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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)



Today marks the 21st anniversary of Jacob Wetterling’s abduction on October 22, 1989 in St. Joseph, Minn.

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)

The St. Cloud Times — the major newspaper in the area where Jacob was kidnapped — reports as follows:

Wetterlings Cherish Memories of Jacob on Abduction Anniversary

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
October 22, 2010

ST. JOSEPH — Today should be about Jacob.

That’s what Patty and Jerry Wetterling are stressing on the day that marks 21 years since their son was abducted while biking home with his brother and a friend.

“I am concerned that we stay focused on Jacob because that’s what we’ve been doing for 21 years,” Patty Wetterling said this week.

The focus this summer turned to the search of a local farm near where Jacob was abducted. Months passed between the search and an announcement by Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner that testing by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension determined no items of evidence were found.

“Getting through the day is a struggle,” Patty Wetterling said. “But we are filled with gratitude for the energy that everyone has put into trying to get answers.”

The search and the reality that 21 years have passed since 11-year-old Jacob disappeared in 1989 has caused Sanner to reflect on just how long the investigation has gone on.

“It’s been a date that forever has been etched in our memories, in law enforcement’s memory,” Sanner said. “But I think it’s also etched in the memories of the people in the community.”

The fact that the search turned up no evidence doesn’t discourage investigators, Sanner said.

“It fuels my determination to solve this case,” he said. “I just refuse to fail, and I don’t see it as a failure, just a single piece in a very large investigation.”

The Wetterlings plan to spend today the way they have on past anniversaries of Jacob’s abduction, remembering him and the good times with him through stories and laughter.

And it will be all about him.

Below is the text of a letter written by Patty and Jerry Wetterling:

From the desk of Jerry and Patty Wetterling

October 22, 2010

Twenty one years…

It’s hard to measure the degree of gratitude that our family carries in our hearts for all of you who have helped us in our search for Jacob. This year, we watched as countless people in every sector of law enforcement pulled together once again to search for clues. Thank you all!

We continue to hope, that one day we will find our son and know what happened. Where are you Jacob and who did this?

Jerry goes to work every day helping people to feel better and live their lives without pain. I work every day trying to build a better, safer world where our children can grow up safe and follow their dreams; a world free of a different kind of pain. We believe in the possibilities that this world exists and that our children deserve it.

This year especially, we remember you. We remember your good wishes, your food, and cards, your searches and physical assistance. We remember your prayers, your attendance at rallies, your donations, your gifts. You lifted us up when we couldn’t stand on our own. You held us together throughout a situation that was tearing us apart.

We promised ourselves that we would not let the man who took Jacob take anything else. You can’t have our marriage, our other children, our hope, our belief that there are way more good people in the world than there are bad, our knowledge of what can happen when good people pull together.

Together we did it. We have stood tall for children. We respond quicker and better to child abductions. Law enforcement have issued AMBER Alerts 22 times in Minnesota and all 22 children were recovered alive. That’s success! It works because people here care and believe our children deserve better.

Imagine if all of us who have worked so hard to find Jacob were to rally around prevention so that the “next child” was never taken in the first place. We can build a Minnesota that does not tolerate the sexual exploitation or abduction of children but it will take all of us.

We can dig out miners trapped for months in a mine, we can rebuild our cities after flooding, we can pull together to build housing for those going through difficult times, we can find Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years, and we can find Jacob and the man who took him so that he never harms another child.

We can build a world that is worthy of its children, and we will continue to hope and pray that it starts today.

Thank you for all of your wonderful support and keeping Jacob in your hearts and minds and prayers. We are filled with gratitude.

We love you Jacob and we’ll never stop searching for you …

Jerry and Patty

Patty and Jerry Wetterling talk in their living room Oct. 9 about the 20th anniversary of their son Jacobs abduction.
Patty and Jerry Wetterling talk in their living room Oct. 9, 2009 about the 20th anniversary of their son Jacob’s abduction. (Photo credit: Kimm Anderson / St. Cloud Times)

St. Cloud Times Interactive Content

Video, photos, maps, timeline, and other missing persons


Related reports on this site

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


On Facebook: Searching for Jacob Wetterling

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)

Josh Guimond: New Developments (May 24, 2010)

What happened to Josh Guimond?

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, pause for a prayer before beginning the day’s walk on the east side of St. Cloud at Minnesota Highway 10 and Highway 23 / Division Street.

Guimond: “Justice for Josh” March (Nov. 9, 2009)

On Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, three days before the 7th anniversary of the disappearance of St. John’s University student Joshua Guimond, Josh’s family and supporters convened near the site of Josh’s disappearance for a “Justice for Josh” march to raise public awareness of their son’s plight, after which they delivered a petition for renewed efforts in the search to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department. On Saturday evening, the family held a prayer service and candlelight vigil at Josh’s church in Maple Lake.

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)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — October 22, 2009

Jacob Wetterling 20 Years On

Patty Wetterling takes a moment to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the abduction of her son, Jacob, during an interview Oct. 9 at their St. Joseph home. Behind her is a wooden train that carries the familiar Jacob's Hope slogan.
Patty Wetterling takes a moment to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the abduction of her son, Jacob, during an interview Oct. 9, 2009 at their St. Joseph home. Behind her is a wooden toy train that carries the familiar Jacob’s Hope slogan. (Photo credit: Kimm Anderson / St. Cloud Times)

One year ago today, I reported on the 20th anniversary of Jacob Wetterling’s abduction.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — October 22, 2008

Write-in Campaign: Day 4

Two years ago today, on the fourth day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I thanked supporters for their messages of encouragement and online contributions and published excerpts from Eric Zaetsch’s “Developers are Crabgrass” blog entry for Oct. 20, 2008, regarding my write-in candidacy.

My Photo
Eric Zaetsch

Bachmann may have handed it all to Tinklenberg (Oct. 20, 2008)

In a separate post I mention that Aubrey Immelman has placed himself in the November election as a write-in candidate (based on the shameful showing Bachmann made on national TV). …

I still believe Immelman [to be] the best candidate there was in the district this cycle. Now that he has placed himself on the ballot as a write-in candidate based on things Bachmann has done after winning the GOP primary, my choice between Immelman as a write-in or Anderson as the IP ballot choice will be difficult, and a decision I would not make at present.

I truly respect Immelman, his intelligence and rectitude, and my major reservation is that from a write-in position he might generate insufficient attention to be a serious alternative to either of the other three candidates. You cannot choose both Immelman and Anderson, it’s not set up to work that way.

For example, as a write-in, Immelman has been excluded from debate sessions while only in one instance of inexcusable bad judgment known to me, has any debate sponsor excluded Anderson, the legitimate third-party printed ballot choice.

If I had my way there would be four-way debates for the few weeks before election day. …

8 Responses to “Jacob’s Kidnapping ‘Comes of Age’”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Guimond: “Justice for Josh” March Says:

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

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Freedom Walk Says:

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

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Wetterling Friend Shares Story Says:

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

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Anniversary Marked By AMBER Alert Donation Says:

    […] Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping ‘Comes of Age’ […]

  5. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Jacob Wetterling Case featured on CNN’s ‘Hunt With John Walsh’ Says:

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

  6. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » 25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction Says:

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

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

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

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

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

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