Wetterling family expresses condolences before files release

The family of Jacob Wetterling is expressing condolences before investigative files on the 1989 abduction and killing of their son are released.

The Wetterling family issued a statement Wednesday saying, “Our hearts are hurt for anyone who is pained or hurt from the release of this file.”

Stearns County authorities plan to release their investigative files to the public Thursday.

Jacob’s parents, Patty and Jerry Wetterling, fought unsuccessfully to keep some documents private. But media organizations persuaded a judge that the documents were public information under state law because the investigation was over.

Jacob was 11 when he was abducted near his St. Joseph home in 1989. In 2016 Danny Heinrich confessed and led investigators to his remains. In a deal with prosecutors, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for child pornography.