Wetterling person of interest Danny Heinrich now charged with 25 counts

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced a new indictment charging Danny Heinrich with 25 counts of child pornography, up from 5 in his previous indictment. Heinrich, 52, is a person of interest in the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling, but the new indictment still has no charges directly related to the Wetterling disappearance.

Heinrich was arrested at his home in Annandale, Minn. in October for possession of child pornography during a search for evidence related to a separate 1989 kidnapping and sexual assault of 12-year-old Jared Scheierl in Cold Spring, Minn., which happened just months before 11-year-old Wetterling’s disappearance. 

DNA evidence linked Heinrich to the Cold Spring kidnapping and sexual assault, which prompted investigators to comb through Heinrich’s home in July and found child porn in 19 three-ring binders and on his computer. Investigators also found tapes of news coverage of Wetterling's disappearance and children's clothing, but said they found no evidence of Wetterling.

Charges in the latest indictment include:

Possession of child pornography – printed material, 10 counts
Possession of child pornography – victim under 12 – printed material, 5 counts
Possession of child pornography – morphed image – printed material, 1 count
Possession of child pornography – digital image, 1 count
Receipt of child pornography – digital material, 7 counts
Receipt of child pornography – printed material, 1 count

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.

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