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Update: September 3, 2016 Breaking News

Jacob Wetterling’s Remains Found in Central Minnesota

“This area is dedicated to our friend Jacob and other missing children”Paddy_JacobGarden-1_10-09-2008
Inscribed stone slab in Jacob’s Garden at North Junior High School, St. Cloud, taken Oct. 9, 2008. (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)



Wetterlings Still Coping with Heartbreak

Jerry and Patty Wetterling stand next to a tree planted in 1990 for their son Jacob near the entrance of North Junior High School in St. Cloud. (Photo credit: Dave Schwarz / St. Cloud Times)

By Dave DeLand
St. Cloud Times
October 19, 2014


Basically, it was just a stick — about as big around as a pool cue, no taller than a little brother. Maybe 5 feet.

“The height of an average sixth-grader,” said Alison Feigh, who was exactly that when she watched the sapling being planted in front of St. Cloud’s North Junior High in spring 1990.

The stick is now an expansive ash tree, about 30 feet tall and probably at least as wide.

In front of the tree’s thick, gnarled trunk lies an inscribed stone slab:

This area is dedicated to our friend Jacob and other missing children

Inscribed stone slab in Jacob’s Garden at North Junior High School, St. Cloud, taken Oct. 9, 2008. (Note: Image not part of accompanying St. Cloud Times report)

So much has changed since then, but one thing hasn’t: Jacob Wetterling is still missing. …

“When I think of Jacob, he’s an 11-year-old boy,” said Jerry Wetterling, Jacob’s father. “If he’s out there somewhere, he’s 36 years old.”

“Every year, we’re hoping we never have to do (the anniversary) again,” added Feigh, who has gone from being Jacob’s sixth-grade classmate to program manager of the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.

“Anniversaries are celebrations. But every day as we get closer to it, there’s the hope that this is the last time.”

Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary. On Oct. 22, 1989, Jacob was abducted by a masked gunman while riding his bicycle near his home in St. Joseph. He hasn’t been seen since. …

“This is a sexually motivated crime. Sometimes, you need to say that,” Patty said. …

“There’ve been some suspects that we’ve had to look at, and Jerry and I would look at each other and you’d just sort of pray that it’s not that guy. Because if it’s that guy, it’s not a good ending. It was a really harsh, horrible ending.” …

“Jerry and I and our kids were forced to look at a very dark side of life — in suspects that would come forward, in different scenarios people would send us,” Patty said. …

“It’s time for answers. If Jacob’s not alive, we need to know that,” Patty said. “Either way, we need to know who did that. We need to know that other kids are safe, and this person is not harming anybody else. …

Even after 25 painful, frustrating years, Patty manages to maintain an element of compassion for Jacob’s abductor.

She hopes to get the chance to talk with him. …

Finding that man, however, remains a work in progress. …

Twenty-five years later, that hope is still alive.

That dream is still alive.

Jacob’s tree is alive. And growing.

Read the full story at the St. Cloud Times


Related report

Jacob Wetterling Search Continues 25 Years Later

By Jim Maurice
AM 1240 WJON
October 10, 2014

ST. CLOUD – Jacob Wetterling has been missing for nearly 25 years, and on Tuesday [Oct. 14, 2014] officials are launching a new effort to find him.

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, the BCA, and FBI are holding a news conference [at the Stearns County Law Enforcement Center] in St. Cloud asking the public for help in the continued search for Wetterling. Billboards will also be placed in six locations around the area. …

Wetterling’s story was recently featured on CNN’s “The Hunt With John Walsh.”


Related report

Still Missing: 25 Years Later, New Billboards Going Up in New Push to Find Jacob Wetterling

By Jenna Ross

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.

Officials will announce the new campaign at a Tuesday news conference in St. Cloud. The six billboards will feature a photo of Jacob as a kid and a picture of what Jacob might look like at age 36. …

Backed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, among others, the new campaign seeks the public’s help in the search. The billboards, placed in spots near the abduction, will urge anyone with information to call 1-800-THE-LOST.

Full report


Related reports on this site

New Book on Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015)


On Facebook: Searching for Jacob Wetterling

Wetterling Case Featured on CNN’s ‘The Hunt with John Walsh’ (Aug. 31, 2014)

Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Anniversary Marked By AMBER Alert Donation (Oct. 22, 2011)

Active AMBER Alerts
Click to see Active AMBER Alerts

Minnesota Missing Persons Linkage Analysis (June 22, 2011)

Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Tips (March 2, 2011)

Jacob’s Kidnapping ‘Comes of Age’ (Oct. 22, 2010)

Jerry Wetterling wears a button showing a digitally aged photo of Jacob as he might have looked at age 21.
Jerry Wetterling wears a button showing a digitally aged photo of Jacob as he might have looked at age 21. (Photo: Kimm Anderson / St. Cloud Times)

Jacob Wetterling — Latest News (Oct. 5, 2010)

Google Earth Map
Satellite image of the Wetterling abduction site and surrounding area shows how few residences there are in the vicinity. The development northwest of the abduction site did not exist and consisted of woodland at the time of Jacob’s kidnapping in 1989 (Google Earth / Joy Baker; click on image for larger display; view map of abduction site)

Wetterling Suspect Dan Rassier (July 3, 2010)

Dan Rassier

Jacob Wetterling: Rassier Search (July 1, 2010)

Investigators use a tractor-mounted backhoe for an excavation on the Rassier farm in St. Joseph, Minn., Thursday, July 1, 2010. (Photo credit: Kimm Anderson / St. Cloud Times)

Jacob Wetterling Freedom Walk (Dec. 21, 2009)

On Sunday, Dec. 19, 2009, the third and final day of Jacob’s Freedom Walk for Missing and Abducted Children, Vietnam vets, led by Mike Clark and Jerry Wetterling, are met by Jacob’s mother Patty Wetterling upon arriving at the site where 11-year-old Jacob was abducted on Sunday, October 22, 1989, about half a mile from the Wetterling home in rural St. Joseph, Minn. After a prayer, three rifle rounds are fired as the universal symbol of letting the lost or missing know they’re being searched for.

Missing Person Joshua Guimond (Nov. 7, 2009)

Jacob Wetterling 20 Years On (Oct. 22, 2009)

A photo of Jacob Wetterling from 1989, the year he was taken (left), and an age-adjusted image of what he may have looked like at age 29 (right).

Jacob Wetterling Celebration (Oct. 16, 2009)

Patty Wetterling sings with Red Grammer during the “Celebration of Children” concert at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Oct. 17, 2009. (Photo credit: Adam Hammer / St. Cloud Times)

Wetterling Friend Shares Story (Apr. 28, 2009)

U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Aaron Larson poses with his fiancée Jackie Tentinger and 2-year-old son, Anikan, as he arrives home April 17, 2009 in Slayton, Minn., after a year-long deployment in Iraq. As an 11-year-old boy in St. Joseph, Aaron was with his best friend Jacob Wetterling when Jacob was kidnapped by a masked gunman on Sunday, Oct. 22, 1989. (Photo credit: Justine Wettschreck — Daily Globe /Associated Press)

Jacob Wetterling Lead Unravels (Jan. 7, 2009)

Vern’s Barber Shop in St. Francis, Wis.
(Photo: John Klein / Journal Sentinal)

3 Responses to “25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction”
  1. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Case Featured on CNN’s ‘Hunt With John Walsh’ Says:

    […] 25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction (Oct. 22, 2014) […]

  2. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects Says:

    […] 25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction (Oct. 22, 2014) […]

  3. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Daniel Heinrich Search Warrant in Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Says:

    […] 25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction (Oct. 22, 2014) […]

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