"What a miracle!!!" Elizabeth Smart shared on Instagram about 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who was reunited with her family Thursday night.
Closs had been missing since October 15, when police found her mother, Denise Closs, and her father, James Closs, gunned down in their home in Barron, Wisconsin.
For nearly three months, police and volunteers searched for the missing girl. Then, on Thursday, a woman who asked that her name not be used found Jayme and took her to the home of Peter and Kristin Kasinkas, who called 911, according to ABC News.
"I’m so thrilled to hear the news," Smart posted in Instagram. "What has been such a heart-wrenching tragedy finally has some happiness in the story. I’m praying for Jayme and all her family that they can have a joyous reunion and as the rest of the country celebrates alongside this happy occasion we all are mindful to give the family their space and privacy on their road to finding a new sense of normal and moving forward."
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What a miracle!!! Jayme Closs has been found!!!! I’m so thrilled to hear the news. What has been such a heart wrenching tragedy finally has some happiness in the story. I’m praying for Jayme and all her family that they can have a joyous reunion and as the rest of the country celebrates alongside this happy occasion we all are mindful to give the family their space and privacy on their road to finding a new sense of normal and moving forward. I have no doubt Jayme and her family will forever appreciate the efforts and prayers of the many thousands of people who contributed and kept them in their thoughts and prayers! I hope we may all continue to support and embrace Jayme as she reclaims her life and comes to terms with the reality of her situation. What a brave, strong, and powerful survivor!!!! No matter what may unfold in her story let’s all try to remember that this young woman has SURVIVED and whatever other details may surface the most important will still remain that she is alive. May god bless you Jayme Closs and may we all continue to search for every missing child. #miracleshappen #novictimblaming #hope #findingnormal #survivor #strong #brave
Smart was kidnapped at age 14 in 2002 and held captive for 9 months by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. During this time, she was repeatedly raped by Mitchell and often was forced to go without food or water for extended periods of time. In March 2013, a couple in Sandy, Utah, recognized Mitchell as a suspect in Smart's disappearance and called the police.
Smart says about returning to her family, "I needed time to find my new normal because like it or not I could not go back to being the same person I was before I was kidnapped,'' according to today.com.
Today, Smart is a child safety advocate and an advocate for missing children. She says, "When I look in the mirror, I also see a mother and a wife, and someone I am proud to be," she told USA Today. “I see an advocate. I see a survivor.”
Lead image from abcnews.go.com