The city of St. Joseph was united in grief and support of the Wetterling family as thousands attended a memorial service to remember Jacob Wetterling.
Jacob, who disappeared in October 1989, was found earlier this month buried in a farm field by authorities working on information from 53-year-old Danny Heinrich, who has since admitted to killing him.
On Sunday morning, mourners gathered at the College of St. Benedict St. John's in Jacob's home town of St. Joseph to share memories of the beloved 11-year-old.
After a choir song and Native American prayer, the Wetterling family took to the stage to give thanks to everyone who helped with the search – asking law enforcement, volunteers and "anyone here who has said a prayer" to stand up.
"We thank you all so much for your support," Jacob's father, Jacob Wetterling, said.
His mother Patty then pledged that the work her family has done through the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center raising awareness of the exploitation of children would continue.
"We won't give up, ever," she said. "Jacob, we'll still carry you in our hearts and our love for you will never die."
Jacob's siblings also spoke, with younger sister Carmen recounting a journey back from seeing 'Red Grammer' in concert when Jacob grabbed her foot to use it as a microphone as they sang his songs.
Red Grammer was then introduced, playing Jacob's favorite song, "Listen," before friends of the Wetterling family and of Jacob's came up to share their recollections.
The event was attended by dignitaries including Gov. Mark Dayton, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.