Tuesday marks a year to the day that then 13-year-old Jayme Closs was kidnapped and her parents murdered at their home in rural Barron, Wisconsin.
It sparked a nationwide manhunt after the teen was taken by Jake Patterson, who ultimately hid her in his home in northern Wisconsin for almost three months before she escaped in January and he was arrested.
Twelve months on from the harrowing and traumatizing incident, Jayme Closs has released a statement, which was exclusive to ABC, saying that she feels "strong every day."
"I really want to thank everyone for all the kindness and concern that people all over the country have shown me," she told the TV network.
"I am very happy to be home and getting back to the activities that I enjoy. I love hanging out with all of my friends, and I feel stronger every day!"
Closs is now living with her aunt and godmother, Jennifer Smith, who in a statement to ABC via the family's attorney said Jayme "continues to work very hard on her emotional well-being."
Noting that in recent months she has celebrated weddings and birthdays with her family, and spent time hiking with friends and aunts, and being a "typical teenager" as she hangs out with friends.
"She is moving forward and courageously reclaiming her life," Smith added.
The man who abducted her and killed her parents has been sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to two counts of murder and one of kidnapping earlier this year.