Jacob Wetterling's remains found 27 years after he vanished

Ray Hunter
September 16, 2016

Authorities looked closely in 1989 and 1990 at Heinrich, who in 1990 submitted his shoes and tires for comparison to tracks and prints left near the abduction scene, Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner said in October 2015.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement saying, "Today, we continue to offer our love and support, as the Wetterling family finally brings their son home to rest".

(Kimm Anderson/St. Cloud Times via AP).

Heinrich led investigators to the area where the remains were found, according to sources.

11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted in Saint Joseph, Minnesota, in 1989.

In a statement, Dayton says Jacob's story "has touched the lives and hearts of Minnesotans for a generation".

Authorities used that new information to help get a search warrant for Heinrich's Annandale home. Until Saturday, every hour since October 22, 1989 came without an answer about the whereabouts of Jacob Wetterling.

"On these kinds of cases it's really a tribute to law enforcement that they simply never give up".

DNA tests are now being conducted to determine if they are in fact the boy's remains.

Pedestrians walk past white ribbons hung along Minnesota Street as residents of St. Joseph Minn. wait for confirmation that the remains of 1989 abduction victim Jacob Wetterling had been found Saturday Sept
Jacob Wetterling's remains found 27 years after he vanished

Wetterling, who lived in rural St. Joseph, his brother and a friend were coming home from a convenience store on bikes and a scooter when a man wearing a stocking mask and holding a gun approached. The case has haunted Minnesota ever since. Jacob's smiling face was burned into the state's collective psyche, appearing on countless posters and billboards seeking clues.

"All I can confirm is that Jacob has been found and our hearts are broken", she wrote in a text message to Minneapolis' KARE 11.

After the boy's disappearance, Congress passed a law in 1994 dubbed Jacob's Law that required states to establish sex offender registries. The FBI released a personality profile of the type of person who may have kidnapped the boy - probably a previous sex offender, a white man 25 to 35 years old and likely someone who worked at an unskilled job. Investigators had long suspected the two cases were connected.

Authorities called Daniel Heinrich a person of interest in Jacob's kidnapping, he denied any involvement and was not charged with that crime.

Heinrich, 53, denied any involvement in Jacob's abduction, and was not charged with that crime.

It's being reported today that Heinrich was taken from prison on two occasions this week to show authorities where they could find Wetterling's body.

Authorities said that when they searched Heinrich's home last summer, they found nothing to connect him to Jacob.

The 52-year-old Heinrich of Annandale, Minnesota, has been held on the child pornography charges for nearly a year while awaiting trial scheduled for next month. Jacob's disappearance led to the Federal Bureau of Investigation aiding in the search and tens of thousands of tips giving information about the disappearance, but all had resulted in dead ends, according to CNN.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case.

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