No additional charges for man who admitted to abducting, killing Jacob Wetterling in 1989
Danny Heinrich (L), Jacob Wetterling (R)

via WITI:

MINNEAPOLIS -- (WITI) -- A plea deal for the killer of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling calls for no charges in the boy’s death.

Danny Heinrich admitted abducting, sexually assaulting and shooting Jacob on Oct. 22, 1989, in a crime that horrified and mystified Minnesotans for more than a quarter-century.

His admission came in federal court in Minneapolis as he pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge.

Heinrich faces the statutory maximum of 20 years on the child pornography count, though Judge John Tunheim will decide his sentence. Heinrich could also be civilly committed to the state’s sexual offender program after his prison sentence ends.

Heinrich led authorities to Jacob’s body last week after initially denying involvement in his death.

Authorities named Heinrich as a person of interest last October when they announced the child pornography charges.

Below is a timeline of events related to the abduction of Wetterling:

  • Oct. 22, 1989: Jacob Wetterling, 11, is abducted from a rural road as he rode bikes with his brother and a friend by a masked gunman near his home about 80 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

  • Oct. 26, 1989: Deputies on horseback and hundreds of people search for Jacob, but find nothing.

  • Oct. 29, 1989: About 225 National Guard troops and 80 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources workers unsuccessfully search for clues. Supporters of the boy’s family release more than 1,000 white balloons after a church service.

  • December 1989: Investigators are deluged with tips after they release a new sketch of a suspect. Authorities also say they believe the man who kidnapped Jacob was responsible for the January 1989 abduction and sexual assault of a boy in nearby Cold Spring.

  • 1990: Jacob’s parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, set up the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, which works to help communities and families prevent child exploitation. Patty Wetterling becomes a national advocate for missing children.

  • October 1990: An FBI spokesman says about 2,000 people have been interviewed. More than 700 people attend an anniversary vigil less than two miles from where Jacob was taken.

  • 1994: Congress passes the Jacob Wetterling Act, legislation for a sex offender registry.

  • 2004: Patty Wetterling runs as a Democrat against Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy in Minnesota’s 6th District. She loses by 30,000 votes in her first political campaign but does not rule out a future run.

  • 2006: Patty Wetterling again runs for Congress but loses to Republican Michele Bachmann.

  • 2010: Investigators spend two days searching and digging at a farm near where Jacob Wetterling was last seen. The sheriff later says forensic tests on items taken from the farm show no link to the crime.

  • Oct. 29, 2015: Federal authorities say a Minnesota man is a “person of interest.” Danny Heinrich, of Annandale, is arrested on unrelated child pornography charges. Heinrich denies involvement in Jacob’s disappearance and has not been charged in the case.

  • Sept. 3, 2016: Authorities confirm that Jacob’s remains have been found and positively identified. Additional DNA testing will be conducted.

  • Sept. 6, 2016: Heinrich confesses in detail to abducting and killing Wetterling in court while pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges.

FULL STORY: No additional charges for man who admitted to abducting, killing Jacob Wetterling in 1989

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