Wetterling family makes statement ahead of release of Jacob case file

The investigative documents will go public on Thursday.
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The parents of Jacob Wetterling have made a statement ahead of the release of investigative files into the abduction and murder of their son.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office is expected to release thousands of pages of documents concerning the investigation into the 11-year-old's 1989 abduction.

The Wetterling family had sought to block the release of some of the documents that they said contained personal information that would infringe their privacy.

Their injunction, which was opposed by several Minnesota media outlets, held up the release of the documents, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

On Wednesday, the eve of the release, the Wetterling family issued a statement.

"It is difficult for us to relive those dark days," it says. "With time, our family is healing and getting stronger and we appreciate all the efforts to make things better for future victims of crime, their families and for all of us.

"Our hearts hurt for anyone who is pained or hurt from the release of this file. Clearly, changes are still needed."

"Hug your children, tell them how unique and special they are, say a prayer, light a candle, hold hands, be with friends and always hope."

It's not clear what changes the Wetterling family is referring to, but the files are expected to contain some information that suggests mistakes in how police went about carrying out the search for Jacob.

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

The search ended in 2016, when long-time suspect Danny Heinrich admitted to the killing, and directed authorities to where the body was buried.

Ahead of the release of the case file, the Wetterling family asked for this flyer be shared.

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