“A Shot In The Dark”: MN Looks Again At 1989 Missing-Child Case


Revisiting a famous missing-child case, several dozen local and state law enforcement officers, with help from the FBI, descended unexpectedly on a Minnesota farm this week to look for evidence in the 1989 disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, then 11. By Thursday night, they’d completed their work, hauling out six dump-truck loads of dirt. They gave no indication whether they’d found anything that might lead them to Jacob or an arrest, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The intensity of the work — involving as many as 17 cars or trucks — transfixed a state and raised hopes that maybe, just maybe, investigators might hit on something. Stearns County authorities declined to comment about the case, saying a court order barred them from speaking. One law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation described the continuing search efforts as “a shot in the dark.” Another official said the search was initiated by the work of two young agents who, after taking a fresh look at the case file, said, “Maybe we should go take a look.” The official said no new tips sparked the search, adding that the investigators were simply working off a hunch.

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