Jacob Wetterling

the abduction case that changed minnesota

Nearly 27 years after Jacob Wetterling was abducted near his home in St. Joseph, Minn., the mystery of what happened to him was solved in September 2016 when Daniel James Heinrich told authorities where Jacob was buried.

Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson waited to begin a press conference to discuss the document release in the Jacob Wetterling case.

Sheriff lays out missed chances for quick answers to Jacob's fate

A task force formed to find missing 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989 wasted time chasing far-flung leads and listening to psychics rather than tracking compelling evidence close to home, Don Gudmundson said.
Evidence photos of Danny Heinrich were part of Sheriff Don Gudmundson's presentation. The closed investigative file in the Jacob Wetterling abduction

Seven critical mistakes in early days of Wetterling investigation

September 20, 2018
Stearns County sheriff said there were critical missteps in the first weeks and months of the 1989 kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling
Patty Wetterling spoke a new conference Tuesday September 6, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN.

In court, loved ones confront awful truth of Jacob's last hours

September 7, 2016
"On Oct. 22, 1989, did you kidnap, sexually assault and murder Jacob Wetterling?" Danny Heinrich's answer filled the federal courtroom in Minneapolis with tears and bitter questions.

How did living in shadow of the Jacob Wetterling case change the way you grew up or raised your family?

September 22, 2018
Jacob Wetterling's abduction and murder changed Minnesota, haunting a generation of parents and children. We want to know how it affected you.

Lead FBI agent in Jacob Wetterling case refutes Stearns County sheriff's claims of a bungled investigation

September 20, 2018
"We're not dopes," Al Garber said during an emphatic defense of his agency's efforts to find the killer.

Read sheriff's presentation about key issues in Jacob Wetterling investigation

September 22, 2018
Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson on Thursday outlined investigative missteps in the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling. He presented the findings in this 135-page document.

Heinrich confesses to abducting, killing Jacob Wetterling that day

September 7, 2016
After Danny Heinrich's detailed, horrifying courtroom confession on how he kidnapped and killed Jacob, Patty Wetterling said, "It's incredibly painful to know his last days, his last minutes."

Tears, anger in Jacob's hometown after killer's confession

September 6, 2016
Many said confessed killer Danny Heinrich deserves much more than 20 years in prison. "It kind of tore the community apart for 27 years, and he's getting 20 years?" said one St. Joseph resident.

Rosenblum: With Wetterlings, so many kinds of grief, so much grace

September 8, 2016
While the Wetterlings now are able to move forward, let's not forget what is most remarkable about them.

Wetterling Resource Center staff presses on for Jacob

September 8, 2016
Advocates who spent decades fighting for the return of Jacob Wetterling continue their fight for others abused, neglected, exploited and missing.

Photos: Search for Jacob Wetterling through the years

September 4, 2016
In the 26 years since Jacob Wetterling was abducted, his parents have never stopped looking for their son.

Jacob Wetterling's remains found on a farm

September 4, 2016
Danny Heinrich, a suspect in Jacob's disappearance 27 years ago, provided authorities with information about the location.

Map: Key sites in Jacob Wetterling abduction

September 4, 2016
A look at the central Minnesota locations associated with the 1989 Jacob Wetterling abduction case. His remains were found today.

Timeline of Jacob Wetterling's abduction

September 6, 2016
‘‘This is a case that science might eventually catch up to.” Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner Timeline   Jan. 13, 1989: Jared Scheierl, then 12,…

Reaction to discovery of Jacob Wetterling's remains

September 3, 2016
Patty Wetterling: “Our hearts are broken. We have no words. ... Our family is drawing strength from all your love & and support. We’re…

October 2015: What we know about Danny James Heinrich

September 3, 2016
• Danny James Heinrich, 52, of Annandale, Minn., was arrested at his home last October on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. • At…

'Person of interest' named in 1989 Jacob Wetterling disappearance

October 30, 2015
No. 3 Jacob Wetterling was 11 when he was abducted while riding on his bike near St. Joseph, Minn., 26 years ago. Danny James Heinrich, who was charged with possessing child pornography, is a person of interest in the case.

Photos: Developments in Jacob Wetterling disappearance

October 29, 2015
Daniel James Heinrich, 52, was charged with receipt and possession of child pornography and also named as a person of interest in 1989 Jacob Wetterling disappearance 26 years ago. The press conference announcing the charges was held at the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.

Criminal complaint against Danny James Heinrich

October 29, 2015
Daniel James Heinrich of Annandale, Minn., was charged Thursday with possessing child pornography and has been named by authorities as a person of interest in the disappearance of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling 26 years ago.

Community meeting called by Wetterlings canceled due to snow

December 1, 2015
Jacob's parents had said they hoped the event would be cathartic and helpful for the community.

Paynesville victims recount rash of attacks before Wetterling case

November 15, 2015
Authorities now believe the string of 1980s assaults of boys in Paynesville may be connected to more serious crimes that followed: the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy in Cold Spring and the unsolved abduction of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in St. Joseph.

Why criminal charges in the Wetterling case may never come

November 8, 2015
Without hard evidence or a confession, justice is tormentingly out of reach.

'Person of interest' in Jacob Wetterling case to stay in custody

November 4, 2015
A man identified last week as a "person of interest" in the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling 26 years ago will remain in custody on child pornography charges, a federal magistrate ruled Wednesday morning.

Rosenblum: For families like the Wetterlings, a different kind of loss

November 4, 2015
"The families and friends of the missing are stuck in a painful limbo where relationships are brutally ruptured and, yet, grief is frozen," an expert says.

Patty Wetterling: 'We were caught off guard, like all of you'

November 4, 2015
Patty Wetterling said she and her husband were surprised when authorities told them they had identified a person of interest in their son Jacob's abduction 26 years ago.

Assault victim seeks answers in Wetterling abduction

November 3, 2015
Investigators have long explored possible links between the Jared Scheierl assault and Jacob Wetterling abduction. "The whole reason I kept on continuing this was for the sake of the Wetterlings finding answers," Scheierl says.

String of attacks on Minn. boys in late 1980s draws fresh scrutiny

October 31, 2015
Eight assaults against Paynesville boys ages 12 to 16 take on new significance with the person of interest in Jacob Wetterling's disappearance.

25th anniversary sparks fresh look at Jacob Wetterling mystery

October 31, 2015
A brainstorming session in the summer of 2014 led investigators to arrest a ''person of interest'' in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.

In St. Joseph, hope is renewed for an end to the Jacob Wetterling mystery

October 30, 2015
– Wherever there was a television, radio or computer screen on Thursday afternoon, eyes and ears in this central Minnesota town…

Investigators announce person of interest in Wetterling case

October 29, 2015
Watch clips from news conference and hear statement from the Wetterling family.

Read the statement from Jacob Wetterling's parents

October 29, 2015
The parents of Jacob Wetterling released the following statement Thursday regarding the announcement that a person of interest has been named in Wetterling's disappearance 26 years ago.

Oct. 19, 2014: After 25 years, search for Jacob Wetterling continues

October 19, 2014
Jerry and Patty Wetterling have searched for answers alongside investigators who have vetted some 50,000 leads — tips, connections and even false confessions.

Feb. 18, 2015: Wetterlings mark Jacob's 37th birthday

February 18, 2015
Patty Wetterling and her family were at the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center in Minneapolis to commemorate the organization's 25th anniversary.

25 years later, billboards going up in push to find Jacob Wetterling

October 14, 2014
Billboards will blanket the St. Joseph, Minn., area in a new effort to find Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted 25 years ago this month. The six billboards will feature a photo of Jacob as a kid and a picture of what he might look like at age 36.

The Jacob Wetterling case

October 29, 2015
Jacob Wetterling was abducted Oct. 22, 1989 while heading home from a local convenience store with his best friend, Aaron Larson, 11, and younger brother, Trevor, 10. The kidnapping occurred shortly after 9 p.m.