MINNEAPOLIS - Wednesday, February 17th is Jacob Wetterling’s 38th birthday.

Wetterling went missing from St. Joseph on October 22, 1989. His case remains open and unsolved.

In a news release from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, Patty Wetterling writes that she's still praying for Jacob's safety and for answers. She makes a reference to a recent update in the case, when 52-year-old Daniel Heinrich of Annandale was named a “person of interest” in October.

"Last fall, 26 years later, news of possible answers had your story as the number two news coverage in the region. That's pretty amazing 26 years later. People care. There are more good people than bad in the world and people still have hope."

Heinrich remains in jail due to unrelated child pornography charges.

Patty Wetterling says they continue to hope for her son's return and have a wish for every child that's home safe: that they never have to endure abduction or sexual exploitation of any type.

"I am hoping and praying that people will remember you on February 17th and we ask that everyone hug their kids a little tighter, tell them they love them and take time to play a game or read books. My wish is also that parents will support agencies that help find our missing kids."

Last month, Stearns County Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold announced he was taking over the Wetterling case after Captain Pam Jensen recently retired.  Jensen led the Wetterling investigation for about 15 years.

Bechtold was the first officer to respond to the Wetterling call.

The Wetterling investigation continues to be active. Anyone who has a tip on the case is asked to contact Stearns County Sheriff’s Office or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.