CHASKA, Minn. (CN) – In response to a request from Prince’s siblings for investigative files about the late pop star’s death, a Minnesota prosecutor said Friday the records cannot be released because a criminal investigation is still underway.
Carver County Attorney Mark Metz said his office objects to the release of investigative data relating to Prince Roger Nelson's death in 2016 because a joint federal and state criminal investigation surrounding the late musician is still ongoing.
“This confidential law enforcement data remains confidential until the Carver County Attorney makes the decision to charge or decline any criminal charge,” Metz said in a statement Friday.
Metz's response comes two days after Prince’s siblings told a Minnesota court they cannot decide whether to file a wrongful-death suit for the superstar’s death because the county sheriff’s, medical examiner’s and attorney’s offices have denied them access to investigative data.
In Wednesday’s memorandum filed in Carver County District Court, the siblings said they won’t disclose the data to anyone but their attorneys, unless under court order, and that the statute of limitations on a wrongful death suit is running. And if the family does sue, they could do so under seal or under a protective order.
But the county attorney didn’t budge.
"With respect to the medical examiner data, since the Carver County Attorney cannot presently determine that release would not impede the ongoing investigation, that data remains legally classified as private or nonpublic," Metz said.
Metz said the records can be released to Prince’s family once the investigation is closed.
The court has not yet set a date to hear the family’s motion to release the law enforcement and medical records.
Prince died on April 21, 2016, of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. He was 57.
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