FBI Names Person of Interest in 1989 Disappearance of Jacob Wetterling

In 1989, Jacob Wetterling vanished without a trace. 26 years later, authorities have finally announced a person of interest in the case.

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Jacob Wetterling was an 11-year-old boy who vanished without a trace 26 years ago, and now the FBI has finally formally announced a person of interest in the case.

CBS Minnesota says 52-year-old Daniel James Heinrich was taken into custody on Wednesday night, but not specifically for Wetterling’s disappearance. During a press conference on Thursday, authorities said Heinrich was instead charged with child pornography.

While in questioning, the report says Heinrich was questioned about his connection to Jacob’s case as well, but he has denied any wrongdoing.

The case for Wetterling broke open over the summer, the report said. This was after the FBI learned Heinrich’s DNA matched another case involving a 12-year-old boy who vanished nine months before Wetterling. This gave the FBI enough to execute a search warrant on Heinrich’s home.

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CBS says during that search inside the Annandale home, they uncovered hundreds of images of child pornography in three-ring binders. In addition to the binders, images were also reportedly found on his computer as well.

Although Heinrich’s DNA matched the case of the boy who vanished months before Wetterling, charges cannot be brought forward because the statute of limitations ran out.

Heinrich actually lives in the neighborhood, close to a school and one that is surrounded by children. The FBI told CBS they found hours of video he allegedly took of those children riding bikes, delivering newspapers and playing.

In addition to the missing children, CBS says Heinrich is also suspected in a series of alleged attacks occurring in the 1980’s near his home.

Heinrich is due back in court next week for the child pornography charges. No formal charges have been brought forward yet in Wetterling’s case.

This article was first published on Crime Feed.

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Photo via Crime Feed / CNN

Published on 12 Nov 2015