Jodi Huisentruit

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Jodi Huisentruit
Jodi Huisentruit.jpg
Born Jodi Sue Huisentruit
(1968-06-05)June 5, 1968
Long Prairie, Minnesota, U.S.
Disappeared June 27, 1995 (aged 27)
Mason City, Iowa, U.S.
Status Missing for 22 years and 28 days
Nationality American
Education St. Cloud State University
Occupation Television news anchor

Jodi Sue Huisentruit /ˈdi huzɪntrut/ (born June 5, 1968 – declared legally dead May 2001) was a television news anchor for KIMT, based in Mason City, Iowa, in the United States. She was declared missing in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995, soon after telling a colleague that she was on her way to work. As there were signs of a struggle outside her apartment, she is believed to have been abducted, but extensive investigations have failed to uncover any clues to her disappearance.

Early life[edit]

Jodi Huisentruit was born in and grew up in Long Prairie, Minnesota,[1] the youngest daughter of Maurice Nicholas Huisentruit (1920–1982) and Imogene L. "Jane" Huisentruit (née Anderson, 1923–2014).[2] In high school, she was considered to be very good at golf. Her team won the state Class A tournament in 1985 and 1986. After high school, she went on to St. Cloud State University, where she studied mass communications and speech communication and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1990. Her first job after graduation was with Northwest Airlines.[3] She entered broadcasting by getting a job at KGAN in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the station's Iowa City bureau chief, then returned to Minnesota for a job at KSAX in Alexandria before returning to Iowa for her KIMT position.

Disappearance[edit]

On the day before she disappeared, Huisentruit participated in a golf tournament and, according to Mason City resident John Vansice, she went to his home to view a video tape of the birthday party that he had arranged for her earlier in the month.[4]

At about 4:00 am on June 27, 1995, KIMT producer Amy Kuns noted that Huisentruit had failed to report to work as scheduled, so she called Huisentruit's apartment. Huisentruit answered the telephone, explained that she had overslept, and said she was preparing to leave for the station. By 6:00 am, however, she had still not arrived, and Kuns filled in for her on the morning show Daybreak. At about 7:00 am, KIMT staff called the Mason City police.[5]

When police arrived at Huisentruit's apartment they found her red Mazda Miata in the parking lot, as well as evidence suggesting there had been a struggle near that car. Among other evidence, Huisentruit's personal items, including her keys, were found strewn about the area and police reported recovering an unidentified palm print from her car.[6][7]

Investigation[edit]

The ensuing investigation revealed at least three neighbors in her apartment complex who said they heard screams at about the time Huisentruit would have likely been leaving for work.[8][9] In addition, a neighbor who lived nearby reported seeing a white van with its running lights on parked in Huisentruit's parking lot at about the same time. This van was never positively identified.[10]

In September 1995, the Huisentruit family hired private investigators from McCarthy & Associates, Investigative Services, Inc. (MAIS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who in turn enlisted the assistance of Omaha, Nebraska private investigator Doug Jasa. McCarthy and Jasa appeared on several national television shows, including America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries.[11] In November 1995, they and members of Jodi's family traveled to Los Angeles to meet with three prominent psychics. This meeting was televised and served as the pilot for the Psychic Detectives television show.[12] Although each show generated a large volume of leads, none resulted in concrete evidence or the identification of a suspect.

In May 1996, about 100 volunteers searched an area of Cerro Gordo County and left flags to mark anything that appeared suspicious. Each of these sites was then re-examined by law enforcement, but no promising evidence was located.[13]

Since Huisentruit's disappearance in 1995, police and private investigators have conducted more than 1000 interviews relating to her disappearance.[14][15] None has resulted in conclusive evidence pointing towards a suspect. Huisentruit was declared legally dead in May 2001.[16]

There have been periodic resurgences in the story. When new cases arise that appear to bear similarities to Huisentruit's or remains are found in the area, speculation quickly leads to a connection with the missing reporter. So far, however, no suspect has been tied to Huisentruit's disappearance and all remains have proven to be from other sources. In 2005, many media outlets, including 20/20,[17] again focused on the story as the 10th anniversary of the disappearance approached.

In early June 2008, photocopies of the 84 pages of Huisentruit's personal journal were anonymously mailed to a local newspaper.[18] The Mason City Globe Gazette received the material in a large envelope with no return address and a June 4 postmark from Waterloo, Iowa. The original journal has been in the possession of law enforcement since the investigation of Huisentruit's disappearance began.[19] Within days, Mason City Police reported that the sender had come forward and then identified her as the wife of the former Mason City Police Chief. Although noting that the former chief had taken a copy of the journal home when he left office, the police gave no motive for his wife sending the copy to the newspaper.[20]

The FBI, the Mason City Police Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and MAIS's investigators are all still actively working on Huisentruit's disappearance, and the television show Nancy Grace: America's Missing spotlighted her case on February 23, 2011, and again on December 6, 2013.[21][22]

In May 2015, all 100 members of the Iowa State House of Representatives signed a letter asking for the City of Mason City to declare June 27, 2015, as Jodi Huisentruit Day in honor of her memory and that of all victims in unsolved cases.[23]

In December 2016, retiring Iowa State Representative John Kooiker of Sioux County, Iowa, described his experience with the case as a member of the Iowa State House Public Safety Committee and suggested a cover-up by Mason City officials. His opinion piece was published in The N'West Iowa Review.[24]

As of February 2017, Huisentruit has not been found, neither have remains been identified as hers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pieper, Mary (June 27, 2015). "Search for Jodi Huisentruit continues 20 years later". Globe Gazette. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ Peterson, Gary (December 11, 2014). "Remembering Imogene 'Jane' Huisentruit". Find Jodi. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  3. ^ Molene, John (October 25, 1997). "Family plants endowment seed". St. Cloud Times. pp. 3A–4A. Retrieved January 14, 2017. 
  4. ^ FindJodi.com, The search continues
  5. ^ "Community Still Haunted by Missing News Anchor". ABC News. July 1, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  6. ^ Mastre, Brian (July 10, 2015). "Cold Case: News Anchor Abducted". WOWT. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  7. ^ "20 years later, TV anchor Jodi Huisentruit still missing". CBS News. June 25, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Officials still searching for missing newswoman". The Daily Reporter. Associated Press. June 29, 1995. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  9. ^ Divine, Mary (June 19, 2015). "20 years later, search for Jodi Huisentruit hasn't ended". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  10. ^ "The strange case of Jodi Huisentruit". The Shields Gazette. November 27, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  11. ^ Episode Number: 364; Season: 8; First Aired: February 18, 1996
  12. ^ "Psychics join search for anchorwoman". Post-Bulletin. November 13, 1995. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  13. ^ Benson, Josh. "Jodi's Disappearance: 1st Year Timeline". Find Jodi. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Year later, TV anchor still missing". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. June 30, 1996. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ Sheriff: Human Remains From Adult Male – Des Moines News Story – KCCI Des Moines Archived June 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Bob, Link (May 15, 2001). "Court declares Jodi Huisentruit legally dead". Globe Gazette. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  17. ^ 20/20 Episode Number: 1405; Season: 26; First Aired: Friday July 1, 2005
  18. ^ "Journal of missing television anchor mailed to newspaper". Star Tribune. Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 26, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Jodi's Journal", The Globe Gazette, June 22, 2008
  20. ^ "Wife of former police chief sent Huisentruit journal to Globe". Globe Gazette. June 27, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Newswoman Missing in Mason City, Iowa". CNN. February 23, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Nancy Grace Mysteries: Jodi Huisentruit". CNN. December 6, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  23. ^ http://iasty6e9ii48tsj30lg3j17r.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/iowa-state-house-letter.pdf
  24. ^ Kooiker, John (December 28, 2016). "Disappearance of Huisentruit remains troubling". The N'West Iowa Review. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 

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