Person of interest tries to clear name with 5-page letter - FOX 35 News Orlando

Person of interest tries to clear name with 5-page letter

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A man police call a person of interest in the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling has penned a five-page letter as part of a campaign to clear his name.

Dan Rassier sent the missive to more than a dozen state officials. In it, he claimed his civil rights have been violated -- and he spoke with FOX 9 News off-camera to explain his point of view.

Rassier maintains his innocence, but he says law enforcement gave the public the perception that he is guilty even though he has never been arrested or charged in the case.

According to Rassier, law enforcement officers participated in a "farm invasion" when they brought equipment onto his property in order to dig in search of clues in 2010.

Wetterling disappeared nearly 23 years ago, and the FOX 9 Investigators first reported that police were looking into Rassier in 2004. Rassier told FOX 9 News that the life he and his family live has been hellish ever since media reports linked him to the case.

"To leave my family and myself hanging in the ugly winds of suspicion and evil is the most brutal harassment on a daily basis," he wrote.

In the letter, Rassier goes on to complain that the investigation was handled poorly.

"Jacob Wetterling never had a chance of being found based on what I observed law enforcement doing," Rassier told FOX 9 News.

Rassier wrote that he sympathizes with Wetterling's family, saying he "can't imagine the pain the Wetterlings still feel," but he still says destroying his family's name over a hunch is a serious crime.

"To leave the whole thing open to speculation and open to the public's imagination is just wrong," he wrote. "Jacob Wetterling and his family, along with the public, deserve nothing less than the truth."

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner is named in the letter but didn't receive one, but he said Rassier still has not been ruled out as a suspect. Sanner said his office will continue to work on the case until it is solved.

Calls to Patty Wetterling seeking comment were not returned.

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