In this Friday, March 15, 2019, photo, Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and held hostage at the age of 14 for nine months in 2002, speaks in the aftermath of the abduction of local teen Jayme Closs last October and the killing of Jayme's parents, at a town hall forum at Barron High School in Barron, Wis.
BARRON — Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart says it's OK for residents of a northwestern Wisconsin town to "smile, but don't stare" if they bump into a 13-year-old local girl recovering from the killings of her parents and her own abduction.
Smart spoke to about 1,300 people Friday night at Barron High School. Residents are trying to understand how they can support Jayme Closs, who authorities say escaped from captivity in January, nearly three months after her parents were fatally shot at the family's home outside Barron. Authorities have charged 21-year-old Jake Patterson with killing Jayme's parents and abducting her.
The Star Tribune reports Smith said that if people want to talk to Jayme, they should "write her a letter, and she can choose to read it whenever she's ready."
Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home in 2002.