The Jacob Wetterling 911 call: Audio and transcript | WVIA

The Jacob Wetterling 911 call: Audio and transcript

Last Updated by APM Reports on


Dispatch: 911 emergency.

Jerzak: Ah, yes this is Merlyn Jerzak calling from (Wetterling address) in St. Joe, out in the township.

Dispatch: Uh-huh.

Jerzak: I'm right now next door to um, my neighbors at my neighbors, the Jerry Wetterling family.

Dispatch: That's where you're calling from, correct.

Jerzak: And some of their boys went down to Tom Thumb to pick up a movie and on their way back ah someone stopped them and ah, we believe that they have one of the boys because the, one of the boys did not come back with them.

Dispatch: OK, was, they picked up in a vehicle?

Jerzak: Pardon I can't hear you?

Dispatch: OK, were they picked up in a vehicle?

Jerzak: Pardon?

Dispatch: Can you hear me now?

Jerzak: Yes.

Dispatch: OK, were you, were they picked up in a vehicle?

Jerzak: (Asks the boys). They couldn't, they didn't see a vehicle, ah, this person appeared ah, on the road when they were bicycling back home.

Dispatch: OK, was it, and they don't know where the other friend is at?

Jerzak: They don't where their brother and friend is at.

Dispatch: OK, so we're missing two people?

Jerzak: Just missing one.

Dispatch: One?

Jerzak: Right.

Dispatch: OK, did they see the individual at all?

Jerzak: Yes, they did. (Asks boys.) He had a mask on.

Dispatch: He had a mask on?

Jerzak: Right.

Dispatch: The other dispatcher right now is dispatching the squad to where you're at right now, OK?

Jerzak: OK.

Dispatch: In the meantime I want to compile as much information as I can.

Jerzak: Right.

Dispatch: Um, what is your name again sir?

Jerzak: My name is Merlyn Jerzak, J-E-R-Z-A-K.

Dispatch: OK, what is your home, home phone number Merlyn?

Jerzak: My home phone.

Dispatch: I have where you're at and everything now.

Jerzak: (Provides phone number).But I'm at my neighbor's.

Dispatch: OK, and that's Dr. Jerry Wetterling?

Jerzak: That's Dr. Jerry Wetterling.

Dispatch: (Talks to another dispatcher.) How old is the individual that has notreturned?

Jerzak: (Asks boys.) 11.

Dispatch: OK, Jacob it's Jacob right?

Jerzak: Yes.

Dispatch: And he's 11.

Jerzak: Jacob, Jacob Wetterling.

Dispatch: Wetterling. OK, what was Jacob last seen wearing?

Jerzak: (Asks boys.)

Dispatch: (Talks on police radio.)

Jerzak: He was wearing a red hockey jacket that had "Police Department" on it, and it has his name on it.

Dispatch: "Police Department" written on back?

Jerzak: (Talks to boys) In white letters.

Dispatch: Where was the last time they seen Jacob? Where were they at about?

Jerzak: (Talks to boys.) It was right at ah, the Urban Schreifels ah, ah house.

Dispatch: OK, give me an idea where that is, you know where Dr. Cotton's office is?

Jerzak: Yes, it's approximately a quarter of a mile up south from the clinic.

Dispatch: OK, so it would be about a quarter of a mile south of

Jerzak: Dr. Cotton and Stiles clinic.

Dispatch: (Talks to officers on police radio.) Was Jacob riding a bike?

Jerzak: (Asks boys) Yeah, he was, he was riding his 10-speed bike,

Dispatch: No vehicle was seen. This party approached them on foot.

Jerzak: (Talks to boys.)

Dispatch: (Directs officers via radio.) Can you, Merlyn?

Jerzak: Yes.

Dispatch: Give me some information on this guy with the mask, I want color, anything those kids can remember?

Jerzak: OK, by the way, um, I don't have a house number on my, on my house, my fire number is

Dispatch: You're at the neighbor's place though, you're at (inaudible) Wetterling's, yeah

Jerzak: What, our, our fire number is, my fire number is AJ80 and theirs is OK, I'm right next door, my fire number is AJ80.

Dispatch: Yeah, I, Wetterlings, do they have their house number on their?

Jerzak: No, they don't.

Dispatch: OK.

Jerzak: But they're right next door to mine, um, I think that ah, maybe my best bet is to let Trevor get on the phone here, and he can describe to you what he saw and this type of thing.

Dispatch: OK, OK, hang on just a second. (Talks to officers via radio.) OK, I'm ready.

Jerzak: OK, I'll put Trevor on.

Dispatch: OK.

Jerzak: And he can you can, he can answer your questions.

Dispatch: OK.

Jerzak: We've got him pretty well calmed down here.

Dispatch: OK.

Trevor: Hello?

Dispatch: Trevor?

Trevor: Yes.

Dispatch: This, you're talking to the Sheriff's Office OK?

Trevor: Uh-huh.

Dispatch: I want you to give me anything you, you can recall about this male party that approached you guys, OK?

Trevor: Well he was, he was like sorta, he was like a man, sort of big.

Dispatch: What, he was large?

Trevor: Sorta.

Dispatch: OK.

Trevor: He had like a, it looked sort of like nylon things as a mask.

Dispatch: Do you know what color it was?

Trevor: Black, I think.

Dispatch: A black mask, do you know what color jacket he had on?

Trevor: I think it was black, too.

Dispatch: It was, OK, did you notice any jeans or anything?

Trevor: Yeah, I, just a second. (Asks Aaron.) Did he have jeans on?

Dispatch: Trevor, do you know what happened to your friend's bicycle?

Trevor: Um, no, we don't know.

Dispatch: Nobody knows what happened to that?

Trevor: Cuz we had to just like run, run off into the woods.

Dispatch: OK, you guys ran off into the woods, but nobody knows what happened to Jacob right?

Trevor: Yeah.

Dispatch: OK, can you think of anything else that I have?

Trevor: That what?

Dispatch: Did the guy have a deep voice? Anything like that that you can remember?

Trevor: Yes, (asks Aaron.) Did he have like a deep voice or whatever?

Dispatch: Trevor.

Trevor: Seemed like he had a cold sort of.

Dispatch: OK, can you tell me how big, compared to your dad or somebody, how big would you say this guy was?

Trevor: He was about the size of Merle, the guy that you were just talking to.

Dispatch: OK, same height? Same weight?

Trevor: Yeah, (inaudible) about the same.

Dispatch: That type of thing. OK, and you remember, and he had on a black mask and a black jacket, do you know if the jacket was leather or nylon? Did it have anything written on it?

Trevor: We couldn't tell because it was so dark.

Dispatch: OK, can I talk to Merlyn again real quick?

Trevor: Uh-huh, just a second.

Jerzak: Yes?

Dispatch: Merlyn, how big are you?

Jerzak: OK, I'm about 195 pounds and

Dispatch: Uh-huh

Jerzak: 5-foot-10.

Dispatch: I know that's hard for kids to

Trevor: Yeah.

Dispatch: Pinpoint, so I had to try to figure out who he looks like.

Trevor: Right

Dispatch: I'm keeping you guys on hold, I'm trying to talk to the officers at the same time, OK?

Trevor: OK.

Dispatch: So hang on just a second. (Talks to officers via police radio.) Sir, your number is Adam John right?

Jerzak: Pardon me?

Dispatch: AJ? Your fire number is AJ 80 right?

Jerzak: That's right, uh-huh.

Dispatch: AJ,

Jerzak: (Talks to boys.)

Dispatch: Where is the woods at?

Jerzak: OK,

Dispatch: That the kids ran into?

Jerzak: It's a little bit to the south of Urban Schreifels house.

Dispatch: OK,

Jerzak: And it runs for about a quarter of a mile west.

Dispatch: OK, I'm hoping if, if Jacob would have ran into the woods or something, if he would have gotten lost or something. Did they know if he actually had contact with Jacob or anything like that?

Jerzak: Yes they, they, they just told me that the guy had a hold of Jacob and told them to run into the woods, told the other two boys to run into the woods.

Dispatch: Did they see any weapons at all or anything like that?

Jerzak: (Asks boys.)

Dispatch: Guns? Knives?

Jerzak: He had a pistol.

Dispatch: (Talks to officers via police radio.) Can I talk to Trevor again?

Jerzak: Yes, hold on just a moment.

Dispatch: OK,

Jerzak: Here, Trevor.

Trevor: Hello?

Dispatch: Trevor, did you see the gun the individual had?

Trevor: Um, we couldn't really see it, but we just, we sort of saw it.

Dispatch: OK, did he threaten you? OK, do you guys see a squad cars outside the residence?

Trevor: Mm, what?

Dispatch: There should be a squad, can I talk to Merlyn again?

Trevor: Sure.

Jerzak: Yeah, I think the squad is at my house.

Dispatch: OK the far, can you guys open up the door and yell at them?

Trevor: Yeah, OK.

Dispatch: OK, I'll tell them to go, are you north or which direction are you from where the squad is?

Trevor: Um, south.

Dispatch: OK.

Trevor: Hold on, I'll run out.

Dispatch: OK, I want to, Merlyn? (Talks to officers via police radio.) Oh man, he told the two kids to run and he kept one kid.

Trevor: I have Officer Bechtold

Dispatch: Bechtold

Trevor: In the house here right now.

Dispatch: OK, he's going to finish up the call from that end then, OK?

Trevor: OK.

Dispatch: What we're more than likely will be coming out with some dogs and stuff OK?

Trevor: OK, good.

Dispatch: OK, thank you very much.

Trevor: You bet.

Dispatch: Bye now.

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