Kansas parents who want to know what happened to their son before they die, ask judge to release records

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LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, Kan. -- A Kansas mother and father went before a Leavenworth County judge on Tuesday, asking him to release approximately 2,000 records related to investigation into the disappearance of their son in 1988.

During the hearing that lasted half the day, Alberta and Harold Leach's attorney argued that Leavenworth County should release the records because of the Kansas Open Records Act.

The Leaches have said they just want to know what really happened to their son before they die, admitting he likely was killed. Randy Leach disappeared when he was 17-years old while at a high school party just weeks before graduation.

The attorney for the Leaches argued that their request does meet open record exceptions for allowing investigative records to be release.

Leavenworth County argued the records should not be released because Randy Leach's disappearance is an 'ongoing' investigation and releasing the records could hinder it.

FOX 4 investigative producer Lisa McCormick was called to testify on behalf of the family's effort to get the records opened.

FOX 4's special report called 'Where's Randy?', a collaborative investigation by Lisa McCormick and Fox 4's John Holt was entered as an exhibit. The 'Where's Randy' investigation examined how the case was handled. Alberta and Harold Leach believe the case was mishandled from the beginning because detectives did not take it seriously and believed Randy was a runaway.

“Possibly things that should have been done that have been overlooked. And they’ve told us a lot of things that we don’t think is right," Alberta Leach explained the reasons she and Harold Leach are fighting for the records to be opened.

At the end of the hearing, the judge decided he wants to look at all the records himself and says he will make it a priority.  The Leavenworth  County Sheriff's Dept., agreed to deliver copies of the records to the judge.

If the judge denies their request, Alberta Leach said they will appeal.

"We're not givin' up. No way. Not after this long," she said.

The Leaches at the hearing on Tuesday.

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