Jacob Wetterling case files to be released next week

The release of the files has been subject to legal challenges.
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Jacob Wetterling

Thousands of pages of police files from the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling will be released this week.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office was set to release the files as per Minnesota law last June, following the discovery of Wetterling's body and the confession of his killer, Danny Heinrich, in 2016.

But the Wetterling family filed a restraining order that delayed the release, saying around 29 pages from the files contain personal information unrelated to the case, the release of which would harm their privacy.

Minnesota media outlets challenged this however, saying it would set an unwanted precedent for future criminal cases, and a judge sided with the media at a hearing this past April.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office revealed on Friday that the closed file will be released to the public at 10:06 a.m.

Sheriff Don Gudmundson will also host a press conference that includes a presentation on the key elements of the case, and will then take questions from the media.

The 1989 abduction of the 11-year-old Wetterling was the subject of a podcast, In The Dark, by American Public Media, which raised questions about how police handled the case.

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