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FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office, shows Daniel Heinrich. Patty Wetterling, the mother of Jacob Wetterling, missing since 1989, said Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 that his remains have been found. Heinrich, who authorities have called a person of interest in the 1989 kidnapping, denied any involvement and was not charged with that crime. But he has pleaded not guilty to several federal child pornography charges. (Sherburne County Sheriff's Office via AP )

Minnesota man confesses to 1989 murder of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling


A Minnesota man confessed Tuesday to abducting and murdering 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989. 

Danny Heinrich, 53, admitted to the murder while also pleading guilty to federal pornography charges, according to CBS News. 

When asked whether he abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered the Minnesota boy, Heinrich replied: "Yes, I did." 

Heinrich led authorities to Jacob's remains last week and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office positively identified the remains Saturday. 

In court, Heinrich said he abducted Jacob from a road near the boy's home in St. Joseph, Minnesota, on Oct. 22, 1989. 

According to CBS News, authorities named Heinrich a person of interest in the case last year when he was arrested on child pornography charges. 

Heinrich reportedly gave disturbing details of the attack. 

CBS Minnesota's Nina Moini live tweeted Heinrich's confession. During the confession, Heinrich reportedly said he handcuffed Jacob and put him in his car. 

Heinrich recalled Jacob asking him, "What did I do wrong?" 

He also described sexually assaulting the 11-year-old in a rural area of Paynesville, Minnesota, according to Moini. 

Heinrich said he panicked later that day and killed Jacob. He reportedly went home for awhile before burying the boy's body. 

Moini reported that Heinrich threw the child's shoes into a body of water after realizing he forgot to bury them. 

Heinrich also admitted to checking the burial site one year later. When he realized Jacob's red jacket was visible, he transferred the remains to a nearby farm. 

Jacob's mother, Patty Wetterling, became a national advocate for missing children after her son's abduction.

Patty and Jerry Wetterling went on to found the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center which helps communities prevent child exploitation. 

Patty Wetterling spoke shortly after Heinrich's confession. 

Heinrich's lawyers are working with federal prosecutors over some sort of plea deal.


For more news, check out today's 60 Second Circa. 

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