ST. JOSEPH, Minn. - For years he kept a secret that pained him to the core, a secret that buried feelings of shame, embarrassment and fear.
Only investigators and those close to him knew what had happened to Jared Scheierl, but the Cold Spring native decided to break his silence in 2004, telling KARE 11's Rick Kupchella about his being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a menacing stranger. Jared believed that his case may have been tied to the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling, and his hope was that by sharing what happened to him authorities might receive tips that would lead to an arrest.
Well, it took years but a new test on the clothing worn by Jared at the time he was sexually assaulted led authorities to Danny Heinrich. That, in turn, resulted in a search warrant on his Annandale home, the discovery of child pornography, and charges that landed him in federal custody.
Sources tell KARE 11 it was Heinrich that led authorities to Jacob's remains. It is expected that the U.S. Attorney will share more information on the case early this week.
Jared's decision in 2004 to break his silence and share the story of how his own innocence was stolen helped refocus attention on Jacob's story, and may have played a role in steering the investigation to where it stands today.