1989

Twenty-three years ago, eleven year-old Jacob Wetterling, his brother and their friend were biking home from a movie rental store in St. Joseph, Minnesota.imgres That night, on October 22, a masked gunman encountered the boys and told the three young boys to lie down on the ground. After asking the children their ages and seeing their faces he told Wetterling’s brother and his friend to run away and not look back otherwise he would shoot.

That statement is alarmingly similar to the statement the gunman had said January 13, 1989 to a different twelve-year-old boy, Jared. Jared was walking four blocks from an outdoor ice rink to his home in Cold Spring, Minnesota. It was a quarter to ten when a man pulled over and asked Jared for directions. While Jared was describing where to go, the man forced Jared into the backseat of his car where he proceeded to drive five miles to an isolated area. Once they reached a northern area of north Richmond, Minnesota the man sexually assaulted the twelve-year-old boy and dropped him off two miles from his home and “told him to run and not look back or he threatened to shoot” according to reports from Saint Autumn blog.

That night Jared went to the hospital and later described a man between the ages of forty and fifty years old, between 180-190 pounds, who stood at about five foot eight inches with large ears and a beer belly. Jared’s description matched that of Daniel Heinrich. Heinrich, however, was let go due to lack of evidence and Jareds inability to identify him in a line-up. Due to modern-day advancements such as DNA  recognition, Heinrich had been proved guilty in the Cold Spring case but could not be charged due to the Statute of Limitations.

Back to when Wetterling was lying on the ground on that October night, it is believed that Heinrich possibly took the young boy and put him in an abandoned car. His whereabouts are still unknown.

In May 2014, investigators confirmed that they were taking another look at a series of attempted and actual child molestation’s that occurred in the Paynesville, Minnesotaarea in the two years leading up to the Wetterling abduction. Between the summer of 1986 and the spring of 1987, five teenage boys were attacked without any guilty party arrested.  Authorities re-interviewed some of the victims and are working with the internet blogger who brought information to light.

imagesAfter months of research and interviews with some of the victims, it is believed that these attacks were not random and that the culprit could be connected to the abduction of Wetterling, just 40 minutes away.

Today, November 4, 2015, Daniel Heinrich is undergoing a trial for five charges of possessing and receiving child pornography.

“A chilling context and a gravity of danger for the community,” said Magistrate Judge Tony Leung, who ruled that there was enough probable cause against Heinrich to keep him in custody. Authorities are still investigating Heinrich’s alleged involvement of Jacob Wetterlings kidnapping.

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