It was the case that changed Minnesota: Jacob Wetterling’s 1989 disappearance near his St. Joseph home. When local law enforcement couldn’t convict Danny Heinrich on sexual assault and murder charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office made it a federal child pornography case.
Steve Schleicher and Julie Allyn worked that case for a year before Heinrich agreed on Aug. 20, 2016, to reveal where he buried Jacob. Federal prosecutors determined Heinrich should show law enforcement the site. That meant transferring Heinrich into FBI custody — normally a multi-day process requiring high-level approvals.
“Steve and Julie stayed up all night working on the paperwork and bugging the people in Washington,” said Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andy Luger. “They got it done in half a day.”
Schleicher and Allyn knew when to push and when to exercise restraint, added former prosecutor and colleague John Marti. They put Heinrich in the position where he could finally come forward and give the Wetterling family some peace, said Marti, now with Dorsey & Whitney.
“The resolution in this case doesn’t just happen. Fully committed, highly motivated professionals like Steve and Julie make it happen,” added Luger. “Having lived with them through this case for one solid year, I could not think of anyone more deserving of this award.”