BARRON, Wisc. (FOX 9) - There were a lot of smiling faces in Barron Friday night after authorities located Jayme Closs.
While there is still a lot to unpack in the Closs case, people in town were focusing on the positives.
“I put it up this morning when I got here,” said Pastor Floyd Lunde, who put up a “Welcome Home Jayme” sign.
It's a display of the town’s love for Closs spelled out in big letters.
“We just wanted her to see as soon as she came into Barron, ‘Welcome Home Jayme,’ Lunde said. “We wanted her to know we've been praying for her. We're excited to see her come back and hopefully cheer her up a little bit."
After 88 days of anxiety, frustration and fear, the entire town feels like its prayers have been answered.
“The town is coming together, coming back to life, you might say,” said Lunde. “There's been a lot of emotion, jubilance. Putting the sign up today I had people honking and waving just because it’s an exciting event and we're all very pleased."
Cari Seelig, of Barron’s Hometown Pharmacy said she is “elated” that Closs is coming home.
She said the news that Closs is safe is the perfect prescription for what has been ailing her community since October.
“We've had deep concern for her and her family,” Seelig said. “Ups and downs for the most part. People have kept their hopes up. We just had a feeling she would be home. We are glad to have her here.”
Just like the tree across the street from Closs’ middle school, hope always burned bright that one day Closs would return.
“Now people can rest and welcome her back home,” said Heidi Tibbits, whose children went to school with Closs. “Hopefully, she can get back to her normal life. I know she’ll have a long road ahead of her, but we can pray she’ll get through this.”
Pastor Lunde said he believes this entire episode will reboot the priorities of the town, reminding them what is really important.