Patty Wetterling spoke with media organizations in a series of interviews this week, the first time she's spoken at length about recent developments related to the disappearance of her son, Jacob Wetterling, 26 years ago.
She told WCCO she and her husband Jerry have struggled in the wake of Danny Heinrich's arrest – it presented more and more questions, but at this point hasn't provided any more answers.
Heinrich was taken into custody in late October and charged with counts related to child pornography. He was described as a "person of interest" in Jacob's disappearance from St. Joseph, but not a suspect. Heinrich has denied any involvement.
Officials have also linked him to the January 1989 kidnapping and sexual assault of a 12-year-old Cold Spring boy through DNA, an incident that happened months before Jacob’s abduction. There were reports of several similar unsolved attacks in the Paynesville area around the same time.
In an interview with the Pioneer Press, Patty Wetterling said she's happy about the sudden interest in the case again, adding that while she wants to have answers, but she's not necessarily "hopeful" about Heinrich being the one who took Jacob.
"But if it is him, I am convinced they'll find out," she added.
She also told KSTP there are new leads in the investigation, though didn't get into details.
Community event Sunday
Her public conversations come in the lead-up to a community event in Paynesville.
The Wetterlings planned a Paynesville area meeting for Monday, billed as a "night of sharing and healing" for the community, KARE 11 reported.
Weather postponed the event – it's now slated for Sunday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m., at Paynesville High School.