Jacob Wetterling missing 24 years, but hope is in the headlines - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Jacob Wetterling missing 24 years, but hope is in the headlines

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ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (KMSP) -

Tuesday marks 24 years since the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling near his home in St. Joseph, Minn.

Wetterling, then 11, was riding bikes with his brother and a friend on Oct. 22nd, 1989 when a man abducted him. The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center is asking every homeowner to leave a porch light on Tuesday in his honor.

REASONS FOR HOPE

In the 24 years since Wetterling's disappearance, a host of cold cases involving abducted children have been solved, including several with happy endings:

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were kidnapped between 2002 and 2004 by former school bus driver Ariel Castro. The three women were rescued this past May after being held captive for a decade in Castro's Cleveland home.

Jaycee Dugard was abducted from a bus stop in California in 1991. The 11-year-old girl was held captive for 18 years in a backyard, where she gave birth to two children conceived by rape. Dugard was rescued when a woman called 911 to complain about people living in tents in the Antioch, Calif. backyard.

Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City at the age of 14. She was rescued nine months later, in March 2003, when two couples spotted her walking with a woman and a man who looked like her suspected kidnapper.

This week, prosecutors in Greece ordered a nationwide investigation into birth certificates after a girl was found living with alleged abductors at a gypsy camp. "Maria," who is believed to be 5 or 6 years old, was taken into protective custody last week after DNA tests confirmed she was not the couple's child. Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin of Kansas City are holding out hope that "Maria" could be their missing Baby Lisa, who disappeared in 2011.

Anyone with information on Jacob Wetterling's disappearance can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

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