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5 questions for my son's abductor

By Patty Wetterling, Special to CNN
updated 12:21 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Patty Wetterling holds a photo of her son Jacob, who was abducted at age 11, more than 23 years ago.
Patty Wetterling holds a photo of her son Jacob, who was abducted at age 11, more than 23 years ago.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jacob Wetterling was abducted on October 22, 1989, at age 11
  • There have been many leads but still no resolution
  • Jacob's story was featured on "The Hunt with John Walsh"
  • Read more about Jacob's abduction at cnn.com/thehunt

Editor's note: Patty Wetterling is a tireless advocate for families of missing children, including her son Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted in 1989 when he was 11.

(CNN) -- October 22 will mark 25 years since my son Jacob was taken from his family as he rode his bike home with his brother and a friend on a rural Minnesota road.

Jacob was a fun, active, athletic, kind, 11-year-old boy who loved peanut butter and football. He was most known for his sense of fairness.

Not knowing what happened or who abducted Jacob has left so many unanswered questions for Jacob's father, sisters, brother and me.

If I had the chance to talk face to face with the man who took my son away, here's what I'd want to know:

Patty Wetterling has spent the past 25 years raising awareness about missing and exploited children.
Patty Wetterling has spent the past 25 years raising awareness about missing and exploited children.

Who are you?

I believe that somebody knows. It's time to quit protecting the bad guy, even if it is a family member. It's time to speak up for Jacob. Please tell me who took our son.

If YOU are the abductor, it's time to tell. You can't feel good about this. Find some peace. Please write back.

The unwavering search for our missing kids

Is Jacob still alive?

Sometimes the phone rings and there is no one there. It's probably a telemarketer or a wrong number, but my heart cries out, "Jacob, are you there?" I save articles of "kids" who came home after long periods of time: three months, nine months, four years, 7½ years, 10 years, 18½ years.

It CAN happen. I don't know, so I hope and pray that you got away, Jacob. We need you back. We love you more than the flowers love the sun and the rain. My heart wants to believe you're OK.

Please give us some answers.

This age-enhanced image shows what Jacob Wetterling might look like today in his mid-30s.
This age-enhanced image shows what Jacob Wetterling might look like today in his mid-30s.

What made you think you could steal a child?

Jacob is so deeply loved and missed by his mom and dad, brother, sisters, cousins, neighbors and friends. I have read a lot about kidnappers and child molesters and I know that you are all people, human beings that need help.

Maybe you feel bad. Maybe you told someone, but I still live with so many questions -- like, how could you? And how could anyone still keep the secret? You can free yourself of carrying this. Please explain this to me.

2009: Jaycee Dugard's story gives hope

Why didn't you let him go?

What happened? You probably had other boys that you victimized and released. I think you meant to let him go and something went terribly wrong. I need to know what happened. Please talk to me.

What was the last thing that Jacob said to you?

Jacob had a keen sense of fairness and always stood up for people who he thought needed an ally, a friend. He probably would have befriended you too. I need to hear his voice again or to hear the last words he said if he can't speak to me himself. Please tell me.

More on Jacob's story

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