Jodi Huisentruit, born June 5, 1968 was a pretty, 5' 3"; 120 pound, blond with brown eyes. With a positive, outgoing personality, and eternally optimistic view of life, Jodi was everybody's friend.
In November of 1993 Jodi left her job at KSAX-TV in Alexandria, MN and took a job with CBS affiliate KIMT-TV in Mason City, IA. Within a year she had become the station's morning news anchor and producer.
She had moved to Mason City to improve herself professionally, not realizing that she was also entering a maelstrom of illegal drugs and murder. Unknown to Jodi, North Central Iowa was in the grip of a large scale illegal drug operation.
Shortly after coming to Mason City a man considerably older than Jodi became obsessed with her. During the Spring of 1995 this person showered her with unsolicited gifts and letters and called her repeatedly at her apartment and at the TV station. Several times, Jodi told her friends that she wanted to distance herself from this individual but that she was afraid to do so.
Jodi was scheduled to report to work at 4:00 a.m. on June 27, 1995. She spoke to a co-worker at the station at approximately that time and said that she would be arriving shortly from her home.
However, when she failed to show up for work by 7:00 that morning, her co-workers became concerned and summoned the authorities.
A search was conducted at her residence in Key Apartments in Mason City, where some of her personal belongings were found scattered in the apartment complexes parking lot, including a pair of red dress shoes, a blow dryer, a hair spray bottle, earrings and the keys to her car.
A search of Jodi's apartment, showed no signs of a struggle.
Witnesses near Key Apartments reported hearing a scream from the parking lot shortly after 4:00 a.m.
Investigators believe that Jodi Huisentruit was taken against her will by person(s) unknown from the lot that morning.
There has been no sign of her since that time, and in May of 2001, Jodi was declared legally deceased.
Despite 9 years of investigative effort on the part the FBI, the Iowa DCI and the Mason City Police Department no trace of Jodi Huisentruit has ever been found and the case remains unsolved.
June 22, 2005
Vanished: Jodi Huisentruit Remembered
Those who knew Jodi Huisentruit, or watched her on television are bracing for an emotional anniversary. The former Eastern Iowa reporter and Mason City news anchor vanished ten years ago, this coming Monday.
Jodi's sister and best friend say it's been a long ten years with no answers or clues as to what happened to Jodi on June 27th, 1995. But even after a decade, they still have hope and wait for the truth to be told.
Amy Ahrens, a friend of Huisentruit's, says "She loved people. She was very curious about people, and I think that's why she chose the career she went into." Huisentruit's sister, JoAnn Nathe, says "She was just a good, good kid all around. People always talked about how fun Jodi was." The memories come rushing back as the two of them look at old photographs. Nathe and Ahrens will never forget the day their sister and best friend vanished. Nathe says, "I can relive it all. When I got the telephone call, sitting up in the recliner that night. You're just frozen. You have no feeling. You're like a robot." Ahrens says, "I remember where I was, what I was wearing. I remember everything."
It's believed Jodi was abducted from the parking lot of her apartment building as she left for work at KIMT-TV in Mason City. Ten years of false leads and lack of concrete evidence frustrate her family and friends. Nathe says, "June used to be my favorite month of the year, but now I just dread it when it comes because June 5th is Jodi's birthday and the 27th is the day that changed our lives completely."
Nathe says she still keeps in contact with Mason City police who are still working to solve the case. Ahrens says she wants answers as to what happened to her best friend. But at the same time, she's afraid to know the truth. "Somebody out there knows something ,whether they're the guilty party or they know the guilty party. And I think it's just a matter of somebody coming forward with that piece of information."
Nathe and Ahrens can only hope Jodi is still alive. And even after ten years, they say Jodi's optimism still lingers in their hearts. Nathe says, "There's not a great chance that she is, but I still have a little hope. I believe in miracles." Ahrens says, "I think it might be awhile, but someday we'll find her. She's always in my mind. Always will be."
Ahrens and Nathe are working to keep Jodi's memory alive. They just started a fund in Jodi's honor. They'll give away a $500 scholarship to a sixth grader with the best writing and speaking skills in Jodi's home town of Long Prairie, Minnesota.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Mason City Police Department
Iowa Missing Person Information Clearinghouse
Federal Bureau Of Investigation
(FBI) Washington DC Office
Iowa Missing Person Information Clearinghouse
Nation's Missing Children Organization and Center For Missing Adults
The Fallen Wall
Missing: Jodi Huisentruit
The Des Moines Register