(MINNEAPOLIS) — A 53-year-old Minnesota man has admitted to abducting and murdering 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989.
Danny Heinrich, who was a suspect in the abduction, led investigators to Wetterling’s remains last week nearly 27 years after his disappearance in St. Joseph Township, Minnesota.
Heinrich admitted that he kidnapped, sexually assaulted and killed Wetterling as part of a plea deal for 25 child pornography charges. The other charges were dismissed in exchange for pleading guilty to one charge and his confession.
“Danny Heinrich is no longer a person of interest,” said U.S. Andrew Luger for the District of Minnesota in a release. “He is the confessed murderer of Jacob Wetterling and nearly 27 years after he committed this heinous crime, he has been brought to justice. And Jacob is finally home.”
Heinrich faces a federal prison sentence of 20 years.
He also admitted to abducting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old in January 1989.
Wetterling was abducted on the evening of October 22, 1989 on his way home from a convenience store with his 10-year-old brother Trevor and 11-year-old best friend Aaron. Heinrich confronted the trio and told Trevor and Aaron to run into the woods and not look back or he would shoot them. By the time the two boys came back, Heinrich and Wetterling were gone.
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