After Almost 27 Years After the Abduction of 11 Year Old Missing Jacob Wetterling in St. Joseph, MN … His Remains Appear to have Been Found
AFTER NEARLY 27 YEARS, JACOB WETTERLING’S REMAINS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN FOUND …
It has been nearly 27 years since 11 year old Jacob Wetterling was abducted in St. Joseph, Minnesota; however, it now appears that the investigation in finding him may be over. The remains recovered this past week in central Minnesota are being forensically tested to determine whether they are that of missing Jacob Wetterling. A person of interest has reportedly been cooperating with the case. According to reports, Jacob’s mother, Patty Wetterling, stated Saturday morning that her son’s remains have been found. “All I can confirm is that Jacob has been found and our hearts are broken.” The “person of interest” in the case, Danny Heinrich, has been in federal custody since late October, after authorities arrested him on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. Some of the material featured children under the age of 12.
Almost 27 years after the abduction of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in Minnesota, a long trail of investigation appears to be near its end.
Remains recovered this week in central Minnesota are being tested to determine whether they are Wetterling’s. A “person of interest” in the case cooperated in the investigation, according to reports that first came from KSTP-TV, Minneapolis.
Jacob’s mother, Patty Wetterling, told KARE-TV, Minneapolis, Saturday morning that her son’s remains have been found. “All I can confirm is that Jacob has been found and our hearts are broken. I am not responding to any media yet as I have no words.”
Jacob was kidnapped shortly after 9 p.m. on the night of Oct. 22, 1989, after he and his brother, Trevor, 10, and best friend, Aaron Larson, 11, rode their bikes to a Tom Thumb store not far from the family’s rural home in St. Joseph to rent a video.
As they headed home, a masked man with a gun appeared on the remote dirt road leading to the Wetterling house, told the boys to lie face down in a nearby ditch and asked each his age. He then ordered Trevor and Aaron to run to the woods and not look back. When the boys did, Jacob and the masked man were gone.
In a statement from Patty Wetterling posted to the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center website:
“We are in deep grief. We didn’t want Jacob’s story to end this way. … The Wetterlings had a choice to walk into bitterness and anger or to walk into a light of what could be, a light of hope. Their choice changed the world. … Our hearts are heavy, but we are being held up by all of the people who have been a part of making Jacob’s Hope a light that will never be extinguished. … Jacob, you are loved.”
From 1999: 10th Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction
They recovered books of child pornography, as well as a DNA sample allegedly tying Heinrich to the kidnapping and sexual assault of another Stearns County boy from the same time period. No charges can be filed in that case, however, as the statute of limitations has passed.
Heinrich’s brother, David Heinrich, his voice breaking with emotion, said Saturday that his prayers were with the Wetterling family.
“I want the Wetterlings to know I had no idea,” David Heinrich told KARE. “I am happy for them that they know — not that he’s passed, but at least they have closure.”