MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Authorities in central Minnesota say the remains of Jacob Wetterling have been found.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office says in a statement that Jacob’s remains were identified on Saturday.
Jacob was 11 when he was kidnapped from a rural road on Oct. 22, 1989, near his home in St. Joseph, about 80 miles northwest of Minneapolis. No one has been arrested or charged in his abduction, though authorities named 53-year-old Danny Heinrich as a person of interest last year.
Heinrich was charged with multiple counts of child pornography, but was not charged in Jacob’s abduction. He has denied involvement.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Heinrich 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 found.
Earlier Saturday, Jacob’s mother, Patty Wetterling, said in a text message to KARE-TV that her son “has been found and our hearts are broken.”
***Watch the extensive reports on this new development as well as background on Jacob’s case in the video, above***
The mystery of Jacob’s abduction has intrigued Minnesota residents for more than two decades. In the years afterward, Patty Wetterling became a nationally recognized advocate for missing children.