US Government Sues Stearns County Over Wetterling Documents

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. government is asking a state court judge to order that FBI documents related to the Jacob Wetterling investigation be returned to the federal agency.

Officials in Stearns County had planned to release the investigative case file after Danny Heinrich confessed to the 1989 abduction and killing of 11-year-old Jacob.

But Patty and Jerry Wetterling sued in June to keep 168 pages sealed because they contained personal information. A judge temporarily blocked the file’s release.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office joined the Wetterlings’ litigation Tuesday, saying the FBI wants its records back and the documents must be released under federal, not state, law.

Attorneys say more than half of the thousands of pages in the case file are federal. The federal Freedom of Information Act has more privacy protections for victims.

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