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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)



On Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, Daniel James (Danny) Heinrich of Annandale, Minn., who has been named a “person of interest” in the October 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling, appeared in federal court in Minneapolis charged with 25 counts of possessing and receiving child pornography.

Sketch: KSTP / Cedric Hohnstadt

As reported by David Unze in the St. Cloud Times:

A man named as a person of interest in the 1989 disappearance of Jacob Wetterling pleaded not guilty Monday to 25 federal charges accusing him of possessing and receiving child pornography.

Danny James Heinrich, 52, made a brief appearance in U.S. District Court to enter his not guilty pleas. His trial on the pornography charges is scheduled for July 11. …

Heinrich, dressed in orange jail clothing, was in court for about five minutes Monday. He has been housed at the Sherburne County Jail since his arrest and indictment.

Court records filed at the time of his arrest provided details about several attacks on boys in the mid-to-late 1980s in the Paynesville area and the belief by the city’s police chief in 1990 that Heinrich should be considered a suspect in those attacks.

Court records also show that DNA links Heinrich to the abduction and sexual assault of a Cold Spring boy  months before Jacob Wetterling was abducted. …

Jacob Wetterling disappeared when he, his brother Trevor and friend Aaron Larson were biking home from a convenience store when a man approached them with a gun and ordered them into the ditch. The man asked the boys their ages, groped one of them over his clothing and told Trevor Wetterling and Larson to run and not look back or he would shoot them. …


2/26/2016 Update

Former Jail Worker and Author Speak Out On Heinrich’s Alleged Connection to Wetterling

By Liz Collin
CBS Minnesota — WCCO
February 26, 2016


The person of interest in Jacob Wetterling’s kidnapping – Danny Heinrich — pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges earlier this week, and has also always denied having anything to do with the abduction.

Now, we’re hearing from people who pointed the finger at him just days after Wetterling’s disappearance.

In his time working with inmates, Bruce Petersen got to know quite a few by name.

“I did almost 27 years with the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department working at the jail,” Petersen said.

In the 1980s, a young man with dark glasses became one of them. It was Heinrich.

“I remember a young, skinny, kind of shy guy. A loner type,” Petersen recalled.

In four years, Heinrich was arrested twice for drinking and driving, and once for burglary. Petersen remembers he didn’t want to follow authority.

“He seemed to be a bit passive aggressive,” he said.

Three years after Heinrich’s last arrest, Wetterling went missing. …

But it’s what Petersen and his colleagues did just days after Wetterling was kidnapped he’s thought most about these last four months. Back then, investigators asked Stearns County correctional officers to review the jail roster and to flag anyone they should focus on. Petersen recalls they made a list of at least 10 people.

“One of them was Danny Heinrich,” he said.

Court documents indicate investigators talked to Heinrich two months after Wetterling’s abduction.

Author Rob Ebben has spent the last five years researching what happened that night.

“Everything I’ve seen indicates Heinrich is the guy,” Ebben said. …

Ebben published a book about the case last spring. He writes under the name Robert Dudley.

After Heinrich’s arrest last fall, he’s out with a second edition “Answers in the Sand.” In this book, he goes back and poses new questions now that a person of interest has been named.

One part of the investigation seems to trouble Ebben most: the tire tracks left in Dan Rassier’s driveway, the area where Wetterling disappeared.

In 2003, a man named Kevin came forward to investigators to say he drove in the driveway the night. He said he was curious to see what happened after hearing the kidnapping call on a police scanner.

After Kevin’s admission, Stearns County shifted their focus to finding a kidnapper on foot but Ebben believes the evidence shows there were two sets of tire tracks left in the driveway that night. …

“It doesn’t make any sense that his presence explains anything actually,” Ebben said, talking about Kevin’s presence. …

Ebben believes zeroing in on an abduction on foot cost the case 10 years and is the real reason the spotlight was put on the neighbor to the abduction site, Rassier. Ebben still passes on his tips to investigators, convinced answers are close. …

Ebben will host a talk about his latest book next month at the Paynseville Public Library. It’s scheduled for Monday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Read the full story at WCCO


Related reports on this site


Danny Heinrich Confesses to Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping, Assault, and Murder (Sept 6, 2016)

Danny Heinrich Arrested: Wetterling Press Conference
(Nov. 4, 2015)

Daniel Heinrich Search Warrant in Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping (Oct. 30, 2015)

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


4 Responses to “Wetterling “Person of Interest” Danny Heinrich in Federal Court”
  1. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects Says:

    […] Wetterling “Person of Interest” Danny Heinrich in Federal Court (Feb. 22, 2016) […]

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

    […] Wetterling “Person of Interest” Danny Heinrich in Federal Court (Feb. 22, 2016) […]

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

    […] Wetterling “Person of Interest” Danny Heinrich in Federal Court (Feb. 22, 2016) […]

  4. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » Breaking News — Danny Heinrich Plea Hearing in Federal Court — Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping and Murder — Live Coverage Says:

    […] Wetterling “Person of Interest” Danny Heinrich in Federal Court (Feb. 22, 2016) […]

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