Mom's birthday message to Jacob Wetterling

Jacob Wetterling’s birthday is Feb. 17. It’s his 38th birthday. And just like every birthday since his Oct. 22, 1989 disappearance, Patty Wetterling’s wish is for her son to come home. Patty's birthday message for Jacob was published Tuesday by the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center:

Happy Birthday Jacob! Birthdays are supposed to be about parties, hats and noisemakers, cake, ice cream, friends singing and making wishes but not yet. Not this year, again. How I wish to wrap my arms around you and hug you tight! I have watched the tape of your last birthday party over and over. We rented a suite at the Holiday Inn for your party. You and Aaron raced back and forth in the pool and took turns throwing each other in the deep end. It was so much fun!

I want you to know that since you were stolen away from us, people everywhere have been searching, praying and hoping for your safety and for answers. Last fall, 26 years later, news of possible answers had your story as the number two news coverage in the region. That's pretty amazing 26 years later. People care. There are more good people than bad in the world and people still hope.

My birthday wish is for you to come home. We need to find you. I have another wish for every child who is home safe today, that they will never have to endure abduction or sexual exploitation of any type. We are working just as hard on prevention as we are on searching because this is so wrong…so unfair. I remember how much it bothered you when things were unfair. Me too, it bothers me too.

I am hoping and praying that people will remember you on February 17 and we ask that everyone hug their kids a little tighter, tell them that they love them and take time to play a game or read books. My wish is also that parents will support agencies that help to find our missing kids and help other victims. Today, we ask everyone to volunteer, attend events, send financial support and share safety information. The non-profit work continues on a daily basis. Sometimes sexual exploitation and abduction are on the news, and sometimes not, yet we all rely on the support and expertise of these agencies when we need them. They are there for us. They need our support as well.

And once again today, February 17, we will light our candles, fix your favorite foods and cake, and thank God for the gift of you.

We love you Jacob and we'll never stop searching for you!

I so wish for a happy birthday for you…

Patty Wetterling

Case background

Jacob Wetterling was abducted at gunpoint near his St. Joseph, Minnesota home on Oct. 22, 1989. The 11-year-old was riding his bike with his brother and a friend. Jacob's mother, Patty Wetterling, is still hopeful her son will be found, and now works to help other families of missing children.

If you have information about this case, please contact the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office at 1-320-656-6625 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

Case developments

Charges multiply in indictment of Wetterling person of interest Danny Heinrich

Jacob Wetterling's parents hold meeting for community in Paynesville, Minn.

Investigators: The "other person of interest" in Jacob Wetterling case

Jacob Wetterling's best friend says he needs to hear Heinrich's voice

Wetterling press conference: Where is Jacob? Somebody knows

Running Home For Jacob

For more information about the upcoming 5k run click here