Wisconsin kidnapping survivor Jayme Closs honored by state as Hometown Hero

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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin kidnapping survivor Jayme Closs was honored in Madison Wednesday as one of the state's Hometown Heroes.

The 13-year-old was surrounded by her family members as she appeared in front of the State Assembly. She was introduced by Rep. Romain Quinn (R-Rice Lake) and received a rousing standing ovation.

CLICK HERE to watch the ceremony.

Jayme's aunt, Jen Smith, spoke on behalf of her niece, who spent nearly three months in captivity in northwest Wisconsin.

"Please know Jayme is enjoying her day here more than you can imagine. She greatly appreciates the honor, the capitol tour and the kindness of everyone involved," Smith said.

Smith also thanked Jayme's community for their support.

"Our hometown, Barron, and the surrounding area needs to be recognized for their support, their encouragement, and their love. Thank you so much," Smith said.

Jayme was kidnapped from her home in October last year after her parents were murdered. She spent 88 days in captivity before she broke free and ran for help.

"Speaking for her entire family, I have to say that Jayme is totally deserving of the hero part of this award. Her courage, her bravery and her spirit are things that inspire us and make us stronger and better," Smith said.

The Assembly also honored Major Jason Hauser & Sergeant First Class Guadalupe Berrios Jr., JROTC instructors at Washington Park HS in Racine Unified Schools. CLICK HERE to learn more about Hauser and Berrios.

“It is an honor to host and recognize JROTC instructors and members in our Assembly Chambers,” said Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna). “The work they are doing to foster leadership and community activity in Racine is something to be applauded.”

Kimberly Graff was honored for being the 2018 Wisconsin woman veteran of the year. CLICK HERE to learn more about Kimberly Graff.

“Kimberly is an inspiring member of her community and a fantastic role model,” Steineke said. “I am proud to have her continued service – both to our nation and to military families throughout Wisconsin – be recognized by the Assembly.”