Trek 2016. Let’s do this thing.

I apologize for my lapse in posts lately. Ever since Danny Heinrich was arrested last October 29th, there have been countless times I’ve wanted to write something, but just… didn’t. Like everyone, I have a million questions swirling in my head, but I’ve chosen to stay quiet during this waiting phase so the investigators can do their investigating and the lawyers can do their lawyering. But man, the wheels of justice can grind agonizingly slow!

On May 11th, Heinrich’s attorneys submitted their laundry list of pre-trial motions, which included a motion to suppress evidence found during the search of Heinrich’s home last summer, a motion to suppress incriminating statements Heinrich made during that search, and a motion for a change of venue, preferably out of state.

On June 1st, federal prosecutors responded to the defense’s motions with a 46 page document, explaining why none of the evidence/statements should be suppressed and laying out in detail why Danny Heinrich is considered a person of interest in Jacob Wetterling’s kidnapping. It also makes strong connections to Jared’s assault and the Paynesville attacks. If you haven’t already, take a look for yourself. The court document makes for compelling reading, and I encourage you to read it and leave your own comments below. Here’s a link where you can download it on WCCO’s web site:

Download the June 1 court filing…

And, of course, there was another monumental court filing made last month. Jared Scheierl took advantage of the Minnesota Child Victim’s Act to sue Danny Heinrich in civil court. Under this act, which started May 24, 2013, adult survivors of childhood sex abuse had a three-year window of opportunity to file suit against their abusers in civil court. On May 11th, Jared and his attorneys charged Heinrich with one count of sexual battery and one count of false imprisonment. He seeks damages in excess of $50,000, yet realizes he will likely see none of it. For him, it’s about answers, and justice, and the chance to looks his assailant in the eye. But he’ll have to wait until Heinrich’s child pornography trial is over, which will start on July 11th… if all goes as planned.

So, we wait some more.

But in the mean time, I have something new and exciting to write about. From July 14-23, my son Jordan and I will be joining Jerry Wetterling and his annual group of trekkers on the 23rd Annual Wilderness Trek for JWRC. In spite of my irrational fear of grizzly bears and chipmunks (and not necessarily in that order), I’m actually going to do this thing!

Last year, I interviewed Jerry about the Wilderness Trek, along with Bill Simpson (Trek Leader) and Alison Feigh (Program Manager for the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center). (Read the interview here…) At that time, Jerry had just asked me to go along on last year’s trek, but I had a thousand reasons why I couldn’t go (mostly the grizzly/chipmunk thing). But this year, when he asked again, I said of course. Why not! How hard can it be!

Joy and Jordan

Joy and Jordan

So, on July 14th, Jordan and I will join 10-12 other trekkers on a van ride to Salida, Colorado where we will be “Trekking for Hope” in order to raise money for the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center. We will be beginning in the Buena Vista area and ending with the plan of climbing one of the many 14,000 ft peaks in the area.

Bill Simpson is our trek leader and has years of wilderness adventure experience. He donates his time and expertise to lead the trek and in return he asks all participants to collect pledges, which directly benefit the Center. Each of us pays our own expenses such as food, gas, first aid supplies etc.

Jordan and I have a goal of raising $5,000 for this year’s Trek fundraiser. As you all know, this has been a trying year for the Wetterlings, as well as Jared, and all the Paynesville victims. Last November, when we put together an informational meeting for the residents of Paynesville, the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center responded to the call. They made the two hour drive in the fog and were there to provide resources for families, residents, and victims. In fact, they are always there, with a a 24/7 Victim Assistance Helpline for families and communities around issues related to missing persons, abuse and exploitation.

What many people don’t realize is that Jerry and Patty Wetterling started the Jacob Wetterling Foundation on Jacob’s 12th birthday – February 17, 1990. It is a legacy of love… and hope… that continues to live on under the umbrella of the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center.

In 2015, JWRC trained 10,317 people at 110 different host sites, a 19% increase of people trained in 2014. In addition, the Center provided case management support to 36 new missing person cases in 2015 and 73 total cases with on-going support and advocacy.

We’re hoping you’ll join us in supporting the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center by considering a donation to the 2016 Wilderness Trek!

To donate online, go to https://foundation.gundersenhealth.org/protectkids. Under “Designation,” please choose “Trek Donation – Jacob Wetterling Resource Center,” and in the box that says “Special notes about this gift,” please add “Joy and Jordan.”

Checks can be made out to JWRC with TREK in the memo line. Mail to 16162 Golfview Rd NE, New London, MN 56273. If you’d like to receive a receipt, just let me know and I will get one to you. All donations to JWRC are 100% tax deductible.

Donations are preferred to be received by July 7th.

Thank you so much for your consideration! Much more to come!

NEXT: 25 more days…

4 Comments

  1. Darcy Jenkins-Holick |

    Thank you for your investment in this case!

  2. Grizzlies in Colorado??? I wish! You’ll only find dead and stuffed grizzlies in those parts. Enjoy your trip- such magnificent county!

    BTW, Ghost Grizzlies by Doug Peacock is a great book to read before heading to SW Colorado.

  3. What a great time you and your son will have in Colorado it’s beautiful! And for a good cause too. Can’t do better than that. But don’t worry about any ravenous bears or chipmunks, just remember you don’t have to outrun the chipmunk, just the person standing next to you! 😉 I hope you both have a great time.

  4. Woah! This is indeed an interesting read.

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