ST. JOSEPH - The city of St. Joseph and Mayor Rick Schultz released a statement on Jacob Wetterling on Sunday morning.

"Saturday September 3 2016, marked an end of a 27 year search for Hope and Truth.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wetterlings. These past 27 years, the Wetterlings have spent countless moments lost in the void of a missing son, the absence of truth, with little to believe in but their faith, family, friends and community.

Jacob Wetterling

I can think of no more devastating loss than that of a child. Children are not supposed to die...Parents expect to see their children grow and mature. As a community, it is time to allow Wetterlings time to grieve and heal. While we can’t take away their pain, we can provide support.

While the experience of grief is profoundly personal, the bravery of the Wetterlings, who shared with us their Hope, desires and emotions for the past 27 years, was an inspiration to all. The Wetterlings allowed the community to be part of their family. In doing so, they enlightened the nation to understand their battle and through their perseverance, they and their foundation is a beacon to all missing children.    

I have gained a profound respect for Patty and Jerry Wetterling, for the emotional struggles they weathered at each turn of the investigation, throughout these many years.   Yet, their resilience and determination in giving attention to combat heinous acts, such as this while they searched for answers, is to be admired.

A friend of mine told me that the most powerful one-line prayer he has ever heard is: “Let me not die while I am still alive.”   I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning. We pray that Wetterlings do find that meaning and know that the community extends any support they need."

Mayor Rick Schultz

St. Joseph

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Saturday night that Jacob Wetterling’s remains were recently located.

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner, says the Ramsey County Medical Examiner and a forensic odontologist identified the remains as Wetterling.  Additional DNA testing is being performed by the BCA.

In a text message to WJON’s Dan DeBaun, Patty Wetterling says: “Our hearts are broken. We have no words….”

Sanner says the Stearns County Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office are in the “process of reviewing and evaluating new evidence” in the Wetterling case.

Additional information is expected to be provided early next week.

Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped by a masked man on a dark road on October 22, 1989 in St. Joseph. He was 11-years-old. Authorities poured over thousands of leads over the years searching for Jacob.