Former MN TV reporter returns to investigate Jacob Wetterling case

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A former WCCO reporter is returning to Minnesota, on special assignment to help investigate the Jacob Wetterling case.

Caroline Lowe will work with KARE 11 reporters for a couple weeks, she wrote on her Facebook page recently, noting the last story she did for WCCO was an interview with Jacob's mother, Patty Wetterling.

"I've been wanting so much to be back in MN where I covered Jacob's investigation for so many years," the post says. "I keep Jacob's photo in our KSBY newsroom in CA, along with 'hope' stone Patty gave me. #‎jacobwetterling‬ #‎needanswers‬."

On the air Monday night, KARE 11 said it was "recommitting resources" to Wetterling's disappearance, and described the award-winning Lowe as "leading a team of journalists" with the coverage.

"Where's Jacob? Regardless of the evidence, regardless of who did it, where's Jacob?" Lowe says in the video.

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Lowe's return to the scene comes not even two weeks after the U.S. Attorney's Office named a "person of interest" – though stopped short of calling him a suspect – in the disappearance of Wetterling.

That man is Danny Heinrich, who is not charged in connection with the Wetterling case but is instead facing child porn charges. The 52-year-old from Annandale appeared in court last week. He has denied he was involved with Wetterling's abduction.

Lowe left in 2011 after 35 years with the Twin Cities station, WCCO wrote at the time. She picked up a managerial role with KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo, California.

More on Jacob Wetterling

Jacob was 11 years old when he went missing. He was biking with his brother and friend on Oct. 22, 1989, in his hometown of St. Joseph when he was kidnapped by a masked man with a gun.

His story has captivated Minnesotans and people across the country, and changed the way law enforcement officials search for missing kids across the U.S. It also prompted Jacob’s mother, Patty Wetterling, to work with families of other missing children. Even after 26 years, she has hope her son will be found.

Nearly every news outlet in the Twin Cities has taken an updated look at the case since the unrelated charges against Heinrich were filed.

The Star Tribune asked how likely it is someone could be charged for Wetterling's disappearance, calling it "tormentingly out of reach." The statute of limitations on most crimes has long past, meaning the only charge left is homicide – and that's only possible with a breakthrough discovery of evidence or a confession, the paper writes.

FOX 9 looked at a second "person of interest," a convicted pedophile, who knew Heinrich and years ago described the man to a private investigator as having many qualities that Wetterling's abductor reportedly had.

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WCCO just noted that it actually interviewed Heinrich in 1996 – using a hidden camera and microphone. During the talk, Heinrich said authorities kept saying "It's you. It's you," to which he replied, "No it isn't."

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