How is it possible that Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted in Minnesota at age 11, would turn 30 this weekend and yet there is no sign at all of what happened to him?
I had just started working at my first journalism job in the fall of 1989, fresh out of college, and remember driving to my bus stop park-n-ride hearing the morning DJs discussing Jacob's abduction. We all assumed something would be found within a few days -- if not a body, tire tracks, a shirt, a clue or some kind. But apparently we all watch too much CSI, or whatever the 1989 equivalent was, because it seems like Jacob's creepy abductor pulled off the perfect crime.
I asked John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" about the Wetterling case at TCA one year, and he said what we all know: That Jacob is dead, and was probably dead within a day, or a week, of his Oct. 22, 1989 abduction. But where is the body? Where is the abductor? Everybody gots to be somewhere, as the old joke goes.
This case will forever nag at me, and I know I'll always read any updates of anniversary stories, hoping for some closure. And if this complete stranger does that, how many thousands of times worse can it be for his family not to know?
It didn't strike me until about a month ago, but Miss Kelly was born on the 18th anniversary of Jacob's abduction. I like to think she redeemed that date.