Trinity Mount Ministries

Monday, October 22, 2012

Advocates: Let lights shine for Jacob Wetterling: Logo
Posted: Oct 22, 2012, 9:53 am

Advocates: Let lights shine for Jacob Wetterling

ST. PAUL — The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center is asking people to leave their porch lights on to honor the St. Joseph boy abducted 23 years ago.

Jacob was 11 when he was abducted on Oct. 22, 1989, by a masked gunman along a rural road. He hasn't been seen since and the case remains unsolved.

Every Oct. 22, the resource center that bears his name asks individuals to leave a porch light on to remember Jacob. This year, the center is also asking people to honor all missing children by talking to others about child safety.

The resource center was founded in 1990, originally as the Jacob Wetterling Foundation. It merged with the National Child Protection Training Center in 2010 with the goal of ensuring every child grows up safely.

Jacob's Story

The Jacob Wetterling Foundation was established on January 22, 1990, four months after eleven year old Jacob Wetterling was abducted near his home in St. Joseph, Minnesota.
Jacob Wetterling was born on February 17, 1978. He grew up in St. JosephMinnesotawith his parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, and his three siblings. On the evening of October 22, 1989, Jacob, his brother Trevor, and friend Aaron rode their bikes to a local convenience store to pick up a movie and snack. On the way back home, a man wearing a mask and carrying a gun stopped the boys. The gunman told the boys to throw their bikes into a nearby ditch and lie face down on the ground. He then asked each of the boys their age. After the boys responded, he instructed Trevor to run into the woods and told him not to look back or he would shoot him. Next, the gunman turned Aaron over, looked into his face, and told him to run into woods without looking back or he would shoot him. As Trevor and Aaron were running away, they glanced back to see the gunman grab Jacob's arm. When Aaron and Trevor reached the wooded area they turned around again and the gunman and Jacob were gone.
The local police were called to the scene of the abduction only minutes later and a search ensued that involved hundreds of volunteers, local law enforcement, FBI agents, and others. Jacob’s case has resulted in over 50,000 leads and has been studied by staff and trainees at the FBI academy in QuanticoVirginia. The case is highly unusual in a number of ways. Rarely are children abducted, especially by non-family members or while playing in groups. There are only 115 cases of long-term, non-family abduction called stereotypical kidnappings each year.
To date, law enforcement and Jacob’s family still do not know what happened to Jacob or his abductor or where they are now. Above is an image of Jacob shortly before the abduction and below is his age progressed photo as to what he may look like now.

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