UPDATE: Elizabeth Smart spoke by phone to KUTV reporter Ginna Roe. Excerpts of their conversation can be heard below. Roe will continue her report on 2News starting at 4 p.m.
(KUTV) — After Jayme Closs, a missing Wisconsin teenager, was found nearly three months after her parents had been brutally murdered, Elizabeth Smart called her survival 'a miracle.'
Smart, who was kidnapped when she was 14-years-old, took to Instagram to express her gratitude for Closs' safe return.
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
Both Smart and Closs' cases both gained national attention.
Smart was allegedly taken from her Salt Lake City home by Brian David Mitchell in 2002. Police, friends, family and community members searched for Smart while she was missing for nine months.
Closs' case turned heads when she went missing on Oct. 15, 2018. Police discovered someone had broken into her family's home in Barron, Wisconsin, killed her parents and apparently abducted her.
When she escaped her kidnapper, Closs ran up to a woman walking a dog and asked for help. The 13-year-old was in the Town of Gordon, about an hour's drive north of Barron.
Investigators say they have a suspect in custody.
Closs' aunt told authorities is now in the hospital recovering.
Police announced during a press conference on Friday that 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson was arrested in connection to Closs' disappearance.