The National Guard was called out Friday to search for an 11-year-old boy who was kidnapped at gunpoint from a rural road last weekend.
Gov. Rudy Perpich approved a request for help from Stearns County Charlie Grafft and said two National Guard helicopters were to be made available Friday afternoon. About 100 National Guard troops were to be in place by Saturday morning to assist in the search for kidnap victim Jacob Wetterling, the governor said.Lt. Col. Ron Deppa said the troops' assignment will be "to fan out and cover more territory for the sheriff."
Grafft said earlier the guard could comb areas in the western part of the county that have not been covered. More than 40 riders on horseback were continuing the search of that area Friday.
Authorities have said they suspect that Jacob was stalked by his abductor. "We think (the kidnapper) is a sex offender, no doubt about it," Grafft said. No ransom demand had been made and there are no suspects.
Wetterling was returning home with his brother, Trevor, 10, and a friend Sunday night when a man dressed in black, wearing a mask and armed with a pistol, jumped out of the woods at the boys and kidnapped Jacob, police said.
Mike Shields, superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said authorities "have no new leads that have tremendous merit."