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25 Years Later, Jacob Wetterling's Mother Recalls Abduction

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Patty and Jerry Wetterling will spend Wednesday surrounded by friends and family.

Patty Wetterling said there's likely to be tears, and laughter.

Her son Jacob was 11 years old when he was abducted by an armed man wearing a mask.

She says Jacob has become Minnesota's son over the years.

"Much like when Kennedy was shot, or 911, and in Minnesota, people remember where they were when they heard Jacob was kidnapped," Wetterling said.

Interview With Patty Wetterling

She has become friends over the years with people like Jaycee Dugard's mother. Jaycee made it home after being kidnapped for years.

"I study the cases of kids who make it home, and I ask, 'What haven't I done?' and I will keep trying until I get answers," Wetterling said.

There has never been a memorial for Jacob.

"At what point do you say, 'Oh, I'm tired, and I'm giving up?' I want to look Jacob in the eye and say, 'I never gave up,'" Wetterling said.

She remembers how difficult those first days and months were, without Jacob and the pressure it put on the family.

A law enforcement official noticed the tension, and made a suggestion that she says saved her marriage.

"They sat us down and said we can see that you are struggling," Wetterling said. "And we want Jacob to have a family to come home to, and we want you to get help."

There are new billboards up in the area where he was taken, and Wetterling says she hopes it will help someone have the courage to come forward with information that will give her and her family answers.

On Wednesday, Stearns County Sheriff John L. Sanner issued an updated incident report, which read:

On the night of October 22, 1989 Jacob Wetterling was abducted from St. Joseph Township in Stearns County. Since that time family, community and law enforcement partners on the Federal, State and local levels have worked together to find and bring Jacob home. Together we have worked tirelessly to provide the answers everyone has waited far too long to hear.

I would ask that today, October 22, 2014, the 25th anniversary of Jacob's abduction, we all take a moment out of our day to pause and remember Jacob and all of the other missing children. In doing so, let us all make a personal commitment to never forget or take for granted the many blessings we do have in our lives as they can be taken from us. In addition, on this 25th anniversary as in previous years, we would ask that everyone leave a porch light on tonight to remember Jacob.

I can assure you that the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, the BCA and the FBI will remain steadfastly committed to providing answers as the passage of time has in no way diminished our resolve.

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