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The strange case of Jodi Huisentruit

STILL MISSING ... Jodi Huisentruit.
STILL MISSING ... Jodi Huisentruit.

JODI Sue Huisentruit was born on June 5, 1968. Her formative years were spent in the town of Long Prairie, Minnesota.

Huisentruit was something of a golf fanatic, but she managed to keep her desire to “knock the white” in check enough to attain a well-deserved Bachelor Degree in TV Broadcasting and Speech Communication in 1990.

After working for Northwest Airlines, Jodi then joined the TV station KGAN in Cedar Rapids, Idaho.  

She worked for one or two other stations subsequently, before finally ending up as a news anchor – one of toughest jobs in the media – for KIMT in Mason City, Iowa.

On June 26, 1995, Jodi played in a golf tournament. She then went to the home of a friend, John Vansice.

John had video-taped Jodi’s birthday party a month earlier, and thought she’d like to see it. She happily obliged.

The following morning, at 4am, Jodi was due at the KIMT studio to present the popular Daybreak show. She never arrived.

Producer Amy Kuns telephoned Jodi, and the anchor answered the phone.

She explained that she’d slept in, apologised profusely and said she’d head off to the studio immediately.

Two hours passed, and Jodi didn’t show up for work, forcing Kuns to stand in for her.

After another hour had passed, and there was still no sign of Jodi, her worried colleagues phoned the police.

At her apartment the police found her car in the parking lot, but there was something far more disturbing; her keys, shoes and various items from her clutch bag were scattered nearby.

Whatever had happened, it was obvious Jodi had put up a fight.

Grimly, a number of residents nearby told police they’d heard chilling screams at the same time Jodi was leaving for work.

A white van was also seen in Jodi’s drive with its lights on and the engine running at the same time.

The vehicle has never been traced. Sadly, neither has Jodi Huisentruit.

Those who knew Jodi Huisentruit were devastated. The story went viral.

Private detectives, volunteers and TV shows like Unsolved Mysteries, Psychic Detectives, America’s Missing and America’s Most Wanted all engaged in a desperate drive to find the missing journalist in the hope she might still be alive. It was all to no avail.

As the months passed, over 1,200 interviews were carried out with possible suspects and witnesses.  

None of them bore fruit. In May, 2001, Jodi Huisentruit was declared legally dead.

One interesting twist in the tale occurred in 2008, when Jodi’s private diary was mailed anonymously to a local newspaper.

It was then reported that the sender had outed herself, and was none other than the wife of a former high-ranking police officer.

The officer had allegedly taken Jodi’s journal home with him when he retired. Why he’d done this, and why his wife then mailed it to the Globe Gazette, is still a mystery.

Jodi’s family and friends have not given up the search for her. She was much loved and admired, and they will not rest until the truth about her strange disappearance is uncovered.

I know that fans of this column in the USA read it regularly.

If anyone knows anything that could help solve the mystery of Jodi’s disappearance, they should contact the Mason City Police Department on (641) 421-3636.

I’m currently talking to the Mason City PD regarding the case, and will give you an update on the investigation next week.

* Have you seen something odd? Tell Mike at wraithscape@mikehallowell.com