Wetterling Investigators Taking Fresh Look at Similar Cases - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Wetterling Investigators Taking Fresh Look at Similar Cases

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(KARE 11 TV) -- Investigators still looking for Jacob Wetterling nearly 25 years after he was abducted are taking a new look at the similarities between Jacob's disappearance in 1989 and the abductions of several other children just a couple of years earlier.

Wetterling, then just 11-years-old, was abducted on Oct. 22, 1989, in St. Joseph. The case remains open.

Earlier that year a 12-year-old Cold Spring boy named Jared was also abducted and assaulted not far from where Jacob was taken. Jared was released by his attacker.

Investigators in Stearns County are now taking a closer look at several stranger assaults that took place in Paynesville in 1986 and 1987. There were at least five assaults and the victims were all teenage boys.

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner says investigators have always known about the Paynesville cases and looked into them years ago. They are now actively investigating possible similarities to Jacob's disappearance and Jared's abduction again.

The new development in the investigation of Wetterling's disappearance follows a call by Jared for anyone with information about the Paynesville assaults to come forward. In an article published in a blog and local newspaper, Jared said that investigators need new statements from victims. He said the assaults are similar to his own and he has been investigating the attacks for several months, trying to learn more about what happened.

He thinks the answers may help in Jacob's case.

In his article, Jared points to several similarities. The suspect was authoritative, threatened the use of a weapon and wore a mask in some of the cases. And the victims were all similar in age.

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