MANITOWOC - Edward Downing, Jayme Closs's great uncle, says this has been the hardest moment in his life. Not a moment goes by where he says he doesn't think about Closs's safety.
"I've been praying multiple times a day," Downing said. "I just hope whoever has her releases her, and that she is found safe."
Downing has lived in Manitowoc for 40 years. He says the last time he saw the Closs family was three months ago at a family wedding. He described the family as loving people with good hearts. He said Closs is a good student and a great athlete who has always has a smile on her face.
"She is shy but also friendly," Downing said. "She is friends with everyone she meets, and would never hurt anybody."
Closs's parents died by alleged gun shot wounds Monday morning, and Closs when gone when authorities arrived. Her disappearance is something Downing and his family never though would happen.
"You watch it on the news and read about it," Downing said. "It never happens, and when it happens so close, it hurts. We just want everyone to pray for her and hope she is found safe."