Jacob Wetterling documents to be released next week

ST. CLOUD, Minn.--The closed investigative file regarding the Jacob Wetterling abduction will be released to the public on Thursday, Sept. 20, Stearns County officials said Friday.
Jacob's photo is projected on the screen at the community memorial service for Jacob Wetterling at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in St. Joseph, Minn., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. Scott Takushi / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. CLOUD, Minn.-The closed investigative file regarding the Jacob Wetterling abduction will be released to the public on Thursday, Sept. 20, Stearns County officials said Friday.

The release will happen at 10:06 a.m. at the Stearns County Law Enforcement Center. Sheriff Don Gudmundson will host a news conference and present "key elements in the case and take questions based on the presentation," according to a news release.

Jacob Wetterling's parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, sued to keep part of the investigative file private, at least until a judge could review documents that they said held personal information about their marriage and family.

Several Minnesota media organizations - including the Pioneer Press - intervened, arguing that the documents should be public under the Minnesota Data Practices Act.

In April, Douglas County District Judge Ann Carrott ruled that because the investigation had concluded, the documents should be released.

In 2016, Danny Heinrich confessed to kidnapping and killing Jacob Wetterling in rural St. Joseph in 1989. Heinrich is serving a 20-year prison sentence for child pornography at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, Mass., about 40 miles northwest of Boston. FMC Devens is a prison for male inmates who require specialized long-term care, according to the prison's website.