A story tragically as old as time. When a young person with a bright future championed by their ambition is cut down before one could argue they had even reached their prime. Mystery only adds to the tragedy of situation, nobody having answers to where something so promising went so horribly wrong.
Jodi Huisentruit was a promising news anchor in Mason City, Iowa for the local CBS affiliate KIMT. Graduating from St. Cloud State University with a major in Mass Communications and Speech Communication as a member of the class of 1990. A native of Long Prairie, Minnesota and the youngest of daughter of Maurice and Imogene Huisentruit, Jodi began her career as a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines, before settling in as the bureau chief for KGAN in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
She would once return to her home state of Minnesota to pursue an opportunity at KSAX before returning to Iowa to take her position at KIMT. Many believed she aspired to one day make her way to the big city and become a prime time news anchor with national recognition on a major network.
However this would all come to a sudden halt when she failed to show up for work on the morning of June 27th, 1995. Producer Amy Kuns, noted that at 4:00 AM and with no sign of Jodi, something was wrong. She called Jodi at home and informed her of the situation. Jodi noted that she simply overslept and was on her way to work.
When hours passed and there was still no sign of Jodi, Kuns would fill in for Jodi on the morning show while the network called law enforcement after the show was complete. Jodi had been late before but this time something seemed to be different to those who knew her.
Upon their arrival at her home, they found her red Mazda Miata still parked in the lot. However there was evidence that suggested a struggle had taken place just outside the car. The officers would then find Jodi’s personal items scattered about the immediate vicinity. Although they would acquire a palm print from her car that remains unidentified to this day, this was the genesis for a mystery that remains unsolved Twenty-two years later.
The neighborhood canvas unveiled little other than neighbors hearing screams around the approximate time Jodi would be leaving for work. They did discover reports of a white van shining its lights in the parking lot around the same time and the van or its driver and/or other occupants have never been confirmed or identified.
Perhaps the dark side of fame had finally caught up to the ambitious young professional. Was she being followed by an obsessive viewer?. A bent key was found on the ground near her car to suggest she was grabbed from behind as she was unlocking her vehicle. More of her belongings would be found spread across the parking lot, as Police would later reveal.
Where is Jodi? A question that burned in the minds of all Jodi’s friends and colleagues at the news station but remained unanswered. Nobody was beyond question. A colleague, a viewer with an obsession, every angle of investigation was being considered. The disappearance even had her coworkers on edge in that they could be next.
Mason City Police considered every possible avenue. They would even welcome the support of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But in reality anyone who owned a television set could be considered suspect. Suspects even included convicted rapists who would vehemently deny any involvement in the case.
Time passed and every thing would return to what one might perceive to be normal. A tree remains out front of the KIMT offices dedicated to the life of a young woman who dreamed of reaching the stars but had it tragically taken away from her.
Leads would continue to come in and of course they were followed up with investigators doing their due diligence. While their confidence in finding a resolution to this case would never waiver even until this day, that resolution is yet to arrive.
At the famous age of 27, a young, bright and ambitious professional had her dreams snatched away form her by someone. Their motives remain as murky as the outcome of this case. Even State Representative, John Kooiker voiced his opinion on the case in recent years and suggested that the resolution has been found but suppressed by other city officials.
Regardless of a cover up or not, a beautiful young woman had her life tragically cut short. A suspect still remains at loose today and does not deserve to die with an honorable name. He or she must be held accountable for their actions and it is only my hope that I see this happen…