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Wetterling Finds Hope in Kidnapped Girl's Reunion with Family

08/31/2009 - 11:10 AM

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Wetterling Finds Hope in Kidnapped Girl's Reunion with Family

St. Joseph resident Patty Wetterling is finding hope in a recent story making headlines in California, where a girl was found alive 18 years after she was kidnapped. Wetterling, whose son Jacob disappeared nearly 20 years ago, says children who have been abducted usually don’t come forward on their own and that law enforcement officers and the public have to do their part to help find missing people. Wetterling has become a nationally known advocate for missing and exploited children.


More than 58,000 children are victims of non-family abductions every year in the US. The vast majority of those cases are resolved within the first 24 hours, while an estimated 115 children are victims of real kidnapping – where the child is held, transported a long distance, killed or kept permanently.