Person of interest announced in 26-year-old cold case

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Person of Interest Announced in 26-Year-Old Cold Case

New developments have been announced in a 26-year-old cold case. The Justice Department and FBI identified a person of interest in the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling.

Police say Wetterling was abducted at gunpoint from a convenience store in 1989 in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Since that time, there have been no suspects and no substantial information on Wetterling's whereabouts.

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"Daniel James Heinrich was arrested on federal charges stemming from a child exploitation investigation. Given the nature of these charges and as a result of similarities between the abduction of Jacob Wetterling ... and the alleged criminal activity of Daniel Heinrich, we consider him to be a person of interest in the Wetterling abduction," FBI investigator Richard Thornton said.

See more from the family throughout the case:

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Person of interest announced in 26-year-old cold case
This photo released Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 by the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office, shows Daniel Heinrich. Heinrich was arrested on federal charges stemming from a long-term child exploitation investigation. The FBI says Heinrich is a person of interest in the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling. (AP Photo/Sherburne County Sheriff's Office,HO)
In this Aug. 28, 2009 photo, Jerry Wetterling and wife Patty, right, show a photo of their son Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted in October of 1989 in St. Joseph, Minn., and is still missing, in Minneapolis, Minn. Wetterling keeps a scrapbook of news clippings about abducted children being reunited with their families years later. It's a source of hope for Wetterling, whose son, Jacob, was abducted nearly 20 years ago in central Minnesota. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
WASHINGTON - JULY 26: (L-R) Linda Walker (L) and Patty Wetterling participate in a rally in support of the Children's Safety Act (H.R.3132) July 26, 2005 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Sections of the bill were named after Walkers' daughter, Dru Sjodin, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2003, and Wetterling's son, Jacob, who was abducted and has been missing since 1989. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The mother of abducted children, from left, Connie Larson, mother of Cally Jo Larson, Patty Wetterling, mother of Jacob Wetterling and Pam Poirier, mother of Katie Poirier, fight back tears Tuesday Dec. 21, 1999, during a press conference at the Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. The conference was held to promote the first of five proposals to come out of the Katie Poirier Abduction Task Force, which was created after the Barnum woman's abduction. It would create a comprehensive network to carry photographs,fingerprints and offender information to law enforcement officials across the state. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella)
** FILE ** Patty Wetterling, shown during a Nov. 15, 2002 news conference at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., concerning missing students, is now a high-profile, national expert on child abuse and abduction issues and is known for working amiocably with both sides of the political isle. Her son, Jacob, then 11-years-old, was abducted at gunpopint 15 years ago and remains missing. Wetterling filed paperwork Friday, April 30, 2004, with the Federal Elections Commission that would allow her to raise money for a congressional campaign. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, file)
Patty Wetterling of St. Joseph, Minn., addresses the media at a rally in support of HR 3132, The Children's Safety Act, Tuesday, July 26, 2005 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Wetterling's son Jacob disappeared in October of 1989 and has yet to be found. In the background is Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
Patty Wetterling, right, of St. Joseph, Minn. is comforted by Linda Walker, center, of Pequot Lakes, Minn., at a rally in support of HR 3132, The Children's Safety Act, Tuesday, July 26, 2005 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Wetterling's son Jacob disappeared in October of 1989 and has yet to be found. Walker's daughter Dru Sjodin was murdered in 2003. At left is Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
In this Aug. 28, 2009 photo, Jerry Wetterling and wife Patty, left, show a photo of their son Jacob Wetterling in Minneapolis, Minn. Jacob was abducted in St. Joseph, Minn. in October of 1989 and is still missing. Wetterling keeps a scrapbook of news clippings about abducted children being reunited with their families years later. It's a source of hope for Wetterling, whose son, Jacob, was abducted nearly 20 years ago in central Minnesota. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Aaron Larson, Jacob Wetterling's childhood best friend, talks about Wetterling at his home in Worthington, Minn., Sept. 23, 2009. It's been 20 years since Aaron's best friend Jacob was abducted on a rural road outside St. Joseph. Aaron has moved forward. He's gotten engaged and become a father. He served with the Army Reserves in Iraq and settled in Slayton with his family. But Aaron relives daily the moment when he lost the only best friend he's ever had. It comes back whenever he sees a child on a bike. (AP Photo/St. Cloud Times, Adam Hammer)
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, center, addresses a press conference, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Minneapolis, where federal charges stemming from a long-term child exploitation investigation were announced against Daniel Heinrich. The FBI says Heinrich is a person of interest in the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling. Others, from left: BCA Superintendent Drew Evans, Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton, right. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, right, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton, arrive to address a press conference Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Minneapolis, where federal charges stemming from a long-term child exploitation investigation were announced against Daniel Heinrich. The FBI says Heinrich is a person of interest in the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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Despite these new developments, law enforcement officials emphasized throughout the press conference that Daniel Heinrich has not been charged with the abduction of Wetterling but rather is in custody on child pornography charges. Heinrich also denies any involvement in Wetterling's disappearance.

"We hope for Jacob, we hope for our grandkids, we hope for every child who's home safe today and every child who's missing," said Patty Wetterling, Jacob's mother.

Jacob's parents, Jerry and Patty Wetterling, started a foundation in his name shortly after the abduction, with the mission of educating families and communities to prevent sexual exploitation and kidnapping of children.

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