For nearly seven months, five days a week, 10 hours a day, investigators were in the "Wetterling Room" at the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, combing through paperwork associated with the Jacob Wetterling case.
There were more than 36,000 pages of police reports over 27 years. There were tens of thousands more in lead sheets, which included any potential lead called in since Jacob was abducted in 1989.
Officials spent months scouring each page, removing any private information that state law protects.
The closed investigative file will be released to the public Sept. 20, 2018, and 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will comb through it to put the last pieces of the Jacob Wetterling case in place.
Timeline of Events
Oct. 22, 1989: 11-year-old Jacob is abducted by a masked gunman about 9:15 p.m. in St. Joseph, Minnesota. A search begins.
Oct. 27, 1989: Officials release an artist's sketch of the man who tried to abduct a boy earlier in the summer in Stearns County, thinking the incidents could be linked to the same man.
Nov. 30, 1989: A more accurate sketch of the earlier sketch is released.
Jan. 16, 1990: The Wetterlings announce plans to establish the Jacob Wetterling Foundation.
1994: The Jacob Wetterling Act was passed in his honor. It was the first law to institute a state sex-offender registry.
June 30, 2010: A farm in rural St. Joseph is searched. Jacob was last seen at the end of the property's driveway.
July 1, 2010: Crews dig up the farm, and officials remain tight-lipped on what they are doing.
July 2, 2010: Dan Rassier, a man who lives at the farm, is named a person of interest.
Sept. 28, 2010: The Stearns County Sheriff's Office reports that lab tests on materials gathered at the farm did not produce evidence.
July 28, 2015: Officials execute a search warrant in Annandale at the home of Daniel Heinrich. DNA evidence linked him to a sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy in Cold Spring, 10 months before Jacob went missing. Evidence of pornography was discovered along with news reports of Jacob and other missing children.
Oct. 28, 2015: Daniel Heinrich is arrested.
Oct. 29, 2015: Law enforcement names Daniel Heinrich a "person of interest" in the disappearance. He is charged with child pornography.
Sept. 3, 2016: Jacob's remains were found after Heinrich agreed to cooperate and provide information.
Sept. 6, 2016: Heinrich outlined the events of Oct. 22, 1989 in court, admitting he kidnapped, sexually assaulted and killed Jacob. He also admitted to reburying Jacob's remains.
Dec. 23, 2016: Heinrich's Annandale home is demolished
Jan. 4, 2017: Heinrich is placed in a federal prison facility in Oklahoma
June 5, 2017: Investigative filed expected to be released publicly
June 2017: Wetterling family files lawsuit to keep investigative file private
June 23, 2017: Media and government transparency advocates request chance to intervene in court case
March 29, 2018: Judge rules Stearns County must return some of the investigative files to the FBI
Sept. 20, 2018: Stearns County Sheriff's Office releases the investigative file to the public