Tags: jacob wetterling | killer | confesses | danny heinrich

Jacob Wetterling's Killer Confesses to 1989 Abduction, Murder

Image: Jacob Wetterling's Killer Confesses to 1989 Abduction, Murder

Danny Heinrich (Sherburne County Jail)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 12:28 PM

Jacob Wetterling's killer confessed in federal court Tuesday, saying he took the 11-year-old boy at gunpoint some 27 years ago, when he sexually assaulted and then executed him, according to reports.

Danny Heinrich's confession came as part of a plea deal with prosecutors on separate federal child pornography charges, with the agreement of Wetterling's parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Heinrich will not face prosecution for the kidnapping and murder, but could remain in custody under Minnesota's civil sex offender commitment.

Heinrich will be sentenced on the child pornography charges Nov. 21 or 22, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Ending a nearly three-decade mystery, Heinrich described in detail how he abducted Jacob Wetterling on Oct. 22, 1989, while the boy, his brother, and a friend were riding their bikes near their home in St. Joseph, Minnesota, MPR said.

Heinrich said that after stopping the boys at gunpoint, he kept Jacob Wetterling while telling the other two to run away and not to look back or he would shoot them, according to the radio network.

Jacob Wetterling asked "What did I do wrong?" as Heinrich handcuffed the boy and put him in his car, Heinrich confessed. He admitted to sexually assaulting the child and then shooting him in panic after seeing a police car drive by on the outskirts of Roscoe, Minnesota.

Heinrich said he initially left the boy's body at the scene but later returned to bury him, MPR reported. He said he moved the boy's remains to a field in Paynesville, Minnesota, a year later after seeing the child's jacket partially exposed at the original site.

Heinrich led authorities to Wetterling's grave as part of the plea deal, the Star Tribune reported.

"He's not getting away with anything," U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger told the Star Tribune. "We got the truth. The Wetterling family can bring [Jacob] home."

Fighting back tears after the Heinrich entered his plea and confessed, Patty Wetterling described the pain of finding out what happened to her son.

"I want to say 'Jacob, I'm so sorry.' It's incredibly painful to know his … last hours, last minutes," Patty Wetterling said, according to the Star Tribune. "Our hearts are hurting. For us, Jacob was alive until we found him."

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Jacob Wetterling's killer confessed in federal court Tuesday, saying he took the 11-year-old boy at gunpoint some 27 years ago, when he sexually assaulted and then executed him, according to reports.
jacob wetterling, killer, confesses, danny heinrich
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2016-28-07
Wednesday, 07 Sep 2016 12:28 PM
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