The FBI offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to Jayme Closs' location. The amount was later doubled to $50,000 by the Jennie-O Turkey Store
The couple who alerted authorities about Jayme Closs‘ escape does not want the $50,000 reward for calling 911 and providing the once-missing Wisconsin teen’s whereabouts.
Instead, Kristin and Peter Kasinskas say the 13-year-old should receive the money.
“Because she got herself out,” Peter told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
Jayme had been missing after vanishing on Oct. 15 — the same night her parents, James, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, were found dead in their home in Barron, Wisconsin, nearly 70 miles south of Gordon. Their child had been declared “missing and endangered,” and an AMBER Alert was issued for her.
On Oct. 24, nine days after Jayme vanished, the FBI offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the teen’s location. The amount was later doubled to $50,000 by the Jennie-O Turkey Store, where her parents James and Denise worked for two decades.
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For 88 days Jayme’s fate and whereabouts remained a mystery.
Until Jan. 10, when Jayme bravely acted to save herself, escaping her alleged abductor Jake Patterson’s cabin where she’d been held hostage. Outside, alone and confused in the sparsely populated woods near Gordon, Jayme raced toward Jeanne Nutter, the dog walker who had later taken the teen to the Kasinskas home.
“Jayme is a complete badass,” Jodie Arnold, who is first cousins with Jayme’s late mother Denise, told PEOPLE. “As far as I’m concerned she saved herself,” said Arnold, who credited Jayme’s “perseverance and will to live” for her freedom.
Similarly, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald previously said, “Jayme is the hero in this case, there’s no question about it. She’s the one who helped us break the case.”
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Patterson is now in jail on a $5 million bail, charged with murder, kidnapping and armed burglary. He has not yet entered a plea.
“This is a very tragic situation,” Patterson’s lawyers said in a joint statement, according to local media reports. “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.
Milwaukee FBI spokesman Leonard Peace said the $50,000 reward remains under review. Sheriff Fitzgerald shared that the reward is being discussed with the FBI and will be determined later.
Patterson is due back in court Feb. 6.