Danny Heinrich confesses to abducting and killing 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in 1989

Danny Heinrich made the confession as part of a plea deal with prosecutors 

This undated file photo provided by the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office, shows Daniel Heinrich. Heinrich, who authorities have called a person of interest in the 1989 kidnapping, denied any involvement and was not charged with that crime. He has pleaded not guilty to several federal child pornography charges
This undated file photo provided by the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office, shows Daniel Heinrich. Heinrich, who authorities have called a person of interest in the 1989 kidnapping, denied any involvement and was not charged with that crime. He has pleaded not guilty to several federal child pornography charges

A man in Minnesota has admitted in court to the 1989 abduction and killing of an 11-year-old boy whose remains were found last week.

Danny Heinrich said on Tuesday he had kidnapped and shot to death Jacob Wetterling, who was riding his bike on a rural Minnesota road nearly 27 years ago. He and later buried him in a gravel pit, and reburied him a year later.

“What did I do wrong?” Heinrich said Jacob asked, after he was grabbed and forced into the man's car that night, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Patty and Jerry Wetterling show a photo of their son Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted in October of 1989 in St. Joseph, Minneapolis

Heinrich provided the details in exchange for plea deal involving child pornography charges against him. The 53-year-old will not be prosecuted for the youngster’s muder.

“State officials have agreed that there will be no state prosecution for the crimes committed in 1989,” US District Judge John Tunheim said before a packed federal courtroom in Minneapolis.

At a news conferencewith family members in attendance, US Attorney Andrew Luger said: “Finally, we know.We know the truth. Danny Heinrich is no long the person of interest; he is the confessed killer of Jacob Wetterling.”

Heinrich told the court he had panicked after grabbing the boy.

“I panicked. I pulled the revolver out of my pocket. I loaded it with two rounds. I told Jacob to turn around,” Heinrich told the court, the newspaper said.

“I told him I had to go to the bathroom. I raised the revolver to his head. I turned my head and it clicked once. I pulled the trigger again and it went off. Looked back, he was still standing. I raised the revolver again and shot him again.“

Authorities last October named Heinrich as a person of interest in the disappearance and suspected homicide of the boy, whose parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, have become advocates for missing children since his disappearance.

Heart’s admission came in federal court in Minneapolis as he pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge.

Heinrich faces the statutory maximum of 20 years on the child pornography count, though Judge Tunheim will decide his sentence. Heinrich could also be civilly committed to the state's sexual offender programme after his prison sentence ends.

Heinrich led authorities to the child’s body last week after initially denying involvement in his death.

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