LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — A Kansas judge will read thousands of pages of investigative records focusing on the 1988 disappearance of a teenager before deciding whether to release the files to the teen’s parents.

The parents of Randy Leach, 17, have filed a lawsuit contending the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office and Leavenworth County violated the Kansas Open Records Act by refusing to release the records. The parents, Alberta and Harold Leach, asked the judge to order the release of all records related to their son’s disappearance between April 1988 and December 1992, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported .

Randy Leach was last seen that April at a high school graduation celebration in the county. He disappeared along with a car with no trace. No one has been charged and the car was never located.

Leach’s parents had sought investigative reports in the early 1990s relating to their son’s disappearance, according to Alberta Leach. She said they received about 60 pages from investigators, but all were documents the parents provided them.

Under Kansas law, a judge can order the release of criminal investigation records if it’s in the “public interest.” David C. Van Parys, an attorney for the defendants, said the records request in the disappearance hadn’t “reached the threshold of public interest. It has met the threshold of public curiosity.”

Maxwell Kautsch, an attorney for the Leaches, said the teenager has been missing for nearly 30 hours.

“The answers are in the investigation,” he said. “The only way they’re going to know what happened to their son is the opening of the investigation.”

Leavenworth County District Court Judge David King said he’ll inspect the investigative reports before making a decision. He said deciding the case would be his highest priority and that it would be done as soon as possible.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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