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Jayme Closs is 'traumatized,' woman who helped Wisconsin teen to safety says

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1/11/2019 Jen Zettel
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GORDON, Wis. — When Jeanne Nutter saw a young girl walking toward her yelling for help Thursday afternoon, she said instincts from her career as a social worker kicked in.

“I went to her and she just sort of grabbed onto me and she told me who she was. I’ve been a social worker my whole life. I was in child protection, so I believe my CPS personality just turned on,” Nutter told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. “My goal was to get her someplace safe, to call 911.”

Nutter sought help from neighbors in the Eau Claire Acres neighborhood because she wasn’t sure who else was with Jayme or where they went.

“I didn’t know where the perpetrator of this was and she wasn’t sure either, so I just went to a couple places trying to find people,” she said.

They ended up at the home of a neighbor who works as a teacher. Nutter banged on the door and told her neighbor to call 911 because she believed she had Jayme Closs.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald announced that Jayme Closs was located Thursday afternoon. A suspect was taken into custody shortly after, Fitzgerald said. 

When asked how she feels about what happened now that she’s had some time to process it, Nutter choked up a bit.

“I’m just so glad that she’s safe.”

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a woman sitting on a rock: This file photo of an undated image released by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin shows 13-year-old Jayme Closs. Closs was found alive, the Barron County Sheriff's Department announced on their Facebook page on Jan. 10.

This file photo of an undated image released by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin shows 13-year-old Jayme Closs. Closs was found alive, the Barron County Sheriff's Department announced on their Facebook page on Jan. 10.
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Nutter said Closs appeared to be physically fine, but in shock.

“She’s a traumatized child. I believe she was just maybe in shock,” she said.

Nutter retired as a social worker with Child Protective Services, but still works as an advisor to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s social work program. She and her husband live south of Eau Claire and have a cabin outside of Gordon. They arrived at their cabin Thursday to get away for a few days.

She said she’s thankful her dog, Henry — who she described as a goofy golden retriever — wanted to go for a walk.

“I’m just happy that she’s safe. I feel like it’s sort of a miracle that she’s still alive. I’m glad my dog wanted to go for a walk and we did and there she was,” she said. “My goal was to get her to a safe place and I did. The police were amazing.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jayme Closs is 'traumatized,' woman who helped Wisconsin teen to safety says

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