old Wisconsin teen who escaped her alleged abductor on Jan. 10.
“On behalf of the Dugard Family and the team at The JAYC Foundation we would like to send our heartfelt support and joy to Jayme Closs and her family,” Dugard said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “As the story unfolds and the family begins to heal from this tragic event it’s important to give them space to do so.”
Dugard, who gave birth to two daughters fathered by her abductor, added, “The road ahead will have many ups and downs. Allow yourself to grieve and move forward. What happened will always be senseless but it does not have to define who you are forever.”
The JAYC Foundation aims to be of service to families that have suffered a familial or non-familial abduction or other trauma.
On Oct. 15, the night Jayme was abducted, her parents, Denise, 46, and James Closs, 56, were found dead in their home in Barron. Jayme was subsequently declared “missing and endangered.” An AMBER Alert was issued for her and thousands of people joined investigators in their search for her.
Then on Jan. 10, Jayme was rescued after escaping her alleged captor Jake Patterson and approached a woman with a dog for help. The woman, named Jeanne Nutter, brought Jayme to the nearby front door of Kristin and Peter Kasinskas, who opened their front door around 4 p.m. to the sound of frantic knocking from a female neighbor. “This is Jayme Closs! Call 911!” Nutter said, the pair recalled to the Star Tribune.
Patterson is charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of kidnapping and one count of armed burglary, according to a criminal complaint, which was obtained by PEOPLE.
According to the complaint, Patterson allegedly told authorities he worked at a cheese factory south of Almena for two days before quitting. On his drive to the cheese factory on one of his two mornings there, he stopped behind a school bus on Highway 7 where he said he spotted Jayme getting on the bus.
“[Patterson] stated he had no idea who she was nor did he know who lived at the house or how many people lived at the house,” the complaint reads. “[Patterson] stated, when he saw [Jayme], he knew that was the girl he was going to take.”
Patterson appeared in court Monday during which a judge ordered him to be held on $5 million bail.
His public defenders, Charles Glynn and Richard Jones, issued a joint statement on the allegations, according to local media reports.
“This is a very tragic situation,” reads the statement. “There is a substantial amount of information, interest, and emotion involved in this case. Mr. Patterson’s legal team will be relying on the integrity of our judicial system to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected and respected.”
PEOPLE has reached out to the two lawyers for additional comment.