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Legal Fight Over Jacob Wetterling Files Continues

Patty Wetterling, Jerry Wetterling and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CEO John Ryan speak to reporters at a news conference highlighting Jacob Wetterling abduction. Lee Voss, WJON News
Lee Voss, WJON News

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota judge says she hasn’t decided whether to allow several media organizations to join a legal dispute over whether to release case files from the Jacob Wetterling investigation.

The first public hearing was held Friday about access to the investigative files from the 1989 kidnapping and killing of 11-year-old Jacob.

The case went unsolved until last year, when Danny Heinrich confessed to sexually assaulting and killing the boy. Heinrich led authorities to the boy’s remains on a farm near Paynesville.

The boy’s parents, Jerry and Patty Wetterling, sued Stearns County to block the release of some documents they say contain personal information.

Several media organizations and open-government groups are asking to intervene. They argued Friday that the full case should be made public.

District Judge Ann Carrott didn’t immediately rule. She’s giving both sides 10 days to file responses.

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