Friends share thoughts on lives of Denise and James Closs, Jayme's parents

January 15, 2019 04:32 PM

James and Denise Closs, who prosecutors said were gunned down by Jake Patterson when he allegedly abducted their daughter from their Barron, Wisconsin home in October, were married in 2003.

Denise's friend, Patty Gerber, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the couple shared a strong connection with Jayme and they were the center of Denise's life.

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"Family meant everything to Denise, from everything I saw through church and volunteering," Gerber said. "Denise was always with Jayme and very supportive of her endeavors."

Denise and James were married in Las Vegas, but Denise was raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and James in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. The two met while working at the Jennie-O-Turkey Plant in Barron, Wisconsin.

Gerber said she grew to be close friends with Denise through church and remembered how Denise was always quick with a smile and willing to help others.

RELATED: Bail set at $5M for man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs, killing her parents

"She was just a warm and caring person who loved to help others and she was particularly happy working with young children," Gerber said.

Gerber also said working with Jayme in the days ahead will be important to help her keep the spirit of her parent's love alive.

"Yes, her parents will always be important to remember and keep close to her," Gerber said. "Everyone deals with grief differently and it will be tough for Jayme, but the whole community will be there for her."

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Jay Kolls

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