I wonder if Jacob recognized his abductor and the man possibly said to him, "do you recognize me?," and Jacob, being an honest soul, said to him, "yes, I recognize you from (fill in the blank) _______________ (hockey/when I was fishing/in the neighborhood/on TV/radio/school/from the Tom Thumb, etc). If this happened and Jacob admitted he recognized the abductor, that may have resulted in his death, as the perpetrator most definitely didn't want to be found out.
It's not a huge community -- if the perpetrator was local, which I believe he was, it's very possible Jacob may have at least seen him before -- enough to say, "yes, that's the man who assaulted me -- I recognize his voice and his face."
I remain convinced that if those here who have been diligently studying this case could see the actual files (of LE), it would not be long before you would be able to not only identify the culprit but also understand why he has not been charged in Jacob's abduction (and possibly others?).
After all, to the best of my knowledge, no one here has any conflict of interest, nor baggage related to this case, nor "official"mistakes made in pursuing the perpetrator, nor any kind of blackmail or threats, or anything else that might impede us from objectively assessing ALL the suspects in the context of the FACTS and what is known to be true and truthful. Unfortunately, we are not entitled to know all the facts, and what is true and truthful, except that which we can deduce based upon the minimal amount of information we have. (yes, minimal, because I assure you that file is huge and filled with all kinds of interesting info).
I would like to know, but seriously, who are we? Nobody.