PAYNESVILLE 5: Investigators probe possible Wetterling link - KMSP-TV

PAYNESVILLE 5: Investigators probe possible Wetterling link

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PAYNESVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Jacob Wetterling disappeared nearly 25 years ago, but the hope for answers is alive today. In fact, a blogger's latest theory is now being investigated by Stearns County detectives.

Investigators confirmed that they're taking another look at a series of attempted and actual child molestations that occurred in the Paynesville, Minn., area in the two years leading up to the Wetterling abduction. In fact, they've already re-interviewed some of the victims and are working with the blogger who brought the information to light.

A recent post by Joy Baker takes readers back nearly 28 years to a community on edge after 5 teen boys were attacked between the summer of 1986 and spring of 1987. No one was ever arrested.

Yet, after months of research and interviews with some of the victims, Baker believes the attacks were not random and that the culprit could be connected to the abduction of 11-year-old Wetterling in St. Joseph, Minn. -- a town just 40 minutes away.

Some of Baker's findings include that the suspect knew who the boys were and assaulted them at night near their homes, and she said the man usually wore a dark, puffy jacket and face mask.

Jacob Wetterling, his brother and a friend were cycling home at night when a man came out of a driveway and ordered the boys to throw their bikes into a ditch and lie down on the ground. Police believe that suspect wore some sort of mask and targeted boys -- but in the Wetterling case, the suspect pulled out a handgun before threatening to kill the group Jacob Wetterling was traveling with.

As Baker lays out similar characteristics and modus operands of the suspects in all the cases, she hopes someone will come forward with new information after reading her stories and possibly help solve the crimes.

Barker declined a request for an interview for this story.

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