Jacob Wetterling was only 11-years old when he disappeared in 1989. No trace of him has been seen since, and the case went cold. Now, after over a quarter of a century time has passed, but now it seems that the FBI has opened some new leads in the case.
FBI investigators have officially announced 52-year-old Daniel James Heinrich as a person of interest in the case. Heinrich was taken into custody on unrelated charges of child pornography. During his questioning, Heinrich was asked about a possible connection to Wetterling.
According to the FBI, Heinrich’s DNA was a match in another case of a 12-year-old boy who disappeared only months before Wetterling. This allowed the FBI to obtain a search warrant for Heinrich’s home.
The search turned up hundreds of images of child pornography—kept in three-ring binders—as well as image files on his computer as well.
Unfortunately Heinrich cannot be charged in the case of the 12-year-old boy because of the statute of limitations.
The FBI also told CBS that hours of video footage was uncovered that Heinrich had secretly filmed of children playing in his neighborhood. He apparently lives close to a school.
He will appear in court for the child pornography charges. It is not yet known what charges, if any will be brought against him regarding the Wetterling disappearance.