Kidnapping victim Jayme Closs made a rare public appearance on Wednesday, when she was honored with the “Hometown Hero” award by Wisconsin lawmakers.
The 13-year-old girl — who escaped Jan. 10 from the clutches of a man who murdered her parents and held her for 88 days in his remote cabin — was recognized for her bravery in the Wisconsin State Capitol.
“Your strength, your resolve and your bravery is beyond incredible,” said state Rep. Romaine Quinn, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“You are truly an inspiration and a bright light in a time of sadness.”
The young girl didn’t speak but could be seen smiling widely as she accepted the award. Her aunt and guardian, Jennifer Smith, thanked lawmakers on her niece’s behalf.
The award ceremony came a week before James Patterson, who has pleaded guilty to abducting Jayme and killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, is scheduled to be sentenced to life in prison.