September 21, 2018 10:20 AM
Minnesotans will not forget what happened to Jacob Wetterling and the painful toll the tragedy has taken on the Wetterling family.
But there are many other cases in the state with unanswered questions remaining for families and police.
"I want people to remember the work at Jacob Wetterling Resource Center continues" said Jane Straub, the center's Victim Assistance Specialist.
"We have answers in Jacob's case, but we continue to work with families that have missing persons or people who are dealing with maltreatment. Whether that's children or adults. So our work continues."
When Jacob's case was solved, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS did several stories about other long-term missing Minnesotans.
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Now we're expanding our focus - partnering with the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center to find missing people in our area.
Their posters and faces cover the walls at the center. They are young and old, male and female of all races, from cities and rural towns.
Program Director Alison Feigh said there is much work left to be done to find them - and there is hope.
"We believe there are answers in every case," she said. "And it's a matter of finding the right person with the right answer."
"These cases can be solved," Straub added. "We have long-term missing, and we sometimes work with people who have been missing for a day. But these cases can be solved and we want the help."
The goal of our stories will be to educate and raise awareness.
"And so the fact that Channel 5 is willing to air these faces so people can reach out and call Crime Stoppers, or call their local law enforcement agency, it gives hope of having more answers for more families," Feigh said.
"We know that pictures matter," Straub added. "We know that people will see a picture of a person that's missing and say 'I think I've seen that person,' and they call it in.
"We have some cases that Minnesota knows about. We have some cases that I think people will see your story and say 'I never realized this person was missing.' So we want to make sure everyone gets their face out there. Every missing person deserves to be found and every family deserves to be supported."
Jacob's case may be closed, but the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center is open for business, and unfortunately busier than ever.
"It would be wonderful if we could work ourselves out of a job," Feigh said. "Where we came in one day and all children were treated well and we didn't have crimes against children, that would be a wonderful day to say 'OK, we're done.' But we're not there yet."
The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center offers many resources to families with missing loved ones.
The third annual Running Home For Jacob Run and Walk is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Phalen Park in St. Paul.
The resource center is looking for people and teams to register and help with its mission.
Updated: September 21, 2018 10:20 AM
Created: September 19, 2018 06:46 PM
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