Community Meeting Hopes to Bring Healing, Renewed Hope In Wetterling Case [VIDEO]
PAYNESVILLE -- A community meeting filled the Paynesville High School Auditorium this (Sunday) evening with a sense of healing, support and renewed hope in the Jacob Wetterling case.
Patty and Jerry Wetterling formed the community event called "a night of sharing and healing" to connect with residents who's lives have been changed since Jacob Wetterling's abduction on October 22nd 1989.
"I refuse to be silent, because there is way more good people then bad in the world and we need our voices,"says Patty Wetterling.
52-year-old Daniel Heinrich, who was a resident of Paynesville at the time of Jacob's disappearance, was named a "person of interest" in the case back in October.
Patty Wetterling says they have heard of Heinrich since 1989 but he was one of thousands who were considered leads.
"We knew about Heinrich from the very beginning, but he was one of 40,000 leads. It's not like we have suspects sitting on a desk that someone overlooked or pushed aside," says Wetterling.
Between 1986 and 1988 there were multiple incidents in which young males were physically and/or sexually assaulted in Paynesville, which the Wetterlings feel could link to their son's disappearance.
Jerry Wetterling says they had a chance to speak with several of the Paynesville victims about two years ago, and learn how these events still effects them.
"We learned a lot about the pain of these victims, not only to themselves but how it affects their families, relationships and people they come into contact with. Things like this don't just stop and have an end," says Wetterling.
Wetterling says they will continued to search for Jacob, and knows the community of Paynesville is ready to help.
"This is a community that wants to help, you can tell that in talking with them. And they hope for a better and brighter future," says Patty Wetterling.
Heinrich faces unrelated child pornography charges after a search warrant found 19 binders full of photos of naked young boys and video tapes in his Annandale home.