Sioux Falls sees preview of Jacob Wetterling documentary, father attends

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The abduction of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989 is a case many people followed closely here in the upper midwest.

The St. Jospeh, Minnesota boy was taken while riding a bike. He was with his brother as well as a friend. For years, his parents, family and friends held out hope that he’d be found alive. But in 2016, Danny Heinrich, a man who had long been a person of interest in the case, led authorities to Jacob’s grave.

On Monday, a trailer for an upcoming documentary about Jacob was shown to people in Sioux Falls. The documentary is not finished, and it doesn’t yet have a title. But Monday we got a look at what it will probably look like.

“Communities have been touched by Jacob’s story such that it just doesn’t go away. And the impact is so strong,” Jacob’s father Jerry Wetterling said.

Jerry Wetterling was part of the crowd taking in the trailer about his son. Chris Newberry, the documentary’s director, says if they can raise money like they think they will, the documentary will be done in a year.

“We decided to take our brand-new trailer on a road show to five cities,” Newberry said. “And this is our fourth stop, and what we do, what we’re doing tonight is we’re unveiling just a sample of the, of what the film is likely to look like when we’re all done.”

Monday night was a fundraiser, too. Erica Ticknor, associate producer with the documentary, is from Sioux Falls.

“I’m very aware of what the greater good is going to be once we get this out there,” Ticknor said. “We’re going to start a lot of conversations around these types of stories.”

Jacob’s father says the documentary has to happen.

“I’m here because we need to get this documentary completed,” Wetterling said. “It’s going to tell Jacob’s story from a very positive viewpoint, showing how society at large has learned and acted and has been changed.”

There is a GoFundMe set up to bring in money for the documentary: gofundme.com/jacobfilm

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