Wetterling Family Speaks Out on Arrest of “Person of Interest”

Patty and Jerry Wetterling addressed the media for the first time Tuesday since police named a “person of interest” in their son’s disappearance. 

Last week, 52-year-old Daniel Heinrich was arrested and charged in an unrelated case of possessing child pornography.  Heinrich has not been charged in connection to Jacob Wetterling’s abduction, but police have identified him as a person of interest. 

Patty Wetterling said they were caught off guard by the news of the arrest,  but they still don’t know who took Jacob and will watch impatiently for answers. 

Wetterling said she really believes somebody in the community knows what happened to her son. 

“We will hope and pray that one day we will have answers to the one question we have asked forever. Where is Jacob? Somebody knows, we are begging for answers,” said Wetterling. 

Jacob Wetterling was abducted at gunpoint on October 22, 1989 while riding his bike home from a convenience store with his brother and a friend in St. Joseph, Minnesota. 

The family thanked law enforcement, the community and the media for their tireless efforts in working to solve the case.  They are urging those who have more information to come forward. 

“No one plays a more important role than you, everyday citizens, and reporting that little piece of information when added to other pieces of information will solve the puzzle and bring Jacob home,” said Jerry Wetterling.

Patty Wetterling said child sexual abuse and abduction will not be tolerated. 

“We also have to focus on preventing these things from happening so no other family has to go through this,” said Wetterling. 

Throughout the emotional news conference, Patty Wetterling focused on the hope they have of bringing Jacob home. 

“I’ve been focusing on the world Jacob knew and believed in for all of this time.  I want us to still know that hope is real.  Hope is what Jacob knew.  It is a verb. You don’t sit back and hope good things happen. It’s all of you showing up. We know missing kids come home after long periods of time. you’ve seen the stories. I’ve met those families.  I will still always, always hope,” said Wetterling. 

Categories: Community-imported, Crime-imported, News-imported, Police-imported