By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of print, video and audio files in the Jacob Wetterling case will stay sealed for now.

(credit: CBS)

A Minnesota judge ruled Thursday that the files be returned to the FBI.

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The ruling comes as the legal battle between the Wetterlings and several Twin Cities media companies continues.

The files were expected to be released in 2016.

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The attorney for the Wetterlings says the family is pleased with the ruling.

The Wetterlings have been fighting to keep 22 of the more than 10,000 investigative files sealed to protect their right to privacy.

Seven of the 22 files could still be released. A hearing on that is slated for April 10.

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WCCO-TV is not one of the media companies involved in the case against the Wetterlings.

Esme Murphy