Patty Wetterling hopes Paynesville meeting will bring new information to light

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The Wetterling family is hosting a community meeting in Paynesville, Minn. on Sunday in hopes of finding any missing pieces of information about what happened to their son, Jacob, who was abducted 26 years ago.

Patty Wetterling told Fox 9 she is tired of feeling paralyzed by Danny Heinrich, the man who was named a person of interest in the Wetterling case by the FBI in late October.

“If [investigators] know more about this guy, maybe they'll tell,” she said. “Maybe they didn't think something was significant, but now it’s time to turn it again.”

Wetterling said she does not have direct knowledge of what investigators are doing, but she's hoping they can help them by meeting with the people of Paynesville, the town where Heinrich lived in the late 1980s and where a cluster of boys were assaulted by a man matching the same description as the one who took her son.

The Wetterling family hopes they may find someone who knows more than they have shared before or that there may be other victims who never came forward.

Wetterling said she does not know whether Heinrich is the man who took her son.

“My work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows that it's unusual to have a pocket of boy victims like this. It's hard to not look at it as one,” she said.

Heinrich was initially a strong suspect at the time of the abduction. He had matching tires and shoes to prints at the abduction scene, but there was no other evidence and he adamantly denied involvement. 

However, Heinrich was also adamant he had nothing to do with Jared Scheierl's assault in Paynesville and DNA now proves that he did.

“He lied,” Wetterling said. “So now you have to look at what else did he lie about and what else have they got, so they've been working really hard and I believe that if it's him, we'll get our answers. My question, big question, is ‘Where's Jacob?'."