Remains found are those of boy kidnapped in 1989

Associated Press


Remains found in central Minnesota in recent days are those of Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old boy who was abducted in 1989, authorities said Saturday in an announcement that provided some long-awaited answers to a mystery that has captivated a state for decades and sparked changes in sex offender laws.

Jacob was kidnapped in October 1989 from a rural road near his home in St. Joseph, about 80 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

In a statement released Saturday, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said it “confirms that Jacob Wetterling’s remains have been located.” The statement said that the Ramsey County medical examiner and a forensic odontologist identified the remains Saturday.

A law-enforcement official told The Associated Press that a person of interest in Jacob’s abduction took authorities to a field in central Minnesota last week. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case, said remains and other evidence were recovered.

Jacob was riding his bicycle with his brother and a friend Oct. 22, 1989, when a masked gunman abducted him from a rural road near his home in St. Joseph. He hadn’t been seen since.

No one has been arrested or charged in his abduction, which led to changes in sex offender registration laws.

But last year, authorities took another look at the case and were led to Danny Heinrich, a man they called a “person of interest” in Jacob’s kidnapping.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.