MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The latest on federal authorities in Minnesota announcing the identification of a person of interest in the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, whose mother became a national advocate for the cause of missing children after his abduction in 1989 (all times local):
Danny Heinrich's white, one-story home sat empty Thursday with a white Chrysler sedan in the driveway, on a residential street corner near a school.
In the house next door, with children's toys and strollers out front, Megan Champlin described her neighbor as "kind of a hermit," generally leaving the house only for work or to sit in the backyard.
The 28-year-old mother of three kids said she never expected anything amiss with Heinrich in the two years since her family moved in until Heinrich told her husband about the July search warrant — and the child pornography that police found.
But even then, Champlin said the significance didn't hit her until law enforcement announced his arrest and described him as a "person of interest" in Wetterling's abduction on Thursday.
"What? That was living next to us?" she said, describing her emotions as she watched the press conference. "It's kind of a gut-wrenching feeling."
Federal authorities say a Minnesota man is a "person of interest" in the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, whose mother became a national advocate for the cause of missing children after his abduction in 1989.
They made the announcement at a news conference Thursday. A 52-year-old Minnesota man was arrested Wednesday on several child pornography charges.
An application for a search warrant in that case says that authorities wanted to search for items including human remains, a red T-shirt with the name Wetterling on the back and a red hockey team jacket with the name Jacob stitched on the front.
The search was carried out July 28.
Wetterling was 11 when he was abducted Oct. 22, 1989, near his home in the central Minnesota community of St. Joseph.
Patty and Jerry Wetterling issued a statement asking for help in the case of their missing son Jacob as authorities investigated a man with possible ties to the boy's abduction in 1989.
"The search for Jacob is an ongoing investigation and we will watch and learn like everyone else. Right now we know what is being reported. We know what you all know," they said.
The Wetterlings also thanked everyone involved in the investigation so far.
"We are so grateful for the prayers, the support and the hope shared in our search for Jacob and the search for answers," they said.