MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO has an exclusive look at what was left inside the home of the person of interest in the Jacob Wetterling abduction.
After a July search warrant was served, and after Danny Heinrich was arrested in October, federal and state authorities allowed Heinrich’s brother to collect all the belongings not seized by law enforcement.
What was left behind included a small hatchet, children’s clothing, Nazi memorabilia and a large knife collection.
Federal, state and local law enforcement served a search warrant on Heinrich’s Annandale home on July 28. A receipt for what law enforcement took includes 19 binders of child pornography, boxes of videotapes, four clear totes with boys clothing and a Halloween mask.
It was not until three months later that Heinrich was arrested. Everything else at the home was left to Heinrich’s older brother, David. With the help of two friends, David began taking items out of the house on Nov. 18.
WCCO tried to talk to David that day about what he was taking out of the house.
“Right now you’re going to leave and get the f— out of the yard because I just asked you to, or I’ll call authorities,” David Heinrich said.
We left the yard but stayed as David and the two men took bags and bin after bin of items from the home. Annandale police stopped by at one point to talk to the men, but they eventually left.
One of the people helping David that day was Jimmy Hoffer, a Kandiyohi County resident who told WCCO he ended up buying some items from the Heinrich home — hoping to find clues to Wetterling’s abduction.
“If somebody’s interested to do profiling or any information, that’s basically why we took it, if any organization is interested in looking at it,” Hoffer said.
Among the items the three men removed from Heinrich’s home were children’s clothing, including a child’s jacket.
“Little boys clothing,” Hoffer said. “Most of it was new.”
While authorities seized dozens of videotapes, they left behind bins of other tapes, including adult pornography and horror films.
At his Kandiyohi home, Hoffer laid out other items from Heinrich’s home, including a collection of vintage Nazi posters, a large photograph of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler — the architect of the Holocaust.
Heinrich also collected class pictures of middle school classes from the late 1970s to early 1980s. The ones we saw did not appear to be from Minnesota.
There were also photo albums that show Heinrich as a child, in the National Guard and socializing and drinking in the mid-1980s. WCCO did not see any photos of him — other than his driver’s licenses — that appeared to be from after the mid-80s.
“When you looked at the driver’s license you see the abrupt change in his demeanor, of his facial expressions,” Hoffer said.
Heinrich also had a collection of adult disco-era clothing, as well as a selection of women’s underwear. Among the records he kept were two bankruptcy filings; one in 2003 and one in 2011.
Heinrich also had dozens and dozens of maps in his home, including maps of the area in which he lived. We found detailed maps of Paynesville and the St. Cloud area.
Also in the home were delicate tea cups and saucers, labeled “Mother,” and “Grandmother,” and a prayer book bookmarked at a passage that reads, “Call down pardon for our wickedness, and obtain for us the gifts of Your grace.” And there was a page apparently ripped from another Bible that says, “Give me the light to know my sins, true sorrow for them, and a firm purpose of never committing them again … St. Joseph pray for me.”
Heinrich also had a collection of more than a hundred knives, including a small hatchet. At the request of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, WCCO-TV turned over the hatchet to law enforcement.
The FBI told WCCO in a statement that that July 2015 search warrant “set forth specific types of items to be searched for and seized. Items which did not meet the criteria established under the terms and conditions of the warrant were not seized by law enforcement.”