Danny Heinrich made the admission Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in federal court in Minneapolis.
Heinrich led authorities to Jacob's remains last week, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case.
He admitted abducting Jacob near the boy's home in the central Minnesota community of St. Joseph on Oct. 22, 1989.
Authorities named Heinrich as a person of interest last October when they announced the child pornography charges.
A Minnesota man who led authorities to the remains of an 11-year-old boy who was abducted in 1989 is expected to appear in federal court in a child pornography case.
Danny Heinrich's status conference is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
Last year, authorities named Heinrich as a person of interest in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, who was snatched from a rural Minnesota road on Oct. 22, 1989.
Heinrich was never charged in that case. But he led authorities to Jacob's remains last week, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case.
The Stearns County Sheriff's Office said Jacob's remains were identified Saturday. Authorities expect to provide more details this week.