Jayme Closs case gives hope to dozens of families with missing children

Jayme Closs’ escape is giving hope to the families of other missing children. 

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are still 56 missing children in Wisconsin and 32 in Minnesota. Most of those in Minnesota have been missing for more than a year. 

Meanwhile, the front hall of the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center in Minneapolis carries missing persons posters dating back to 1982.

“There are a lot of people out there that we continue to search for,” said Jane Straub, Victim Assistance Specialist at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.

Straub helps families while they are searching for loved ones. She also helps in those joyful but rare moments when a child is returned home. When news broke that Closs was safe, the team at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center reached out to families with similar cases to check in and offer support. 

“It's hard because they are so happy about that recovery, but then they still have the grief and loss of their missing person,” Straub said. 

There are cases like that of Jeremy Jourdain who went missing on Halloween in 2016. Roseanna Forcum of St. Cloud went missing in 1998, last known to be with a friend. They haven't been seen in more than 20 years. 

Amy Pagnac was last seen at an Osseo gas station in 1989 where she was waiting for her father in his car. She was 13 years old at the time and would now be 42. 

“We just need answers for these families,” Straub said. 

While many families wait for their own reunions, Jayme’s brave escape and what she did in the moments after serve as a source of hope. 

“She saw horrific things, but she still had the courage to get out and run and then the first person she saw, she had the courage to say who she was and that she needed help. That message is so strong of asking for help and it's never too late,” Straub said.