The men in the woods

Hello blogosphere… it’s been a while.

If it seems like things have quieted down a bit lately, I think it’s because maybe they have… at least for me. That’s not to say I’ve given up or shifted my focus, but I will admit that after all the positive energy we helped generate in Jacob’s case last summer, our little rag-tag justice league is feeling a bit… well, defeated.

I know we have definitely shaken the tree. I have talked to many different people, taken copious notes, organized hundreds of tips, and passed along numerous credible leads to Stearns County, the FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Information moved very quickly, and at times, it became completely overwhelming. But I kept at it because we all felt like we were doing something important… like we were making a difference… and that we might be getting closer to finding an answer for the Wetterlings.

And then, the 25th anniversary came and went. On a beautiful fall day, with unseasonably warm temperatures much like they were in 1989, the entire state of Minnesota mourned the passing of the 25th anniversary of Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance. Twenty five years… what a blow. It was a milestone none of us wanted to acknowledge, in part because it’s just so unbelievable. How could this child still be missing after 25 years, with no trace and no answers?

Karla Hult from KARE-11 News put together a story that ran on Monday, October 20th, two days before the anniversary. (If you missed it, here’s a link.) It was hard to watch, mostly because I know what the Wetterlings have been through this past year. Usually the anniversary marks a hopeful time when new tips come in and new leads are generated. But this year, October 22nd came and went with still no answers… no feedback about the hundreds of tips we had helped generate, and no acknowledgement of any kind that all the work we had done had made any difference at all. Talk about defeating.

So, now what? Where do we go from here?

Well, for me, it’s back to square one. I was talking to someone just last week who asked me what my motive was in all this. What did I hope to gain by blogging about Jacob’s case? I didn’t even have to think twice about my answer. It’s the same reason I’ve given all along. My goal is simply to keep people talking… to keep “thinking Jacob”… and to get people to share their stories so that someone might possibly remember the one tiny detail that could be the key to solving the case. I’ve been very intentional about who I’ve interviewed, talking only to people who have a direct connection to Jacob’s case. So far, that seems to have worked well.

And so, with all that being said, I have a new story to share.

I was recently contacted by a young man who was the same age as Jacob and rode the same school bus. A few weeks ago, I met up with him and another friend of his from the old neighborhood. Later, they also put me in contact with three other neighborhood friends. This whole group has a pretty amazing story to tell.

In the summer and fall of 1989, this group of young teenagers spent nearly every day biking or riding go-karts through the woods just north of the site where Jacob was abducted. They also knew about the “party spot” in the woods, which I first heard about from Kevin back in 2013. (See my previous post, “A few answers… many more questions“) However, according to these young men, there wasn’t just one party spot in the woods; there were four.

Back in 1989, woods covered much of the area to the north and west of the abduction site. That land has since been developed into single-family houses, but back then, it was a popular hangout spot for the under 21 crowd.

The following map was created for me by one of the young men who used to live in the neighborhood. The green area shows where the woods and bike trails used to be. The blue area used to be a big open field, and the red circles show where the party spots were. (Note, I’m still waiting to hear back on the location of the fourth party spot.) The orange circle shows the abduction site.

Green areas were wooded and where bike trails located - Blue open field - Red party pits

In the days preceding Jacob’s abduction, this group of boys was riding along the trails on the west side of 16th Avenue, and happened to notice an older man who was sitting on a log, off in the brush. He appeared to be writing things down in a notebook.

Right away, I asked the young men if this was the art student who had been seen sketching in the area. They didn’t know what I was talking about, so I clued them in. Not long after the abduction, police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver of a red compact car who had been seen in the neighborhood and acting suspiciously. After an article ran in the St. Cloud Times which included a composite sketch of the suspect and a description of the red compact car, a young man came forward and admitted to being in the area making sketches for his art class. He was later cleared.

The young men I talked to don’t believe this was the same guy. Their guy was older, in his 50s, with balding gray hair. Also, another tidbit this young man remembers is that the guy’s car (or, what he assumes was the guy’s car) was parked on the edge of the woods, near what is now Klinefelter Park. It was not a red compact car, but a wood-paneled station wagon.

After they came forward with their tip, two FBI agents showed up at their school and took them to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department to make a statement. They were asked to create a composite sketch of the man they had seen in the woods, and were taken to separate rooms. Each boy worked with his own sketch artist, and after all was said and done, their sketches appeared almost identical.

I asked them if their sketches had ever been released to the public, but they weren’t sure. I don’t ever recall seeing a sketch or hearing about this particular lead, and I’ve read nearly every issue of the St. Cloud Times from October 23, 1989 through 1990. So, I decided to give Stearns County a call and ask if I could get a copy of the sketches. I was told I could not… because it is still an open investigation.

So, all I can tell you about the two sketches (based on what I’ve been told) is that they very closely resemble the sketches of all the other mean-looking bald men that were released in this case. Maybe that was their reasoning back in the day for not releasing these sketches… because they felt it would be confusing to the public. Who knows, but that would make some sense.

As it turns out, this gray-haired, note-taking bald man was not the only suspicious character the boys saw in the woods during that timeframe. On a different day, one of the boys also witnessed a younger man, late 20s or early 30s, who was up in a tree with a clipboard. He was fairly skinny, with dark brown hair and a baseball cap. They were riding go-karts that day, and when they came back through the same area about an hour later, the guy was in a different tree. They didn’t think much of it at the time, assuming he was a student from St. John’s who was working on some kind of class project. Again, I asked if the guy in the tree was the art student, and again, the reply was, “I don’t know.”

So, now I’m left with a lot of questions, and probably, you are, too. Go ahead and leave your comments, and maybe together we can find some answers.

As always, thanks for following along and #ThinkingJacob.

NEXT: A great article from the Marshall Independent…


  1. Thanks again Joy for your diligence. I will keep hoping and praying.

  2. Maybe this has already been covered or asked, but did Delbert Huber own any vehicle resembling the station wagon, or the other 2 suspicious cars? Also, I understand his home was destroyed; was it ever searched or could the grounds still be searched? Thanks for all you’re doing.

  3. Please don’t feel defeated Joy, keep up the great work!

  4. I don’t think any of these guys who were in the woods is the abductor. One seems too old the other too young. That and why would the abductor be walking around in the woods nowhere near the Wetterlings? And why would he be in the woods anyway and on the west side no less? He came out of Rassier’s driveway. The smart ones know he had a car in the driveway and the dumb ones think he walked. Well I am here to tell you he drove and used the driveway and therefore had no reason to be hiding in the woods way north of Jacob’s house. If he was repeatedly going into the woods to stalk on Jacob he most likely would have devised a plan that involved the woods other than just having the boys run into it. That and although those cars were mentioned before by some people in previous interviews neither one was a blue car similar to a chevy celebrity which he know belongs to the abductor and have heard was possibly in the area based on the testimony of the two boys that were chased down weeks prior to Jacob’s abduction. Also you have an area with trails and woods right in the town of course people are going to be back there. Also old bald white guys all look alike you aint gonna sketch one old guy differently than the next.

  5. It’s just beyond time that the police gave some more details on this case. They need to answer some of the questions everyone has on all you have discovered. They need to allow us some insight into the tips that have been received. I too feel deflated after all the building excitement of the last few months has yet again changed nothing in this story. There’s no point preserving all these clues for future prosecution if there is never anyone caught to prosecute and Jacob is never found. Number one priority is to find Jacob.

  6. Cynthia Robinson |

    Joy, you are an awesome investigator. I could use some of your tactics, in the suspicious death of my son, Joshua. Joshua Robinson

  7. I agree with you Derek. Hoping they’re still investigating the credible leads you passed along Joy. The public should get more involved, and maybe do some of their own investigating, like you are. It’s a difficult process, and I fear some leads aren’t thoroughly investigated.

    Don’t give up Joy! I, and I’m sure many others, appreciate you’re hard work!

  8. I’ve been following your blog for months now and I too felt deflated after yet another anniversary passed. I’m angry at whatever person(s) took Jacob. I’m angry at law enforcement for not finding Jacob or the perpetrator after 25 years. I’m angry that the people who know what happened haven’t come forward. And I’m most angry at the prospect we may never know what happened unless more people start talking. Please never give up Joy. You have uncovered so much. I have some random thoughts/questions: Does law enforcement follow this blog and read the comments? There was one comment a couple of months ago that I actually read to my husband because it seemed so strange. It could be nothing, but who knows unless someone follows up.
    Another thought: How can the community create a dialogue with Stearns County to allow new people (new detectives assigned, a private investigator, the FBI, or even you Joy) access to facts or evidence? Do the Wetterlings support facts of the case not being made public? Do the Wetterlings feel they can speak honestly about the investigators and the lack of progress of the investigation without fear of the county putting the case on the back-burner? Has the FBI ever looked into the possibility of Jacob being taken by a member of law enforcement? I don’t relish putting Stearns County in a bad light, but it’s been too many years not to ask these questions.

  9. Can you tell us what John Walsh thinks about this case at this point; and what he suggests the next steps should be for investigators as well as the public to help with this case? Thanks Joy for all that you have done. Sandy

  10. Hi Joy. I can certainly empathize with the frustration you feel. After all of your hard work, it must get so discouraging to feel not much closer to an answer. I think we all just have to keep trying to put ourselves (which I’m sure you probably do), in the Wetterlings’ shoes – the unresolved anguish, outrage and frustration they must never stop feeling. When you look at it from that perspective, we simply just can’t give up. There is no choice but to keep going.

    I think you have made tremendous progress. The maddening thing is why can’t Sterns County PD confirm they are making any progress from the tips you help generate??!! That seems really unfair. We are not asking for details, but why can’t we at least get a progress report?

    I am with Emily and Derek above. Some really strong evidence points to Delbert Huber. Why has no effort been made (or so it seems) to at least search the grounds of his old residence??? The took truckloads of dirt from the Rassier farm, why can’t they do the same for Delbert’s property?

    I think the sketch we should be paying the most attention to is the one generated by Jared, who was kidnapped, assaulted but then released, nine months prior to Jacob. The FBI is thoroughly convinced it is the same man who took Jacob. To me Jared’s sketch looks very different from the sketch of the bald guy seen at Tom Thumb. And it is Jared’s sketch that most resembles Delbert Huber. If Delbert was around 81 when he died recently that should put him in his 50s back in 1989 I believe. It always seemed to me Jared’s attacker was younger than that, but if a 50ish bald guy seems to be one of the suspects, I find that interesting. Delbert also had the very unique, signature raspy voice.

    I also strongly believe Jacob’s and Jared’s perpetrator was the same man who stalked the boys in Jacob’s neighborhood right before his abduction. Focus on the car in that incident (the blue celebrity?). What do those boys remember the about what the guy looked like, his demographic?

    I agree with Derek that the man who took Jacob probably had a getaway car stashed in the Rassier’s driveway. From the accounts Dan Rassier gave of the suspicious cars turning around in his driveway earlier on the day of Jacob’s abduction, it seems to make sense. I believe Jacob’s perpetrator may have owned both the blue Chevy celebrity AND the lighter brown car with the super long hood. Didn’t Dan see both in his driveway the day of the abduction? I think this guy was very driven to perfect his method of taking children. To me it would seem calculating on his part to use two cars to potentially confuse witnesses and avoid been identified as easily.

    I know it may be like finding a needle in a haystack, but why can’t the Stearns County police start with DMV records of people who owned those types of cars back in 1989? Why has no one looked into DMV records of Delbert Huber to see what kind of cars he drove through out his life? Maybe even the police should look at stolen car reports back in 1989? Maybe these different cars were not registered at all, maybe the perpetrator swapped out the cars he used by stealing different cars?

    It’s seems to me one of the stronger links in finding this man would be the cars he drove. I just really have a gut feeling about the blue car and the car with the long hood. I think it’s possible he owned both of them.

  11. Joy,

    I’ve read all of your blog since the beginning. You are doing an amazing job. Keep up the good work. Like all the others are saying, please try not to get too discouraged. I’m wondering if Delbert or his son have any prior convictions from around 1989ish where there would be a mug shot on record? Can anyone get a hold of any pictures of them around that time frame where maybe Jared could look at a photo line up? Or maybe they could be identified or cleared as the “men in the woods”? I’m almost positive you have already asked yourself these questions, but it’s just something on my mind. Please keep going! You will get there!

  12. Donavon Mickelson |

    I would just like to say that Stearns County Sheriffs Dept. is the agency in charge of the case. It is not the Police Dept. The investigating agency might also be able to allow SOME extra information to go out to the public but not EVERYTHING. The reason for this is so that they will know some information that ONLY the killer AND the Law Enforcement agency know about and in that way it might solve the crime. In a case in Faribault County from 1980, a Minnesota State Patrol officer raped and killed a female hitchhiker. No one knew who killed her and she is still not identified to this date. The ONE piece of information that the Faribault County Sheriffs Dept. and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation did NOT share was that the killer pulled the fingernails out of the victims hands. Nine years after the murder, the former State Patrolman admitted his guilt after his minister asked him while he was in prison in Texas for sexually abusing his own sons, if there was anything else he would like to admit to in order to clear his mind. He stated that he killed a female hitchhiker while he worked for the State Patrol in Minnesota. The Faribault County investigators brought him back to Minnesota and while questioning him, he said that he pulled the fingernails out of the victims fingers when she wouldn’t give in to his sexual demands. THAT is the reason Law Enforcement cannot give out their so called Trump hands. Once he told Law Enforcement about the fingernails being pulled out, they knew they had the right man since he and the Law Enforcement were the ONLY ones who knew the killer did this.

  13. I think we all understand those instances where vital pieces of information are withheld in order to identify the correct perp but there seems to be no info coming from investigators on this case other than constantly saying they can’t comment on an open case. There are so many people discussing this case and that, along with Joy’s good work could really help progress the case if even a few more details were released.

  14. Joy,

    I too have read every single entry you’ve made about Jacob Wetterling and I too understand why you are feeling deflated. You’ve done an amazing job and we all admire your determination. Today, in B.C., Canada, a 35 year-old case about 2 11 year-old girls that were kidnapped has just been solved and the perpetrator arrested. For one of the little girls, it took 17 years before her body was found. I read about the joy the mothers felt at the news, just to have received an answer to their question – who did this to my little girl? and it gave me hope.

    Thank you for your hard work Joy.

  15. I think if they have a couple open investigations, they can’t share details, because this could tip off the suspect, and it could compromise their investigation.

    It’s frustrating, because those who care about this investigation, and finding answers about Jacob, want to know if they ARE actively investigating leads.
    If they could only give a hint, this would give hope……

  16. Donavon Mickelson |

    Joy’s site has caused people to become involved and talk and share information. Maybe in the near future the right person might come clean and tell what they know or maybe someone else was abducted and not killed and is still too scared to talk about it. This has happened in the past and if it is true, that person needs to be ascertained that they will be protected and be able to get counseling if needed.

  17. I too have been following joy and this case from the beginning of Jacobs kidnapping. I don’t think the agency that was investigating it had any experience with this type of thing, therefore a lot of mistakes and things were over looked. I don’t know if we will ever find answers unless he shows up or his remains are found. Very depressing!

    Do they have a database put together for all the counties in the U.S to share info. On john Does? He has to be some where, maybe not around here

    Jacob’s brother and friend should be able to identify or be pretty sure if it was a neighbor or that guy that died in prison.


  18. Debbie Johnson |

    Every bit of information has so much power to help solve Jacob’s abduction, and provide answers to his family.

    I imagine there are more people that hold very valuable information needed to solve this mystery. Some may think their memories could not make a difference. Some may be afraid to share what they know.

    And, there is most likely a person out there, that has always wondered, “Could (______) have been involved?” They don’t want their gut feelings to be true. And, what if they are wrong? It is much easier to do nothing, than risk being wrong about family or friend.

    But…what if a person could state their suspicions to an outside, unbiased Investigator, and remain Anonymous? No posting on the internet, no phone calls back from Detectives, no one knocking at your door, and no Stearns County involvement. No one would ever know.

    There is such an organization. They are called the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). Their phone number is (763)569-8000. If writing a letter, would work better, the address is: FBI, 150 Freeway Blvd., Brooklyn Center, MN 55430.

  19. Very well stated Debbie Johnson! There IS information, and there are people who can help.

    It’s just a matter of people uniting to help each other solve this massive puzzle. We all have to be open to every possibility, for Jacob’s family. If you have important information to share, the Minneapolis FBI and NCMEC is a great place to start.

    Thanks for Sharing that Debbie!

  20. Donavon Mickelson |

    Well put Debbie.

  21. Meredith based on your comment it makes it sound like I think that Delbert Huber was the abductor which he most certainly was not. Nobody and I mean nobody would commit multiple acts of child molestation that stop for several decades just to kill a guy that borrowed 50 dollars. That and lets look at this hypothetically lets say he did have something to do with Jacob’s abduction he obviously did one hell of a job hiding the body. So why would he have done such a terrible job killing that teacher. That and Delbert Huber died in his 80s which means that he would have been 55-60 years old around the time of the abductions the oldest portrayal of the abductor is 40-50 meaning 50 is the max age he could have been. But most of the victims place him at being more mid 30s. Therefore he would have been too old. That and his vehicle doesn’t match a blue chevy celebrity or any of the vehicles that were mentioned being seen he had a white van. That and he didn’t have a deep gravely voice I mean if that is your interpretation of a deep gravely voice than we are on two very different levels. You know what I think a smart idea would be try to find something like a sound file or record someones voice that is as close to the sound of the abductor’s voice. get a real idea of what this guy sounded like I mean really we have the technology and we have Jared so why the hell not?

  22. Donavon Mickelson |

    There was a way and probably IS a way to check who owned vehicles and what type and brand of vehicles they owned. This was called an “Alphabetical 28”. A 28 was short for 10-28 which was the code for requesting a vehicle license plate check for the owner of a vehicle.
    An Alphabetical 28 was like a REVERSE 10-28 so the requesting officer could give the dispatcher the name and possibly the date of birth and/or address of a person and the State of Minnesota would teletype a list of all the vehicles that were listed in that persons name.
    I don’t know how far back they would save them and they might possibly have them in files in a film or microchip. I would doubt it. I am a saver but you can’t save everything. I still know license plate numbers from cars that were back in the 1960’s. They might not be important today but it’s my my own private microchip. LOL

  23. Hi Derek. My gut thought when first I read about Delbert was he is NOT the perpetrator. I still have significant doubts about it being Delbert. Based on the witness accounts and other things I have read, my intuition said the abductor was at least a decade younger than Delbert. Joy wrote in her blog about how the Paynesville perpetrator “Chester the Molester” , would chase and tackle these young men through out the town. To me that suggests this man had to be fairly strong and agile – probably no older than 45.

    What really began to make me think twice about Delbert were the following. Please correct me if I am wrong about some of the details:

    1) He is originally from Paynesville and I am pretty sure he lived there at the time of the attacks. (I believe he later moved though.)
    2) Jared said, other than the raspy voice, one of the VERY distinct physical characteristics about his abductor was that his ears stuck way out from the side of his head. Delbert’s ears stick out from the side of his head. I saw Delbert’s mug shot posted somewhere online. I forget where. However, one person (probably not even knowing Jared’s story) posted a comment about how freaky Delbert’s ears were – they said something to affect of “they look like they are going to detach and float off the side of his head”. I personally don’t think it’s that dramatic, but it made me wonder.
    3) Delbert does have a unusual quality to his voice – maybe “scratchy” would be a better way to describe it. Its sounds like his vocal cords are a bit damaged somehow.
    4) The person in the Paynesville attacks wore a distinct navy blue jacket with orange lining. Joy even posted a picture of this type of jacket on her blog. One of Delbert’s neighbors said he has seen him that jacket.
    5) Joy wrote a blog post about the psychological profiles of pedophiles who abduct vs. those that don’t abduct. A large majority of pedophiles have been abused physically and sexually as children. Delbert admitted to being abused physically/sexually as a child, and abused his own son supposedly.
    6) The drawing of the suspect, generated by Jared’s description, looks similar to Delbert when he was younger. You can find the comparison if you Google Delbert’s images.

    I agree with you however, there are some things about Delbert that don’t fit. You would figure if it were him, he would have not stopped or not been able to stop himself from continuing to abuse boys in that town. All instances in that radius from Paynesville to St. Joseph(?) stop after Jacob, which is baffling. The Paynesville attacks can be traced back to a few years before Jacob’s abduction- then Jared 9 months prior, the other boys stalked in Jacob’s neighborhood a few weeks prior, then Jacob.

    I think since the police were involved almost immediately with Jacob, it was the closest the offender ever came to being caught. Jared said his abductor had a police scanner in his car. He may have then had the scanner with him, and was actively listening to it, when he kidnapped Jacob. He would have known the police were immediately on it, and that may be why he didn’t let Jacob go. He also probably had a real wake-up call in terms of how close he came to getting caught. Prior to Jacob, he seemed very cocky and brazen in his approach with these boys. The police were never an issue in those instances, and that made him braver and braver. Jacob may have given him a dose of reality that he was not invincible.

    So if it was Delbert, or anyone for that matter, this may have scared him just enough to change his M.O. Is it possible Delbert, if he is guilty, could have found other ways to indulge his sickness – like targeting boys further away by traveling on occasion? Did Jacob scare him into becoming a lot more covert and careful? Or is in not Delbert at all, but rather an individual who fled a significant distance from the area?

    This perpetrator new these parts of Minnesota extremely well. Is a person who is that much of a local able to violate their comfort zones enough to move far away? Or would they be more comfortable staying in town and drastically change their M.O.? That could explain why the offender never left the area, they didn’t have the skills to establish themselves somewhere else. So in that instance, it could still be Delbert.

    Delbert killed his neighbor Tim after they had a fight that blew way up over $50? Was that really the only reason? Perhaps Tim Larson knew or found out something that could connect Delbert to Jacob? I found it interesting that “Before being sentenced for murdering Tim Larson, Delbert Huber said in court he had shot Larson in part because he had accused him of being involved in the Wetterling case.” Hmmm… Did Tim Larson strike too close a nerve there with Delbert?

    What deters me the most from Delbert is his age however. He does seem too old to commit these attacks. If it was him, he must have just barely young enough. Could it be he seemed younger than his age in 1989? Sometimes people do look a lot younger than their biological age. The sketch of the suspect at Tom Thumb depicts a man in his 50s? But to me Jared’s sketch strikes me more of a man who is in his 30s or 40s. I really don’t know of course, just speculating.

    I think Derek said too, Delbert’s cars don’t match witness accounts… That also leads me to believe just may it isn’t Delbert.

    I just think I would feel better if Delbert was completely investigated and cleared. I am not sure if that has happened, like maybe investigators didn’t bother looking in to him that closely.

    Please know I am highly suspicious of Delbert Huber, but I am most definitely open to the possibility it is not him. I just feel a lot more work needs to be done before he is fully dismissed as a suspect.

  24. I don’t recall seeing anyone suggest here that there was a team that committed the abduction of Jacob. Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of ‘Criminal Minds’ but it seems to me like it could be possible that it was a team of two males working together; we (public and law enforcement) should seriously consider if our profile about one perp is correct. There have been cases of such teams who committed horrible kidnappings and murders together; some were two males working together and other times a male and female. I’ve also been wondering for a while now if perhaps the reason the perp seemed to stop offending was because he/they didn’t kill Jacob but rather kept him alive somewhere. I really am starting to think that this may be a case that is never solved. There was a kidnapping of a young female babysitter from La Crosse, Wi back in the 1950’s that was never solved and that haunted me while growing up in that community. I’m really afraid that Jacob and so many others like him will never receive the justice they deserve here on earth. But I sincerely hope for the Wetterlings that I’m wrong about that and someone will eventually be prosecuted and convicted in their lifetime.

  25. Thoughtful and thought-provoking comment, Meredith. Enjoyed reading it.

  26. Dear Joy,
    You’re such a wonderful person for devoting so many hours to discover the real truth about Jacob’s disappearance and Jared’s assault. Thank you, Joy, for exposing the dangerous sexual predator who physically and mentally harmed so many children in Paynesville. I’m certain the FBI and sheriff’s office also appreciate your unbiased opinions and investigative skills.

    Amy Pagnac disappeared the same year as Jacob and your specific skills, Joy, are essential in finding her. Amy’s and Jacob’s disappearances could be related. Because you recently blew the lid off Jacob’s investigation near the area where Amy disappeared, you are most qualified to interview witnesses and her devastated family. Like the Wetterlings, Amy’s loving, soft spoken, devoted parents have waited decades for the FBI to solve her case, but they’ve received no answers. Amy’s parents and their community need you to investigate her disappearance. Please investigate this case, Joy.

  27. Becky, I am curious as to why you think Amy Pagnac’s disappearance and Jacob Wetterling’s abduction could be related.

  28. Donavon Mickelson |

    Julie Tremp; thank you for your letter involving your case. I can see that you have worked harder than just about anyone on a case such as this.
    One of my biggest concerns with the Wetterling case is that I believe too many people are looking at composite photos and believing that this is the person who abducted Jacob. It is a possibility but it might not be a fact. NO ONE knows what Jacobs abductor looks like since he had a mask on and did not take it off at any time that anyone could see EXCEPT for Jacob. I am just saying that I think the public might be focusing on someone who looks like the sketch of a man possibly involved in an earlier case. I wonder how many people may have had a suspect in mind and then when the sketch came out, they felt that their idea of who it might be isn’t worth reporting.
    I have MY suspect in this case and am not afraid to tell or talk about him. I just feel that others might have THEIR suspect and report what they might know about him. Some people might be afraid to report or say something because they think that others might see it as “Stupid”. That time is long gone and I would really like to see this case solved.
    I printed out an aerial photo of the area where Jacob was abducted several years ago and I think the woods where the kids played might have had a lot to do with the suspect I have in MY mind.
    Coax people to talk because SOMEONE knows more than they are telling.

  29. Thank you for your thoughtful reply Donavon, and I can completely appreciate where you’re coming from, and agree with you. It looks like you did quite a bit of your own research and work as well. You give us a lot to think about.

    It’s a very humbling experience, and I’m forever grateful to those who made it possible to expose this predator, and especially to the brave men in Ohio. I know it was painful for all of them to drudge up the terrible nightmare they went through, and their courage made it possible to expose him.

    Sometimes it’s hard to be objective when you’re on a mission to get a serial pedophile put away, and when you know what he’s done to so many boys, but I am trying. Some of the boys he molested are old enough to be the grandfathers of his current victims. He’s still loose, and I know he’ll never stop assaulting/abusing boys. I hope he’s being investigated, and he’s put away soon.

    There could have been more than one predator in St. Joseph, St. Cloud, and Paynesville, and I think if everyone puts their thoughts, investigative research, and ideas together, there can be progress made, especially if we try to be open minded. Whether the suspect I wrote about is involved in any of these abductions or not, I’d still like to help with what I have learned over the last 2+ years. There’s rings of pedophiles, and it’s possible two predators knew each other, if there was two of them.

    This thing could be deeper, and more involved than anyone ever imagined. Pedophiles know other pedophiles that work in high positions, and they can build firewalls to protect each other.

    Joy, never, never, give up! Don’t let anyone wear you down, and know that you’ve opened a lot of eyes with your intensive research and hard work! You’ve inspired a lot of people to open conversations about this very tragic situation!

  30. they need to look at the Abbey and the grounds, that’s where they will find answers if there is anything left to find. Have felt strongly about that from the beginning

  31. My name is Eric, was watching the hunt . and started going over time/timing when I was 9 in Ashland Ne I was walking to a baseball game near the highway and I had a guy in a blue car approach me, I was on his passenger side of car and he pointed at me asked if I needed a ride I stopped to hear him and he started to get out and I ran to my coach in little league 2 blocks away. The car was a 64-67 blue Chevy camaro I remember it clearly, it was July 1988.

  32. Eric Guy, thank you for sharing your experience and information. Since your post was made public, I immediately began searching for any correlation to Jacob’s abduction and Jared’s molestation back here in Minnesota. Your information could be very helpful. Thank you for coming forward and sharing.

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