FBI names ‘person of interest’ in 1989 missing boy case

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Look At Danny Heinrich’s Criminal Past.

Oct. 14, 2014. MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Danny Heinrich, who was announced Thursday as a suspect in the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, did get into quite a bit of trouble as a young man. Brought to a crashing halt was the confidence — perhaps overconfidence — that life in our pastoral state afforded protection against crimes thought to happen elsewhere. In January 1989, in the nearby town of Cold Spring, a man in a car approached a 12-year-old boy named Jared, kidnapped him and sexually assaulted him.

Cloud, Minn., to announce the installation of six new billboards that will be placed near where their son Jacob was abducted in 1989. (Dave Schwarz/St. Richard Thornton, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis office, said Heinrich is a person of interest in Wetterling’s abduction, but he has not been charged in that case. The home is in a residential neighborhood and near a school. • At Thursday’s news conference, Heinrich was called a “person of interest” by U.S.

Thornton told a news conference that Heinrich was originally looked at after Wetterling’s abduction and again when investigators reviewed the cold case. That’s where investigators pulled him from the factory floor over the summer for questioning. “Everyone’s got to talking, and everyone’s heard about it,” she said. “That he’s a suspect back in 1989, they booked him, took his mug, hair samples…all that stuff.” Investigators also found VHS tapes, which appear to have been shot by Heinrich, showing boys doing various activities, such as delivering newspapers and playing on the playground. Heinrich has “denied any involvement” in Wetterling’s disappearance, according to Luger. • Heinrich’s home was searched on July 28, 2015, by Stearns County authorities seeking evidence in the Wetterling case, but they did not find any. However, an FBI special agent, Shane Ball, cautioned in the document that “an exact match” of such impressions would have to be based on unique characteristics of the tire shoe, such as a scuff or wear mark. “No such unique markings were present,” Ball wrote. • According to the criminal complaint, Heinrich was a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard out of Willmar.

She and her husband, Jerry, founded the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, which works to help communities and families prevent child exploitation. “The search for Jacob is an ongoing investigation and we will watch and learn like everyone else,” the boy’s parents said in a statement Thursday. A tire mark and a shoe print found near the abduction site were found at the time to be consistent with Heinrich’s property, though both lacked a “unique feature” to definitively link him to the scene. The application for a search warrant shows authorities went to Heinrich’s home last summer seeking “Jacob Erwin Wetterling … Alive or any human remains.” They were also seeking items including a red T-shirt with the name Wetterling on the back and a red hockey team jacket with the name Jacob on the front. A more recent cold-case review of Jacob’s disappearance yielded a troubling new finding that potentially links Heinrich to the type of crime that may have befallen Jacob. They found the items were “consistent” with tracks left in a gravel driveway near the site of Wetterling’s abduction, but couldn’t be ruled an exact match.

Next door, with children’s toys and strollers out front, Megan Champlin described her neighbor as “kind of a hermit.” The mother of three said she never thought anything of Heinrich, until he told her husband about the July search warrant and the child pornography.

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