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Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Jacob Wetterling is still missing.

When I was a kid, I used to lay awake at night a lot, imagining where he might be. I always thought he'd be in Egypt. I don't know why exactly. But I just thought nobody would look for him there, so he might be there, and nobody would know. He might be there alive.

I think less about where he is now. Sometimes I still do. I imagine that he was brainwashed, and he doesn't know who he is. But he's an adult now, and he's far away from who ever kidnapped him. He's a little damaged from the experience, but he's met a nice a girl, and he's going to therapy and moving on with his life.

I don't know if I believe that's true. But I hope it is.

When the FBI began digging up around his neighbor's house last year, I sorta had a mini-breakdown. It occurred to me - like really occurred to me for the first time - that he might not be alive. I watched footage of the farm being exacavated on a news broadcast, and I ended up sobbing uncontrollably. Something about the reality of it was devestating.

But Patty Wetterling held it together. What little she said about it was thoughtful and objective. That woman is my hero. I can't even fathom how she does that. The level of bravery and resilience and poise is astounding.

I was thinking about all the good Patty Wetterling has done for missing and exploited children. She's worked so hard, in spite of so much, and I want to help.

I have a book I plan to release soon. (I'm thinking April, right now). It's called with Lost Without You, and it's about a teenager who goes missing and her friends frantic attempts to find her. When it's released, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center. I'm not sure how much yet, but I will have a definite percentage when I release Lost Without You.

Until then, I encourage you all to look into the foundation and to donate if you can.

For more information on Jacob Wetterling, including an age progressed photo, please click: here.

If you have any information about Jacob Wetterling or his adbudctor, please contact the Stearns County Sheriff's Office (Minnesota) - Missing Persons Unit - 1-320-259-3700.


  1. This was my biggest fear as a child and now, as a parent, I can't even imagine the devastation it would bring. I would have bought your book anyway but now I am even happier to purchase it and contribute what little I can.
    Not that it means much, but I am very proud of you!

  2. I look forward to the book!

    @Rosa: No kidding--even though statistically it's a minute chance that anything like that would ever happen to your child or mine, the thought makes your blood run cold, doesn't it?

  3. You're a legend for that, no kidding. I'm Australian now, but I grew up in Montana and remember Every Single truckstop and copshop had posters with that kid's face on it as we're just down I-90 from you guys.

  4. You are an amazing person. The fact that after all these years it is still something you ponder and are still willing to help. May your book sell well, the foundation continue to get the funds they need to do their work, and may someone find Jacob.

    P.S. I like the hopeful outlook you have on Jacob's life if he is still alive. I hope the same.

  5. Love it!! As if I couldn't like you go and do something to make you more! As a mom,I live in fear of these sorts of things. I also happen to incessantly follow all these cases. I am always wondering what happened to Natalie Holloway. I will immediately purchase this upon its arrival into the kindle shop partly b/c you wrote it and partly b/c you are donating it to the foundation.

  6. Amanda, it's so sad that any parent has to live through such a nightmare. And I feel for these kids. Like you, I often wonder if and imagine that they're still alive somewhere, living a life without knowing their real parents.

    My novel Children of the Fog explores a similar situation. Not only is a young boy taken from his house in the middle of the night, the mother is given a choice: let the kidnapper take him or watch her son die.

    I was also thinking of offering a percentage to an organization for missing children in Canada. With my novel Whale Song, I donate a % to Hope Mission, which helps the homeless and poor.

    I wish you huge success with your new novel, Amanda! Take care and all the best.

    Cheryl Kaye Tardif
    bestselling author of Whale Song

  7. As a parent myself, that would be an absolute nightmare to have to go through.

    I'm looking forward to your book, and I think what you're doing is really very thoughtful.

  8. I love you! Thank you for helping. If I ever make money, I want to share it with things all the time!

  9. Every year you hear of these tragic stories and my heart aches for the families. I look forward to reading your book and I think it's great that you are using your voice for a great cause!

    Elizabeth Loraine

  10. This is a truly heroic thing that you're doing. Not only to use your platform to express your concern, but also using your skills and resources to generate donation funds.

    I wish you good thoughts.

  11. Your next book sounds really interesting! I look forward to it, and it's so great of you to donate a portion of the sales...

  12. Bravo, Amanda. I was in college when Jacob was kidnapped, and in (college-level) journalism at the time.

    The very common belief among law enforcement and journalism types, at the time, was that Jacob was probably gone from this mortal coil within 24 hours, and probably a lot less.

    Another local disappearance nine years later had a lot of similarities: the Katie Poirier kidnapping. If I recall Katie's case correctly, her kidnapper had assaulted her, murdered her, and nearly completely disposed of all traces of her body within two or three hours. They ultimately found and ID'd her off some burned bone fragments found on the freak's property.

    As unthinkable a thing as it is to contemplate, this was probably Jacob's fate as well. While all of us in Minnnesota who remember this incident hope for something better... the sad reality is probably that Jacob's fate was much like Katie's.

    @Holly: You may have missed it, but the Natalee Holloway thing was resolved this past summer. Joran Van Der Sloot was arrested in Chile for the murder of Flores Ramirez, and he's currently held there awaiting charges in Miguel Castro Prison.

    Shortly after his capture, he confessed to the Holloway murder. Then, as has been his historic habit, he later recanted his confession after lawyers got involved.

    Again, it's a terrible thing to contemplate, but the sad fact is that Holloway, too, is dead. Van Der Sloot knows where the body is buried, but is unlikely to ever be fully forthcoming.

    Sometimes life just stinks.

  13. I have a toddler, and can't even fathom the heartache that his family must've gone through. That they are still going through. I honestly don't know that I could be as brave as his mother. I think I would just revert to a blobish state of tears and snot.

    Way to go on bringing some support to such an important thing. When the new book comes out I will certainly buy it, and direct other people yor way :)

  14. I really am glad I'm not the only one who has the "obession" (for lack of a better term) about Jacob. He was taken the day after my birthday and so for about 6 years after that I would put an extra candle on my cake in honor of him and in hopes they would find him. My dad made me stop after sometime because he thought it was morbid I was obsessed with him and a few other cases of kidnapping and what not in MN. Do you remember the case of Twins, one was gay and he killed himself in a car with his "gay lover" but really I think he was his molester because this boy was like 13 or so??? Gosh I can't remember his name but Drew comes to mind. I used to cut out newspaper clippings on this stuff and keep it....

    Okay anyway * babbling over* just glad someone else out there still thinks about him.

  15. I played soccer with Jacob at North Jr high. Knowing somebody who was kidnapped is the kind of thing that stays with you the rest of your life. Nevermind the wider tragedy.

  16. I grew up in Minnesota too, and I'm only a year older than Jacob. His face and story are an indelible part of my childhood...I can completely understand your reaction. Best of luck with the book.

  17. I am writing a suspense series about a woman, Rachel Scott, who runs a search and rescue company and she helps locate missing persons. I was fascinated with the Natalie Holloway case and as a writer, starting playing the what-if game. My book, Asylum Harbor was the outcome of that what-if game. The next in the series, The Devil's Claw is about a missing firefighter - who vanishes during a warehouse fire. I have been trying to find an organization to donate a portion of my sales to that helps families of missing persons. I will look into the Jacob Wetterling organization. I hope one day his family will find peace. I can't wait to read your next book!

  18. Asalamu Alaykom from Egypt,

    I had to comment when I saw your wonderings if Jacob Wetterling was here. I wish!

    I really truly hope to hear in my lifetime what ever happened to him. It's been so manhy years but the nagging doubt of his whereabouts is a sad tug at all our hearts.

    I'll keep my eyes open here and continue my prayers for a peaceful ending to his story.

  19. I remember back when I was a four year old something. My family would have nightly devotionals called "Bible Time," and after we would sing three short songs, we would pray. For several months we prayed about Jacob, I have always hoped that he might be alive and just brainwashed as well. I kind of think he might have been killed within 24 hours of his kidnapping though, it is very sad indeed, but there is always hope.

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