Almost 27 years after Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped from the side of the road in rural Minnesota, his remains have been found.
The Stearns County Sherrif’s Office confirmed that the boy, who went missing when he was 11, have been located and identified in a statement issued on September 3.
"The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office today confirms that Jacob Wetterling’s remains have been
located. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner and a forensic odontologist identified the remains as Wetterling’s earlier today.
"We didn't want Jacob's story to end this way," read a statement from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.
"Our hearts are heavy, but we are being held up by all of the people who have been a part of making Jacob's Hope a light that will never be extinguished. ... Jacob, you are loved."
Jacob was abducted on October 22, 1989, while out riding his bike with his brother and a friend. A masked gunman approached the trio and reportedly grabbed Jacob and told the others to run or else he would shoot, reports CNN.
After almost three decades of investigation, no arrests were ever made, however additional DNA testing will be conducted on the remains, and police hope to have more answers in the coming weeks.
According to the Associated Press a “person of interest” led police to a field in central Minnesota last week.
Following Jacob’s disappearance, his family became advocates for families of missing children lobbying for tougher laws against sex offenders.
In 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was implemented and led to the creation of a national sex offender and crimes against children registry.