Opening Plenary

Keynote Speaker
Patty Wetterling

Patty Wetterling is the mother of Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted at the age of eleven by a masked gunman on October 22, 1989 near his home in St. Joseph, Minnesota. On September 1, 2016, nearly twenty-seven years after his abduction, Jacob’s remains were found and his abductor arrested. Patty has become a nationally recognized educator on child abduction and sexual exploitation of children.

Patty co-founded the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (JWRC) and Team H.O.P.E. a national support group for families of missing children. Patty co-authored the books, “When Your Child is Missing: A Family Survival Guide,” and “Perspectives on Missing Persons Cases.”

Patty was Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from 2012-2015 and remains a champion of hope for families whose children are still missing and for prevention of sexual exploitation and abduction.