tv The Hunt With John Walsh CNN May 30, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
i would encourage anybody that's had dealings with david burgert to call law enforcement. >> i don't know how he got away. they don't know how he got away. they're ticked off that he got away. this guy left everybody in montana with one big puzzling mystery. where is david burgert? back in 1981, i had the american dream. the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs, and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son goodbye, and never saw him again. in two weeks, i became the parent of a murdered child, and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache, i still have the rage. i waited for years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers. and over those years, i learned how to do one thing really well, and that's how to catch these
bastards and bring them back to justice. i've become a manhunter. i'm out there looking for bad guys. ♪ what was going on in this region? what was going on, and it was so deeply, intensely harmful to boys? i honestly do not want a 25th anniversary. i want answers. i want to know what happened. >> i know this case as well as i know my own son's case. i walked in those shoes.
on the day of october 22nd, it was a pretty chilly but not too chilly october morning. we got up, and jacob and i went fishing. and then came back for noon kickoff for the vikings game. it was kind of a family tradition to watch vikings football. i loved it. being a stay-at-home mom, it was our place to gather. >> patty and i have four children. our oldest daughter is amy and jacob was next and trevor and carman. >> jacob was our first-born son. >> okay. ♪ >> my name is jacob wetterling.
my favorite food is steak. my favorite color is blue. my best friend is aaron larson. my favorite thing to do most is watch football. what do i want to be when i grow up is a football player. >> anyway, after the game, jake and trevor and i, we played a little football game out in the driveway. >> jerry would throw a pass, and those two, one would try to intercept, the other one would try to catch the pass. always it ended up in tears. they were very competitive. they took this game seriously. >> it was a fabulous day, and i'll always cherish that day. >> i think one of the tough things for americans to grasp is that a predator can be anywhere. a crime can happen to anyone at any time. >> a little after 5:30 or 6:00, patty and i went to a dinner
party at some friends' about 20, 25 minutes away. >> we weren't going to be gone very long, and they were just going to stay home. >> our oldest daughter amy was at a sleepover that night, and jacob's best friend aaron was going to be coming over because the kids didn't have school the next day. >> when we got there, we called to give the kids the phone number. >> this was, of course, days before cell phones so it was just a home phone number. we were in the middle of dinner at this party, and trevor calls. trevor asked patty if he and jacob and aaron could ride their bikes down to the local convenience store and rent a movie. >> there's nothing between us and the store. it's farm field mostly and a few houses. but it was starting to get dark, and i said no, find something to do. you've got plenty to do. and trevor said. let me talk to
dad. >> and my thinking is, this is safe country. my only concern is on this one fairly long stretch of road is for car traffic. in my mind, they covered those bases with a flashlight. i said okay, but go down there and get it and come straight home. ♪ >> it must have been about 45 minutes, give or take. the phone rang and they called for me to come and take this call. it was our next door neighbor, merl, who called and said,
jerry, you have to leave that party right now and come home. >> he came back to the table and said, we've got to go. and i said, aren't those kids back yet? he said, somebody took jacob. i grabbed my purse and we left. we didn't say anything to the people, our hosts, or anything. we just left. it was the longest ride in the world. >> jacob needs to come home. i want to find jacob. >> they had witnessed something awful. >> when it comes to missing children, time is the enemy. seconds count, hours count. if that child is going to be killed, it's going to happen within the first few hours. ♪ col♪ i know, i know... ing.. ♪ color is a beautiful thing
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in the township. i'm right now next door at my neighbor's, the jerry wetterling family. and some of their boys went to pick up a movie, and on their way back, someone stopped them and one of the boys did not come back with them. >> it was the longest 25 minutes i've ever spent in my life, just -- it was terrible. >> we got to the house and the police were here. >> trevor was just agitated, absolutely agitated. and i remember aaron, aaron was like hiding in the corner, biting his nails. he just wanted to disappear. they had witnessed something awful.
>> trevor, you're talking to the sheriff's office, okay? i want you to give me anything you can recall about this male party that approached you guys, okay? >> well, he was -- he was like a man, sort of big. he had, like, a, nylon things as a mask. >> do you know what color it was? >> black, i think. >> a black mask? >> this guy wearing a mask came out and they could see his handgun. this guy told them to get off their bikes and lay down in the ditch or else he would shoot. he asked them one by one what their age was. after that, he had trevor and aaron, one by one, run off into the nearby woods, not to look back or else he would shoot.
as aaron was taking off, he saw the man grab jacob's arm. >> when he caught up to trevor and they felt safe enough to turn around and look back, they were gone. they were just gone. the police asked the boys, are you sure you weren't playing with a gun and jacob just got hurt and you're afraid to tell us what really happened? which is a legitimate question. but they were absolutely clear, no, there was this man with a gun. >> so we start to search the area, the immediate area, of the abduction and start to fan out from there. everybody thought that within a few hours we would get it taken care of.
>> when it comes to missing children, time is the enemy. seconds count. hours count. if that child is going to be killed, it's going to happen within the first few hours. >> i never went to bed that night. we were up all night. it was just crazy. >> there are so many parallels in the wetterling case to our case of adam, and i will never forget that night when darkness fell and we started to search for adam. i will never forget that realization and that loneliness. i know exactly what the wetterlings are going through. >> wetterling was abducted at gunpoint last night while riding his bike with two other boys. >> certainly nothing has happened at school with jacob. i'm not aware of having any enemies.
>> i'm like staring into la-la land. i know i was in shock. i couldn't say anything. and jerry was doing the best that he could to stand and be strong and be the spokesperson. >> nobody knows what to do. this doesn't happen here. you hear that all the time. we live here because it's peaceful and quiet. >> child abduction is the most difficult investigation law enforcement will confront in their careers, and it's probably one of the most dreaded as well because of the intense pressure, the lack of information oftentimes and all you're looking for is a child so it's a needle in a haystack. >> from the outset, we were getting a great response from law enforcement. i think for the first ten days or so law enforcement were manned here 24 hours on the phone.
>> at one point, they had like 40,000 leads. it was too many so they had to triage. every cupboard was covered with post-it notes and phone numbers and the table and the countertop were filled. >> there were at any one time 40, 50 people in our house. i would sometimes have to just take off and go for a walk by myself for a while just to kind of clear my head. >> we decided after the christmas holidays that it was time for everybody to go back to school and work. so they all did, which left me home screaming, tearing my hair out. you know, it's like, what else,
what do we need to do, what's going on? and i had nowhere to go. >> in the beginning, there's this initial surge, the media is fascinating. people try to help you. strangers you never met try to help in some way. police are really on top of the case. but then that reality sets in, that if your child's missing for a certain period of time, a couple weeks, sometimes a month, now your child drops from being the hottest case, the top of the news, to just another poster of a missing child. >> we just kept making noise so he wouldn't be forgotten. >> we are going to stay committed to getting this resolved. we owe that to the wetterling family. >> what happened here? how does a kid just disappear? >> i felt like i was jacob's strongest hope.
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the shift between watching all of these resources coming in to watching them one by one go away was really painful. the worst was the silence so i don't do well with silence. we make something happen. we just kept making noise so we wouldn't be forgotten. >> it's not fair. it is a time to heal and pull together. you are jacob's hope. >> we continued to get the leads and the phone calls, and our belief is that we're going to find jacob and maybe this will be the year. >> patty wetterling has made sure her son, jacob, is not forgotten. she's been an advocate for the missing since he disappeared 20 years ago. >> thank you. i'm fighting for the world, i'm fighting for jacob. >> here's the harsh reality. when your case gets cold, the only person that can keep that case warm or keep it in the
public eye is a loved one, a parent. and they have tried to do that and patty has never stopped trying to keep jacob's face out there. >> i think at some point the sheriff's department feels like we don't need to know all and they might protect us by not telling us stuff, and that's a little frustrating for me. >> we are constantly looking at this case hoping in some way to resolve it. we're not going to put it in a drawer. we're not going to forget about it. we're going to stay committed to getting this resolved. we owe that to the wetterling family and the community to get an answer to them. >> i'm sure that the sheriff's department is tired of my questions. >> it's an active and open investigation, and i can't talk specifically about the evidence that we have or do not have. i wish i could, but the last thing i want to do is do something to contaminate a
potential prosecution down the road, and i'm very careful to protect the case that way. >> i think that the sheriff is trying very hard to solve this case. it is an ongoing investigation. the only problem with this case is it never got solved. it's gone on for 25 years. there are new tools to help solve this case. >> i'm joy baker, and i am a freelance writer. in 2010, i was looking for something new to write about, and a story came on the news about the jacob wetterling case, and i thought, what happened here? you know, how does a kid just disappear from here? the first time i met patty, i was actually at a work function, and she ended up being the keynote speaker for the event. and i gave her my card. >> i called her, and it's like, i feel like i'm being stalked.
you're calling everybody that i know asking questions. she said, i'm sorry, i get curious, and she would go ask another person. i finally got used to that. it's like, i understand her intentions are to find jacob. and she's got the benefit of not being law enforcement so people will talk to her differently, and she keeps uncovering things. >> i spent a lot of time at the library and online, going through old newspaper articles. and i figured out early on that i really wanted to talk to this guy named jared. jared was a kid who had been abducted nine months before jacob. and that happened in cold spring, literally just down the road. and we got together and he told
me his story. and that is kind of how this whole process just really took off and kept going. >> it was six days before my 13th birthday. three blocks from my house, a car had approached me from the opposite direction. he stopped the vehicle. so i began giving directions, and as i was doing so, i kind of walked toward the car. he got out of the vehicle and he grabbed me by the shoulders and told me to get in the car,
he's got a gun and he's not afraid to use it. >> jared was accosted, he was grabbed, he was pulled into that car, he was driven a couple of miles away, and he was assaulted. and then let go. >> he told me to run, don't look back or he would shoot. >> it was almost the exact word-for-word statement that trevor and aaron, the boys who were with jacob, had made. >> so i was abducted on january 13, 1989. jacob's abduction was october 22nd of 1989. they were desperate for answers, and i was at the time, you know, jacob's strongest hope.
the low raspy voice description, the physical build, demeanor, the way he spoke, it seemed to match. >> if it's the same guy that also took jacob, he's the one person that actually saw him without a mask. >> after jacob had disappeared, the case intensified. it was a lot more interviews with a lot of fbi or a lot more people i wasn't familiar with. they took me to a point where i was just mentally, physically broke down, and i had nothing else to provide. >> i give jared all the credit in the world. his parents moved out of town to get the help they needed to get this kid back on track. he's come forward and said, i think it's the same guy. i want to do everything i can to help jacob. i hope some other people realize how brave jared really is.
>> i spoke with jared, and that's when i happened upon this article from may 1987 about these five attacks on young boys in paynesville. and those attacks sounded so similar to his case and to jacob's case, i asked him, have you ever heard of these before? he's like, no, i never heard of that before. i said, well, listen to this. the guy said the same thing, don't turn around or i'll blow your head off. and we both just went, wow, that seems significant. >> i felt like it was the biggest lead generated in 25 years. >> what happened here is scary. i mean, terrifying. >> someone in that tight-knit community may well have the keys to what happened. >> we need to go back.
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so this is downtown paynesville, and this is where the series of attacks took place on these young teenage boys. between march 9, 1986, and the summer of 1989, there were 11 separate incidents. paynesville is a great town, great people. but what happened here between 1986 and 1989 is scary. and astounding. >> not 20 miles from where jacob was taken, not 20 miles from where jared was taken was a cluster of reports of abductions and molestations of boys. >> march 9, 1986, that's the first reported incident. a 12-year-old boy just walking down the street and a guy in a blue car came up and asked him
if he wanted a ride, and he said no. the guy said, do you want to go to toyland? and the kid said no. and the guy drove off. that's the first reported incident. november 30, 1986. in this alley, a kid was talking with a friend of his and the guy had come up from behind him and pulled him into the trees and assaulted him. brazen, i mean, terrifying. right here you can see this building. this kid had just walked his
friend home and when he walked in that door, there was a guy standing on the stairs waiting for him, and he was wearing a mask. it was valentine's day 1987. spring 1987. may 17, 1987. summer 1987. september 1987. summer of 1989. all in this town. all within walking distance of each other. all these incidents in paynesville obviously are clustered together, and then there's jared, who lives just 10 miles up the road in cold spring. and from there, you just hang a left straight into st. joseph. how many psychopathic pedophiles
can exist in a 15- to 20-mile radius? >> what was going on in this region? it's all stearns county. what was going on and it was so deeply and intensely harmful to boys? >> someone in that tight-knit community may well have the keys to what happened, but they haven't yet been asked. >> there were no incidents that happened in 1988, and we think that's for a reason. we think that the guy that was committing these crimes was probably put away himself at that time. and we have a guy in mind that that is the case. he was looked at early in jacob wetterling's abduction. in 1990, he was arrested and convicted of sexually assaulting four boys.
and what we're trying to do now is connect him to both jared's case and to st. joseph. >> the difference between what a blogger can do and what we do, the blogger can speculate. but in order to get -- to prove it, we have to add fact. >> we need to go back. you know, was it the same guy on all of them? we don't know. it's not just going back to the beginning and looking at it the same way you looked at it in 1989 or 1990. it's going back to the beginning and looking at it through what we know now. what we know now is more than what we knew then. >> a lot of those individuals
had been talked to back in 1989. to relook at them is never a bad thing. >> we're really encouraging people to come forward and share because we're really trying to piece this together. if the right people come forward, i think we can get this figured out. i really do. >> i think it's so important for the wetterlings to know at least something about what happened to jacob. and there are those stones that haven't been turned over. >> i think they ran straight back toward those trees, and then when they looked back and didn't see jacob coming, they thought everybody was coming. when they didn't see him, then
they cut over and we just live straight catercorner from here. we cannot leave our house without driving past here. it took me a long time. i mean, i would come here and say a little prayer every time i walked by. and i talked to jacob, but it was -- that's been a really hard thing. i want to know who took jacob. i want to know what happened. >> according to witnesses to jacob wetterling's kidnapping, the perpetrator was of average height and weight with a deep,
raspy voice. he may have been involved in similar attacks in central minnesota. so if you have any information relating to this crime, please call 1-866-the-hunt or go online at cnn.com/thehunt. you can remain anonymous. we'll pass your tip on to the proper authorities and, if requested, will not reveal your name. >> there's always that case that haunts you, that wakes you up at 3:00 in the morning that really shake you out of bed. there's not a minute or a day that doesn't go by that you don't think about it. >> i think she really believed that mary was being abused. no one was listening to her. >> genevieve kelley, she provided us with a tape. >> every person who saw it uses the word "disturbing." >> it was a game changer.
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burglaries. you'll have drunk drivers, you'll have accidents. but for the most part, it's a small town. everybody knows everybody. >> you have basically two very, very intelligent people that met. >> mark nunes and genevieve san martin met while they were doctors in the air force. and in 1996, genevieve gave birth to a beautiful little girl, mary. >> our kids went to school together. i would run into her, see her, school drop-offs, ski school. she'd have her daughter with her. >> you could see that the relationship wasn't good from the beginning. there was plenty of acrimony. >> unfortunately, divorce proceedings began. a little while later, mark
reestablished himself in virginia. however, he would always come up to new hampshire and have visitation with mary. >> the situation between the two parents was that there was no direct communication. it really is beyond what any reasonable normal person would expect. >> they couldn't even pick up the phone and say, hello, we're going to be at burger king, come meet us at burger king. >> they were sending a notebook back and forth with notes as their only means of communication so that they wouldn't argue. these two people who once cared enough to marry each other could not even stand to open their mouths to each other without venom. >> accusations were beginning to
that was the case, that mary was being abused, no one was listening to her, and she believed it would continue. >> genevieve began to take mary quietly behind the scenes to doctors. doctors would say, i don't think that happened. why are you saying that happened? >> and she decided to make a tape that somehow illustrated that mary had been victimized. and that was when things really got bad. >> the assistant county attorney provided us with a tape that genevieve kelley had produced at the house involving mary, dropped it off at the office here. so i sat down and watched the tape. i was looking for any evidence of wrongdoing by mark nunez who is the father. but throughout the tape, all i saw was this bizarre, strange conduct by the mother who was absolutely brainwashing the
daughter and trying to get daughter to say things against her daddy. >> he's not going to hurt you ever again. >> at no time during the taping did mary have anything negative to say about her father. we analyzed everything and it does not lead to mark nunez having done anything wrong. >> the general public will never see this tape. a child is involved. it's an ongoing investigation. but anybody who did see this tape in law enforcement, it was a game changer. >> some of the troubling things that occurred in the tape with mary, it really brought my attention to what i believed that the problem was the kelley household. >> this tape was, like, the breaking point with everybody. you just start to then think
that maybe she's misguided but maybe she's also now becoming paranoid. >> mark then started to talk to us about genevieve kelley. he thought that genevieve was going to leave the state. we're a small police department. so we all took turns driving the street, checking to see if there was traffic there, seeing if there were any lights on. knocking on the door. talking to the neighbors and then we eventually found a day where the house was no longer occupied. by mary and genevieve and we realized they were gone. >> every year on average, about 200,000 abductions happen by family members. >> once she found out that nobody believed her, she grabbed the child and she ran. ♪ color is a beautiful thing..
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we eventually found that they were in colorado. she brought her daughter out to colorado to see another psychiatrist. >> and the child protective group in new hampshire was ready to give mark full custody. >> and then we found that genevieve had not come to court. by the time school started from a two-week fall break there, they were no longer in the school and they disappeared again. >> once she found out that nobody believed her, she grabbed the child and she ran. >> every year on average, about 200,000 abductions happen by family members. the real problem is that many times the accuser has convinced friends and family that the child is being hurt. >> you know, once the posters
started going up around town, you'd kind of go, what's that about? someone who knew her would say, you know, oh, her ex, there was a problem, she needed to keep the little girl away, and, you knows, the courts weren't cooperating. >> we knew mary was getting to the teenage age. in today's modern technology, kids got phones, kids got facebook, kids have twitter, and we wanted to talk to mary. we wanted mary to see that hey, there is a life over here and it may not be what you were told, so we established an internet site. >> mary, it's your father, mark, and your sister, madeleine. >> hi. >> and your brother, dave. >> hi. >> and the dog you never met, harry. >> then we establish a special phone line. >> i love you very, very much
and you know how to get ahold of us. >> we began to get phone calls from hello and a hang-up from the san paolo, brazil area. we were able to send a foreign country asset in to check and sure enough, she had been there. we missed her by two weeks. >> i always say to the kidnapping parent, someday your child's going to be an adult. someday that child is going to find out the truth and someday that child's going to turn around and say to you, you used me as a pawn, you ruined half of my life by keeping me from seeing my other parent. >> mark didn't get to prove that he didn't do what he was being accused of. he's been deprived of all contact with his daughter. it's been ten years. she probably doesn't remember him. >> before mark passes in his
♪ back in 1981, i had the american dream, the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs, and a beautiful 6-year-old son. and one day i went to work, kissed my son goodbye, and never saw him again. in two weeks, i became the parent of a murdered child and i'll always be the parent of a murdered child. i still have the heartache. i still have the rage. i waited years for justice. i know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers, and over those years, i learned how to do one thing really well. and that's how to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice. i've become a manhunter.