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Danny Heinrich admits to abduction, killing of Jacob Wetterling

MINNEAPOLIS -- Danny Heinrich, the man who led authorities to the remains of Jacob Wetterling, admitted in U.S. District Court Tuesday that he abducted and killed the 11-year-old boy some 27 years ago, according to The Associated Press.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Danny Heinrich, the man who led authorities to the remains of Jacob Wetterling, admitted in U.S. District Court Tuesday that he abducted and killed the 11-year-old boy some 27 years ago, according to The Associated Press.

Heinrich was asked to describe during the court hearing what happened the night of Oct. 22, 1989, the last night Wetterling was seen alive.

The 53-year-old Annandale man also reportedly pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography.

Heinrich had been charged with 25 counts of possessing and receiving child pornography; he pleaded not guilty to those charges in February and was set to go to trial in October.

Heinrich last year was named as a “person of interest” in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, the 11-year-old St. Joseph, Minn., boy who was abducted from a rural road near his house on Oct. 22, 1989, and never seen again.

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Heinrich has not been charged in that case, but authorities last summer searched his house for ties to the boy’s disappearance.

Heinrich had been under increasing scrutiny as authorities have revisited Jacob’s abduction and investigated a string of sexual assaults on preteen and teen boys near Paynesville, Minn., in the mid- to late 1980s; Jacob was taken less than a mile from his home in St. Joseph, which is about 20 miles from Paynesville. Heinrich lived in Paynesville with his father at the time of the abduction.

On Wednesday, Heinrich led a team of FBI agents and state and county investigators to a pasture near Paynesville where Wetterling’s skeletal remains were buried, according to a source with direct knowledge of the search. Investigators revisited the site again Friday for crime-scene purposes.

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