If Jodi Huisentruit were a reporter today, chances are she’d be doing a story on the big developments this week in the Jacob Wetterling investigation.
Minnesota authorities announced Thursday that Daniel Heinrich is a person of interest in Jacob’s abduction 26 years ago by a masked gunman near the Wetterling home in rural St. Joseph. They hope people with information on Heinrich’s activities around the time of Jacob’s disappearance will come forward.
Jodi covered the case of the 11-year-old boy when she was a reporter at KSAX-TV in Alexandria, Minnesota, in the early 1990s. She also interviewed Jacob’s parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling.
Jodi Huisentruit reporting on Jacob Wetterling’s birthday in 1993 (KSAX-TV)
I thought of Jodi when authorities held their news conference on Heinrich, who has been charged with possessing and receiving child porn. His name surfaced in the early years of the Jacob Wetterling investigation, and he was interviewed by police at the time (U.S. Attorney Andy Luger emphasized Thursday that Heinrich denied being involved in Jacob’s abduction and has not been charged in connection with that case).
I’ve done several interviews with Minnesota news media the past few days on the long search for Jacob, and said I hope this latest development won’t turn out to be just another false lead. That’s happened too many times before.
With all the renewed attention on Jacob’s case, I’ve also been thinking a lot about Jodi, who’s been missing since June 27, 1995. I keep her picture next to Jacob’s on my desk in a California newsroom, along with a “Hope” stone Patty Wetterling gave me when I left Minnesota.
Hoping for answers in Jodi’s disappearance is why I joined the FindJodi team more than four years ago.
I hope anyone who has any information on either case will come forward and give Jacob’s and Jodi’s families the answers for which they’ve been waiting for too many years.
Recent interviews regarding the Jacob Wetterling case