It was the news that no one wanted to hear. The search for 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling came to an end this past weekend after the Stearns county Sheriff’s Office confirmed his remains were found.
Susan Lorance sat in Lu’s Cafe in Annandale with her granddaughter as she recalled when the story first broke. Her daughter was only two years old when Wetterling was abducted and since that day she always kept her eyes on her daughter.
“It was a big deal when it happened. My daughter was two years old and after that day I always warned her. Don’t talk to strangers, don’t go to car doors or anything like that because it was a big deal in this small town neighborhood says, Lorance”
When Danny Heinrich was named a person of interest last October in regards to Wetterling’s disappearance, Lorance said it made her feel uneasy because at the time her granddaughter was attending Annandale Elementary.
“He was actually out there watching our kids. That was the creepiest thing to know that this person was living in our town. Who knows how many other kids he has done this to”
As the community tries to move on, one thing that brings them relief is that Heinrich no longer lives in their town.
“People like that should not be living anywhere period, but they should not be living in Annandale, where I live with my granddaughter”
Although, no words can ease the pain of the Wetterling’s Lorance says because of Patty Wetterling, children now have hope.
“I would like to thank Patty Wetterling, because of this whole thing we now have a registry for sex offenders and it really helps a lot”
The Stearns County Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office are in the “process of reviewing and evaluating new evidence” in the Wetterling case. Additional information is expected to be provided this week.
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