Patty Wetterling: “Our hearts are broken. We have no words. ... Our family is drawing strength from all your love & and support. We’re struggling with words at this time. Thank you for your hope.”

Jacob Wetterling Resource Center: “We are in deep grief. We didn’t want Jacob’s story to end this way. In this moment of pain and shock, we go back to the beginning. 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.

“This light has been burning for close to 27 years. The spark began in the moments after the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, when his family decided that light is stronger than darkness. They lit the flame that became Jacob’s Hope. ... Today, we gather around the same flame. The flame that has become more than the hope for one as it led the way home for thousands of others.”

Gov. Mark Dayton: “For nearly 27 years, Minnesotans have held the Wetterling family in their thoughts and prayers, as they never gave up hope and never stopped searching for their beloved Jacob. Today, we continue to offer our love and support, as the Wetterling family finally brings their son home to rest. I hope they will find solace in knowing that they do not stand alone. Jacob’s story has touched the lives and hearts of Minnesotans for a generation. Today, I pray for a measure of peace for the Wetterling family and for all Minnesotans touched by this terrible tragedy. And I thank the law enforcement officials and others who never stopped searching for him.”

Ellie Quarry, a Little Falls resident who lived in St. Joseph at the time of the abduction: “She [Patty Wetterling] held out hope right to the very end. God, I prayed for that.’’

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer: “Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance on October 22nd, 1989 shattered the innocence of all Minnesotans. Today, Jacquie and I join people across this nation in sending our deepest sympathies to the Wetterling family. Throughout this ordeal, Patty has been a pillar of strength and the ultimate example to me and many others of the love every parent has for their children.”

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith: “There is nothing parents fear more than losing their child. For one Minnesota family nearly 27 years ago, that fear became tragically real. None of us will ever know what the Wetterlings have gone through, on that day, or on each day since. But every Minnesota family has felt their loss. My own sons were small when Jacob was lost, and for more than two decades, our family and all Minnesota families have hurt, prayed, and hoped alongside the Wetterlings. That pain won’t end today. … We will always keep Jacob in our hearts.”

Late Saturday, people across Minnesota and around the nation turned on their porch lights to remember Jacob and his family, sharing photos online with the hashtag #lightsonforjacob and #jacobshope.