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Court documents detail what a man charged with murder told investigators about the abduction and killing of Mollie Tibbetts.

I'm not sure what 'what' is doing in this sentence. 'Detail' here is used as a verb. "charged with murder" modifies "a man". "A man told investigators about the abduction and killing of Mollie Tibbetts" is the main body of the sub-clause. So, I think 'that' is just fit.

Court documents detail that a man charged with murder told investigators about the abduction and killing of Mollie Tibbetts.

Any thoughts?

The full source.

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The confusion lies in the separation of some sentence elements.

Hopefully, it will make more sense if I rephrase it:

A man was charged with the abduction and murder of Mollie Tibbets. Court documents detail what he told investigators about the crime.

What is referencing the content of his story to the investigators.


Restating the original question:

Court documents detail what a man charged with murder told investigators about the abduction and killing of Mollie Tibbetts.

Because charged with murder has been placed in between the words in bold, it makes it more difficult to parse.

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