I was hired by KSTP-TV to do some courtroom sketching today in St. Paul. Quick background: In 1989 eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted by a masked gunman and has never been seen since. Whatever became of Jacob remains a mystery. Since then Wetterling has become something of a poster child for abducted children and his parents have become high-profile advocates for children’s safety. Everyone Minnesotan who was old enough to be paying attention to the news in 1989 is very familiar with the Wetterling story.
Recently the police have named a “person of interest” in the Wetterling case. Daniel Heinrich was arrested on child pornography charges. DNA evidence has linked him to another child abduction and it is strongly suspected that he may also be the one who abducted Jacob. However Heinrich denies any involvement and as of yet there is no proof that he took Wetterling.
Today was Heinrich’s preliminary hearing on the child pornography charges. I was hired by KSTP-5 to sketch the proceedings. The entire thing only took 90 minutes so I did the best I could in that brief time. Heinrich is on the far right wearing yellow.
The Wetterling family has endured decades of pain and grief not knowing what ever happened to their son. It would be so great to see the curtain of mystery finally lifted so they can get some closure. While that hasn’t happened yet, it’s encouraging to know that we may be one big step closer.