The home of Danny Heinrich, who admitted to kidnapping and killing Jacob Wetterling, is being sold to a developer who intends to demolish it.
Tim Thone, of Woodbury-based Thone Development LLC, announced on Wednesday he will buy the property at 55 Myrtle Ave. S., Annandale, and flatten it on Dec. 23.
In a press release, Thone says he was inspired to step in after reading that the city of Annandale didn't have the money to tear it down.
"When I saw the story, I turned to my wife and said we should tear it down. The Wetterling family and the community has suffered enough," said Thone. "I made a few calls to friends in the business to get help and everybody agreed to assist immediately. It is what giving at the holidays truly means. Everyone can help in some way and this is my way."
"I encourage everyone to think about what they are doing for the holidays and include the Wetterling Foundation in their giving so they can continue their work to help many families," he added.
Thone says buying the foreclosed home and demolishing it is his Christmas gift to his four adult children – three sons and a daughter.
According to the release, the path to his $60,000 purchase was expedited by the office of Governor Mark Dayton.
Developer wants no trace of Heinrich to remain
In September, Heinrich confessed to killing Jacob Wetterling when he abducted the 11-year-old from his hometown of St. Joseph. He was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison on child porn charges in exchange for the confession and revealing where Jacob's body was buried.
KARE 11 reports Thone will buy the home from JP Morgan Chase, which purchased it in a sheriff's sale in May. He has told Annandale officials he will hand the property over to the city provided no trace of either his name or Danny Heinrich's remains on the land.
"We don’t want to memorialize at all the predator’s house, where the predator lived. As far as I’m concerned, you can change the street name," he told the TV station. "Why don’t you put together a group of homeowners that live in the area… Why don’t you put your heads together and decide what you do with it, open space, or a park, or whatever."
Thone is getting help from attorney Steve Yoch, of Felhaber Larson, as well as Hastings-based DSM Excavating and asbestos removal firm Red Pine Industries, who are all donating their time to help with the acquisition, inspection and demolition of the building.
Exact timing details on the demolition will be made as soon as they become available.