WHERE'S WETTERLING? Police interview suspects in prison - KMSP-TV

WHERE'S WETTERLING? Police interview suspects in prison

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PAYNESVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) -

It's been 25 years since Jacob Wetterling was abducted, but Fox 9 News has learned that police are doing another round of interviews with suspects in his disappearance -- starting with two men who are already behind bars.

For the last 6 months, the Stearns County sheriff has been actively retracing the Jacob Wetterling case, mostly because of postings made by a blogger who has connected the dots to other cases.

Now, it appears that investigation is picking up steam in prison interviews with two men whose names have come up before.

With flags along Main Street, Paynesville is a small town even Norman Rockewell could appreciate. It's also the center of a mystery that spans a quarter of a century because of 5 attempted and actual child molestations that occurred there in the 2 to 3 years before Jacob Wetterling was abducted in an area that was just about 40 minutes away.

Fox 9 News has learned that two Paynesville men -- Delbert and Timothy Huber, father and son -- are once again under the microscope. If their mug shots look familiar, it's because they murdered school teacher Timothy Larson on his father's farm near Belgrade amid an argument over $50. Delbert Huber pulled the trigger and pleaded guilty. Timothy Huber was convicted of second-degree murder.

Both men were looked at during the Wetterling investigation 25 years ago -- but why? That's not clear, but the sketch of the Wetterling suspect from a convenience store clerk does bear a striking resemblance to Delbert Huber.

If Delbert Huber is a suspect in the disappearance of Wetterling or in any of the Paynesville 5 cases, detectives more than likely want to search his home for evidence -- but therein is the problem. There is no home left. Satellite imagery from a couple years ago shows a significant farmstead on the outskirts of Paynesville, with a main house and several other structures.

As it happens, even the man the Hubers murdered had his suspicions that they may be connected. Three years before he was killed, Larson wrote a letter to Timothy Huber that read in part: "I have listened to you talk about your problems frequently and how others accuse you of abducting Jacob Whetterling[sic], but I chose to believe the best of you and in your innocence."

Fox 9 News has not been able to independently corroborate the letter's authenticity, partially because the man who wrote it is dead; however, the Hubers aren't the only lead detectives are following.

"We have received a number of calls or leads identifying anyone that has looked or acted suspiciously in that area over the past 25 years," Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner told Fox 9 News via e-mail. "Obviously, Delbert Huber would fall into that category."

Sanner suggests there may be other past subjects that they're taking a look at as well, but it's important to point out that investigators did look into connections between the Paynesville 5 and Wetterling 25 years ago.

Investigators urge anyone with information that may be useful to call police at 320-251-4240.

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