Elizabeth Smart hails Jayme Closs' escape from her kidnapper as a ‘miracle’

Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and held prisoner for nine months when she was 14 years old, celebrated the escape of 13-year-old Jayme Closs after three months of captivity.

“What a miracle!!!” Smart posted on Instagram. “I’m so thrilled to hear the news. What has been such a heart-wrenching tragedy finally has some happiness in the story.”

Wisconsin authorities have arrested Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, and charged him with killing Closs’ parents and kidnapping the 13-year-old on Oct. 15. Closs was found wandering alone in Gordon, Wisc., about an hour north of her home.

Smart wrote that she is “praying for Jayme and all her family” to have “a joyous reunion,” adding her hopes that “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.”

Smart’s kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and raping Smart. Mitchell’s wife, Wanda Barzee, pleaded guilty and was imprisoned until her release in September.

“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!” Smart wrote. "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.