PAYNESVILLE, Minn. - Doug Voss got a phone call last week from his wife that investigators wanted to dig for stolen property buried on their Paynesville farm. The couple soon figured out the real reason for the search: to find Jacob Wetterling’s remains.
Danny Heinrich led investigators to the site as part of a plea deal on unrelated federal child porn charges.
After two days of searching, they found Jacob’s remains and some of his clothing.
The property has been in the Voss family for decades.
Voss’s mother taught Heinrich in 4th grade at a Paynesville elementary school, but there is no indication he had ever been to the Voss farm.
“I know of no connection, any reason why he would have chosen this site for any reason really. Outside of location and proximity to where he lived, probably a place where he passed by or had passed or knew very well just from driving down the road like so many,” said Voss during an interview Thursday.
Reporter Caroline Lowe: “Have you ever heard of the Heinrich family before, living all these years in Paynesville?" Doug Voss: “No. No."
The farm is located about a mile from a Paynesville apartment where Heinrich lived in 1989. It’s about 25 miles from where Jacob was abducted in St. Joseph. "We haven’t been afraid knowing that he’s been here. It’s not been a part of the experience of finding out. Part of it for me is knowing that Jacob hadn't suffered past that first night. The remains have been here but to us he’s in heaven,” said Voss.
Voss has never met Jacob’s parents, Patty and Jerry. They were at the site last week when Jacob’s remains were found.
Voss will let them decide what kind of a marker or memorial for Jacob may be placed at the spot where he was found.