ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (WCCO) – The city of St. Joseph is remembering Jacob Wetterling and paying respects to his family.
Some came to the Wetterling home to lay flowers at the end of their driveway.
People all across the state have felt invested in the Wetterling family’s journey for so many years, and the people in St Joseph have felt it the deepest.
Many people told WCCO it wasn’t the outcome they hoped for for many years, but they’re hoping it will bring some sense of peace for the Wetterling family after 27 years.
“We were all in that church service that night,” Darlene Bechtold said.
The same place they gathered in 1989 when Jacob was taken. The prayers were different on this night.
Herb and Darlene Bechtold hoped for a long time that Jacob Wetterling would be found safe.
“Of course from that moment on life changed because you were afraid to let your kids go for a bike ride alone, you were afraid to let your kids go out of your sight,” Darlene Bechtold said.
As the years passed by in St. Joseph, he was never far from peoples’ hearts.
“Everybody in this community has been talking about him all day and my whole life,” said Lindsay Vojtasek.
Vojtasek doesn’t know the family, but she cares, visiting the last place Jacob was seen alive.
“I just wanted to show support for Patty and the Wetterlings and give some kind of love,” she said.
It wasn’t the ending they hoped for.
“Emotionally, the whole town,” Herb Bechtold said.
Yet somehow they feel their prayers have been answered. Jacob is found.
“We’ve been here for them, with them, for all this time hoping and praying,” Darlene Bechtold said, “and thank God finally.”