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Title: Huisentruit, Jodi June 27 1995,
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Ell - May 8, 2006 05:25 PM (GMT)
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Last Updated: 05-07-2006 10:40:40 PM
New Lead in Case of Missing Mason City Anchor Woman

(KAAL) -- The weekend after Jodi Huisentruit disappeared, a local man was convinced he saw something at a lake near Mason City. It’s haunted him for almost 11 years.

Now he's one step closer to finding out if his worst fear could is true.

"I really truly believe she's right there somewhere," said Duane Arnold.

Jodi disappeared on a Tuesday. Arnold said just days later he noticed a grave shaped digging near his cabin on Eagle Lake.

"I gotta know, I gotta know,” said Arnold. “It's just eating me up, lost a lot of sleep. You can't get it out of your mind."

Now Arnold is hoping science can help him rest easy by solving the mystery of what happened to Jodi.

Arnold hired an engineering firm to survey Eagle Lake with ground penetrating radar in April. He paid $2000 dollars out of his own pocket to pay for the search.

"It's worth every penny I had to spend on it," said Arnold.

After helping map out the area, all Arnold can do is watch, wait and hope. Slowly, but surely, the survey moves forward with pulses of electricity giving a view inside the earth.

The results started coming in. Right where arnold said it would be, a target appears on the screen.

"The reading on the penetrating radar was right in the general area as I remember it from 10 1/2 years ago,” said Arnold

According to the experts, that area has the right look.

Jared Lampe with National GPR Services said "because it has the shape and boundary characteristics of a burial."

Digging is the only way to know for sure what's really under the ground. With hand tools out of the question, Duane Arnold needs more help to get the answer he's looking for.

"It's up to the Hancock County Sheriff now, they got a back hoe, I can't do it by hand," said Arnold.

Hancock County Sheriff Scott Dodd said he's analyzing the new information and will make a decision on digging up the area in the next few days.

Investigators from the Mason City Police Department who work on the Huisentruit case say portions of the Eagle Lake site were already dug up a few years ago looking for the grave.

Arnold believes they missed this spot and need to find out what is in the ground.

-Kyle Bosch

Some stories Copyright by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

monkalup - May 10, 2006 01:36 AM (GMT),2933,194814,00.html

Iowa Police Get New Clue in 1995 Disappearance of Female Journalist
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

CHICAGO — It may be a long shot, but the Mason City, Iowa, police chief says there may be a break in the case surrounding the disappearance of missing television anchor Jodi Huisentruit.

Huisentruit, the morning anchor at television station KIMT in Mason City, vanished almost 11 years ago at the age of 27. It is believed that she was abducted while on her way to work in the early hours of June 27, 1995. Police later recovered her car keys, hairdryer, shoes and jewelry in the parking lot outside Huisentruit's apartment.

Since she disappeared, police have logged many hours looking into the case but every promising lead has wound up to be a dead end, until now.

Duane Arnold claims that outside his cabin in Britt, Iowa, he remembers discovering 11 years ago a grave-shaped section of earth that looked like it had then been recently disturbed. Arnold said he reported his finding to the authorities but claims the police never examined the exact spot in question.

So, Arnold hired a company to conduct ground-penetrating radar tests in the area. The company came across something; Arnold thinks it may be Huisentruit's body.

But the local police are skeptical. Hancock County Sheriff Scott Dodd told FOX News that the area Arnold is talking about was checked out as recently as January 2003. Dodd said police will review photos of their visit to Arnold's cabin and they may dig up the area.

John Skipper of the Mason City Globe Gazette told FOX News on Tuesday that there have been what locals call "Jodi sightings" throughout the years, none of which led investigators to the missing journalist.

"There have been new leads and clues and things of that nature periodically throughout the years," Skipper said.

"It's encouraging to have people who are landowners or just interested citizens forward leads to the police and have police investigate them," Huistentruit's cousin, Tad Jude, told FOX News on Tuesday. "I'm convinced one of these days, we're going to break the case. It may seem like a longshot but one of these days, we're going to find out where Jodi is."

FOX News' Steve Brown contributed to this report.

monkalup - May 10, 2006 01:41 AM (GMT)

Man thinks Huisentruit buried on his land

Updated: 05/08/2006 06:56:57 PM

Engineers found this blip on ground penetrating radar when they scanned the land near Duane Arnold's farm. Arnold is certain that the blip is the body of Jodi Huisentruit.

There may be a break in the search for Minnesota native Jodi Huisentruit, the TV news anchor that disappeared 10 years ago on her way to work at an Iowa station.

An Iowa man says the answer to this mystery is behind his cabin, 30 miles west of Mason City. Duane Arnold's property is on Eagle Lake in Hancock, Iowa. He said he noticed a grave shaped digging there just days after Huisentruit disappeared.

A few weeks ago, Arnold paid an engineering firm $2,000 to survey the land with ground penetrating radar. The crews' radar did spot something deep beneath the earth, and Arnold says it's a body. Engineers confirmed that there is something there, but can't say exactly what it is.

Arnold wants the Hancock Sheriff's Department to dig to see what lies beneath the earth. He said he's sure he'll find the answers that hundreds have searched for over the years.

"They're drainin' the lake, it's way down now...Now is the time," Arnold said. "It's either now or never. We're in the right area. I think she's there. I just gotta know...I've lost a lot of sleep over this," Arnold continued. "I really, truly believe she's right down there somewhere."

The case has never really left the public eye, and Iowa police regularly get tips as to Huisentruit's whereabouts. But still, no Jodi.

Investigators from Mason City have searched that area before, but Arnold says they missed the spot. The Hancock County Sheriff has not decided yet whether to dig in the area.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and for continuing updates on this story.

oldies4mari2004 - May 10, 2006 01:56 AM (GMT)
New break in case of missing Iowa news anchor?
(5/09/06 - EAGLE LAKE, IA) - Investigators hope an Iowa man's suspicions will lead to a break in the case of a television anchorwoman who disappeared almost 11 years ago.

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Police have wondered what happened to Jodi Huisentruit, who worked for CBS affiliate KIMT in Mason City, Iowa, since she did not show up for work on June 27, 1995. They have pursued several leads, but a breakthrough in the investigation has been elusive.

They hope an Iowa farmer will be able to give them new clues in the search. Duane Arnold owns a cabin near Eagle Lake, Iowa, and 10 years ago, he said, he reported seeing what he believed was a grave near his cabin. Investigators found nothing, but Arnold remained convinced they had dug in the wrong area.

"I really, truly believe she's right there somewhere," Arnold said. "I gotta know. I gotta know. It's just eating me up, lost a lot of sleep. You can't get it out of your mind."

$2,000 Out of His Own Pocket

In April, Arnold paid an engineering firm $2,000 to survey the land around his cabin to see whether the earth had been disturbed around the time of Huisentruit's disappearance. Using radar, the firm said that it had found something that could be a body.

Jared Lampe, spokesman for National Ground Penetrating Radar Services Inc., said the area looked like a grave site.

"It has the shape and boundary characteristics of a burial," he told ABC News' Austin, Minn., affiliate KAAL. Arnold hopes local authorities will dig in the area again later this week and put his mind to rest.

"It's up to the Hancock County sheriff now. They got a backhoe. I can't do it by hand," he said.

New Digging Decision Expected

Sheriff Scott Dodd said he was analyzing the new information and would make a decision on digging up the area in the next few days.

The search for Huisentruit was one of the largest in Iowa history, with police officers interviewing more than 400 people and tracking down at least 1,300 leads.

Reward money in Huisentruit's case offered by KIMT and other contributors went unclaimed and became the core of a scholarship fund at her alma mater, St. Cloud University in Minnesota. Each year a small scholarship in her name is awarded to a journalism student.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts or information regarding the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit, please call Mason City Police at 641-421-3636, the FBI, or your local law enforcement agency.

Ell - May 28, 2006 07:24 PM (GMT)

Here is a chronology of events that have occurred in the investigation:

(11/5/2004)KAAL-TV aired the first of 13 investigative reports during their 10PM News last night. Details on their web site's Huisentruit Files section.


From KSTP-TV, Minneapolis/St. Paul:

New test results are in on a suspect in the Jodi Huisentruit case and will be revealed today.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS broke the story Monday night, and spoke about the results with Mason City, Iowa police and the man at the center of this investigation.

Thomas Corscadden is a convicted sex offender, who's currently locked up at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter. We spoke with him Monday by phone after learning investigators had driven from Mason City to see him Monday afternoon. They did not arrest him. Police say they only questioned him.

Investigators executed a search warrant on Corscadden less than two weeks ago. They wanted his finger and palm prints after he admitted in open court, that he had bragged about being involved in the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit, the Long Prairie native who vanished early one morning in 1995 as she was walking to her car in the parking lot of her Mason City apartment building.

Investigators are trying to find a match to a partial print found at the scene. Corscadden was questioned shortly after Jodi's disappearance.

Mason City police Lt. Ron Vandeweerde wouldn't characterize the conversation with Corscadden in St. Peter Monday afternoon.

We spoke with Corscadden by phone Monday night. He was calm, but clearly not happy about the fact that we reported all of the latest actions by investigators. When we asked him specifically about Monday's events, we got a resounding "no comment" and he hung up.


Police probe prints for link between sex offender and Huisentruit

By BOB LINK, Of The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY — Investigators at the Mason City Police Department are obtaining palm and finger prints from a Minnesota man who may be a suspect in the Jodi Huisentruit case.

Thomas Corscadden, who is serving time in a Minnesota prison for a sex crime, has already been questioned by police about the 1995 disappearance of Huisentruit.

But after a recent review by the Mason City Police Department, it was discovered that it didn’t have Corscadden’s finger or palm prints.

“Over the years we have requested prints from a lot of different people,” said Lt. Ron Vande Weerd of the Mason City Police Department. “This is not the first time.”

On Tuesday authorities executed a search warrant, obtaining the prints.

On Thursday, Vande Weerd said the prints were being mailed to him.

Earlier this week, Corscadden appeared in Mower County court in a civil commitment hearing. During that appearance he was reported to have made additional statements regarding Huisentruit.

He is scheduled to be released from jail, but prosecutors say he is sexually dangerous and should remain locked up.

In March 1996, a court agent’s conversation with Corscadden prompted suspicion.

When she mentioned Mason City, Corscadden smiled and said, “Jodi Huisentruit.” When the agent said she didn’t think Huisentruit was alive, Corscadden is reported to have said, “No, she’s dead.”

Once he receives the prints, Vande Weerd said he will submit them to the state crime lab to determine if there is a match to prints lifted at the crime scene nine years ago.

July 16, 2004: MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department today identified the human remains found northeast of Mason City as a man last seen in 1995.

Using personal effects found near the remains and preliminary autopsy results, Sheriff Kevin Pals said the preliminary identification is James Maurice Perkins of Mason City, who was 44 years old when he disappeared in May 1995.

July 15, 2004: Local authorities are investigating discovery of what is believed to be human remains just North East of the Mason City city limits, in the 18000 block of 280th Street, in the vicinity of Ideal Creek.


Nine years after Jodi went missing, still more questions than answers

By BOB LINK, Of The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY — June 27 has become a painfully quiet day for relatives of Jodi Huisentruit.

It was nine years ago when the 27-year-old KIMT-TV anchorwoman did not show up for work.

Nine years ago a nationwide search started and hundreds of questions began to start echoing.

With no answers to the most important questions, family members have no special plans for this day.

“We’re going to quietly remember Jodi,” said her cousin, Mary Lee Oberg of Little Falls, Minn. “And continue to ask people to come forward if they have any information on the case. We want people to keep remembering ... keep looking.”

Police believe Huisentruit was abducted shortly after 4 a.m. on June 27, 1995, as she went to her car in the parking lot of the Key Apartments on her way to the television station for her morning show.

She had talked with fellow workers earlier that morning, telling them she was on her way.

Found scattered around her car in the apartment parking lot were the things she’d have used to get ready for work: a pair of red women’s dress shoes, a blow dryer, bottle of hair spray, car keys and earrings.

Police began their investigation with those items and were joined by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state Division of Criminal Investigation.

The story gained nationwide publicity as local officials went on television shows such as Larry King Live. Several missing-person shows also featured the case.
In the years since her disappearance, investigators have followed thousands of tips and interviewed more than 1,000 people.

“We’re not much closer than we were years ago,” said Lt. Ron Vande Weerd, a detective for the Mason City Police Department. “We still get calls today. But most of those are either ‘psychic’ in nature or are a follow-up to someone who has been arrested and the characteristics of their crimes are similar in nature.”

Vande Weerd said the person who is responsible is living with the tragic truth.
“Someone out there knows what happened,” Vande Weerd said. “I would urge that person to come forward, confess and provide the information.”

He said the file on the case is huge and investigators often review it when tips are received.

“We’ll keep following up until we solve it,” Vande Weerd said.

Oberg said Jodi’s mother, Jane Huisentruit, is now 80 years old and still hopes to find solutions to her daughter’s disappearance.

“She is elderly,” Moberg said. “It would be nice if she could get some closure.”
Like many, Moberg thinks the abductor is someone that was either close, or an acquaintance of Jodi’s.

“I certainly don’t feel Jodi is still alive,” Moberg said. “But it would bring us closure if we could find her.”

Prosecutors try to stop release of sex offender questioned in Huisentruit disappearance

ST. PAUL - Prosecutors are fighting to keep a man questioned in Jody Huisentruit's disappearance behind bars.
Thomas Corscadden, who prosecutors say admited to rapes and attempted rapes going back more than 25 years, is being held at the Minnesota Correctional facility in Oak Park Heights. He's scheduled to be released early next month.

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch and Mower County attorney Patrick Flannagan filed a petition to civilly commit Corscaden, who is now 52.

Corscadden was convicted of several sexual assaults, including an assault on his 8-year-old daughter, the attorney general's office said.

When Mason City, Iowa television anchor and reporter Jodi Huisentruit disappeared in June 1995, the attorney general's office said Corscadden was considered a suspect. They said that he had been to the city to go to nude dancing bars, and that his wife said he had contacted a TV station in that city in a failed attempt to get tickets to a show earlier that year.

Huisentruit has never been found.

In addition to the rape convictions, the attorney general's office said Corscadden admitted to sexually assaulting women in Vietnam when he was in the army in the early 1970s. The office said he claimed a friend would hold a gun to the victim's head and give her the option of sex or death.

Remains are not missing Iowan
Register Staff Writer

An examination of dental records has proven that the remains of a woman found in Indiana are not those of missing Mason City anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit, police said Saturday.

The bones discovered in a secluded area about three miles south of South Bend in 1996 bore striking similarities to Huisentruit, investigators said Friday.

"The dental records of the unidentified person in Indiana have been examined and compared to those of Ms. Huisentruit by a forensic odontologist, and he has determined they are not those of Ms. Huisentruit," said Mason City police Lt. Ron Vande Weerd.

The connection between the remains and Huisentruit surfaced in an e-mail to The Des Moines Register Friday from a Delaware man who said he learned of the body on the Internet and saw similarities between the two cases.

Court declares Jodi Huisentruit legally dead

By BOB LINK, Of The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY - Jodi Huisentruit, the KIMT anchorwoman who disappeared during June of 1995, was declared legally dead Monday in Cerro Gordo County District Court.

Judge Steven P. Carroll signed the court order, requested by Huisentruit's family, after Clear Lake attorney Robert Swanson, appointed by the court to represent Huisentruit's interests, issued his report.

Swanson was appointed to independently investigate the case on behalf of Huisentruit three weeks ago.

"There just isn't any evidence that Jodi voluntarily left her apartment, or staged the scene of her disappearance," Swanson said. "There is evidence that she was involuntarily removed from her apartment complex."

Swanson reviewed Mason City Police Department records and talked to Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents involved in the case while conducting the independent investigation for the court.

"There is no evidence that Jodi is currently alive," Swanson said. "Presumably she met an untimely early and involuntary demise."

Saying the court order establishing Huisentruit's death is in her best interest, Carroll signed the order without reopening the hearing.

Thaddeus V. Jude, Maple Lake, Minn., who represents Huisentruit's family, was not at the hearing.

Huisentruit's sister, JoAnn Nathe of Sauk Centre, Minn., said the request was a "very private family matter," which legally had to be done.

"I'm glad we settled it," she said. "We did what we had to do. Jodi would have wanted us to do this. She was one to take action and do what needed to be done."

Nathe said the family would continue its search for the truth of what happened in June 1995.

Jude said Monday's court action would allow the family to proceed in completing Huisentruit's estate matters

Huisentruit disappeared early June 27, 1995, and is believed to have been abducted from the parking lot of the Key Apartments, where she lived.

Huisentruit probe rekindled
Register Staff Writer

Copyright 2001, Des Moines Register and Tribune Company

Mason City police were hoping Tuesday that the abduction of a 17-year-old girl in Nebraska may provide the elusive break in the case of television anchor woman Jodi Huisentruit, who disappeared in 1995.

Capt. Mike Halverson said "our interest has been piqued" by the disappearance Friday of Anne Sluti, who Nebraska investigators suspect was kidnapped by Anthony Zappa. He remained at large Tuesday, and Sluti also was missing.

Zappa's name had not previously surfaced in the investigation of Huisentruit's disappearance, which has included many suspects and scenarios, Halverson said.

Authorities believed he was in prison at the time of the disappearance, but a check Tuesday of Iowa Department of Corrections records showed that he had been released.

Zappa, 29, has two cousins who live in Charles City, which is about 30 miles east of Mason City. The Minnesota native often stayed with them, investigators said.

He pleaded guilty Jan. 23, 1995, to a string of burglaries, some only a few miles from Mason City. Floyd County Attorney Marilyn Dettmer said Zappa, who also is known as Anthony Steven Wright, used a handgun in the burglaries.

Zappa was sentenced to 15 years and taken to the Oakdale prison Jan. 24 for processing, state records show. On April 4, he was released while his case was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Huisentruit disappeared June 27.

The Supreme Court rejected Zappa's appeal, and he was re-admitted to Oakdale on Sept. 1. He was paroled March 5, 1999.

Zappa is wanted in five states, including Iowa, for car thefts, assaults and illegal gun possessions. A search for him prodded police to close the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., one day in March after he was spotted there.

Investigators said they had no motive for last week's abduction of Sluti, which they suspect was random.

Halverson said there appeared to be similarities between the Sluti and Huisentruit cases.

* Police found Sluti's purse and other personal belongings scattered near her car in a Kearney, Neb., shopping center parking lot. Huisentruit's possessions were found near her car in the parking lot of her apartment complex.

* Both incidents appeared to involve a hasty abduction.

* Kearney investigators said witnesses told them a man approached Sluti as she was walking toward her car. She was struck on the head and forced into a stolen minivan. The vehicle was recovered in Colorado on Sunday with no trace of Zappa or Sluti. Witnesses in Mason City said they saw a van in the early-morning hours near Huisentruit's apartment complex when she vanished.

3/28/01 - Petition to administer Huisentruit estate filed

MASON CITY - A petition to administer the estate of missing KIMT-TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit has been filed in Cerro Gordo County District Court.

Huisentruit disappeared in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995, and is believed to have been abducted from the parking lot of the Key Apartments, where she lived, as she was preparing to go to work. She has not been seen or heard from since that morning.

Attorney Thaddeus V. Jude of Maple Lake, Minn., representing Huisentruit’s sister, JoAnn Nathe, filed the court petition. Huisentruit is listed in the court document as an "absentee."

"This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do," said Nathe. "Everybody tells us Jodi is no longer with us but I still hold out a faint glimmer of hope. The petition is a legal formality that we have to do in order to take care of some family things involving Jodi. The law says you have to wait five years and it's been almost six. I hated to have to do it but it is necessary," she said.

Second Judicial District Judge James M. Drew has set a hearing date of April 23 at 1:15 p.m. on Nathe's petition.

ABC-TV's Elizabeth Vargas series "Vansihed" to feature Jodi's story
The disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit, the KIMT-TV morning anchor who has been missing for more than five years, will be the subject of "Vanished," an ABC television special Monday night. The program will air at 9 p.m. CDT - check your local listings for the time and station in your area.


5 years, No Answers
By JOHN SMALLEY, Of the Mason City, Iowa - Globe-Gazette
MASON CITY - The fifth anniversary of the disappearance of KIMT-TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit is a painful reminder for those who knew her best and worked with her at the television station.

"To be honest, I almost dread the anniversary coming around every year," said news anchor Amy Kuns, the last person who spoke with Huisentruit before she was apparently abducted in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995.

"It's the dredging up of all the old feelings and all the unanswered questions," Kuns said. "As a journalist, that's one of the hardest things - to not be able to answer the questions."

Kuns said being the last person to talk with the then 27-year-old Huisentruit before she disappeared has created "almost an eerie feeling," in her life. "You always have those questions in your mind; you always wonder if you could've done something more.

"There's almost a guilt I have to live with wondering if something could've been done."

KIMT News Director Doug Merbach said he thinks about Huisentruit every day. All around him are reminders of the "vivacious," fun news producer and anchorwoman.

Each time he walks through the front door of the TV station, a tree planted in Huisentruit's memory greets him or waves goodbye. The desk Huisentruit used is still just 10 feet from Merbach's office door, and the memories still surface each day.

"You can't escape something like that," he said. "Jodi is definitely not forgotten, and I will certainly be thinking about her on Tuesday."

The 29-year-old Kuns, who was an associate producer of the early morning show that Huisentruit anchored, said the two had discussed the "what if" possibilities in terms of having to leave from home for work in the early morning darkness each day.

"We had talked about it," Kuns said. "We had conversations that went so far as to ask: if something would happen to one of us, who would know? We had a pact that if either of us was late, we'd call each other."

That agreement is what prompted Kuns to call Huisentruit that morning five years ago. The two spoke briefly, with Huisentruit relating that she was leaving for work.Huisentruit never arrived at KIMT, which meant Kuns scrambled to do the morning show alone. By about 6 a.m., another staff member called the police.

Kuns said she hasn't been interviewed by investigators in "a couple of years," but worked with the police very closely in the days following Huisentruit's disappearance. "I went with them to Jodi's apartment. They wanted me to see if anything looked out of place. Nothing did.

"Then I had to go through her clothes, to see if I could figure out what outfit she might have been wearing," Kuns said. "That was tough. It really hit me like a ton of bricks."

In addition to the effect on her colleagues at KIMT, Kuns said the Huisentruit case has caused ripples in the television industry, especially for women in TV.

"Through the Children's Miracle Network, I meet anchors from all over the country," she said. "I met an anchor from one of our sister stations in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She carries a gun in her car. She had heard of Jodi's story, and it changed the way she thinks of personal safety."

As for herself, "Finally after five years, I've let go of that constant fear," Kuns said. "It's taken me a long time to trust people again."

Even so, "I never let my guard down," Kuns said. "I think more now about my personal safety and I try to be aware of everything around me all the time."

Kuns said she has "finally come to grips with the idea that something terrible probably happened" to Huisentruit. "If she is dead, I hope she didn't have to suffer. That's the hard thing to think about. I just hope she didn't have to suffer."

Kuns said she fields questions all the time, wherever she goes, about Huisentruit and the disappearance. And she uses those questions to continue to advocate for awareness of personal safety, especially for women.

"I always make that point - please be careful; you can never be too careful."

Kuns said the Huisentruit tragedy also has caused her to appreciate life all the more.

"I've always felt that both good and bad things happen for a reason," she said. "I've wondered for years what the lesson is here. And I think it's this: guard your life and appreciate the time you do have here. You never know when something might happen to you or someone you love."

Kuns said the case "has really changed my life, and I'm trying to make it change for the better. I was so afraid for so many years. Now, I want to tell people: don't be afraid but do protect yourself and do be careful."

- Reporter Zach Jensen contributed to this story.


Detective Wants to Bring Closure to Officers, Family

By ZACH JENSEN, Of The Globe-Gazette

MASON CITY - Five years. Five long years - Mason City Police Capt. Mike Halverson has been waiting for a lead, a clue, a hint of some kind that would lead him and his investigators to the whereabouts of Jodi Huisentruit.

But, unfortunately, there is no new evidence in the case of the June 27, 1995, disappearance of the then 27-year-old KIMT-TV news producer and anchor, and Halverson wants to bring closure to Huisentruit's family and to his officers.

"We don't know she's dead," said Halverson, the department's field operations commander. "However, the probability of her being alive after five years is very slim. I don't think she's alive, but do we have anything to confirm she is dead? No."

Huisentruit was last heard from about 4 a.m. the morning she disappeared. That was her regular arrival time at the television station, and she spoke with co-worker Amy Kuns, telling her she'd be there in a few minutes, but she never arrived.

Police believe she was kidnapped from the parking lot of her apartment complex in Mason City.

Scattered around her car in the apartment parking lot were the things she'd have used to get ready for work: a pair of red women's dress shoes, a blow dryer, bottle of hair spray, car keys and earrings.

Police began their investigation with those items and were joined by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state Division of Criminal Investigation. In the five years the investigation has continued, investigators have followed thousands of tips and interviewed more than 1,000 people.

Today, Halverson said, he and his officers continue to investigate leads as they come in, though fewer leads are being found.

Dozens of rumors continue to float through the community regarding the possible circumstances of Huisentruit's disappearance, but authorities say even though they take all possible leads seriously, they don't want to comment on them publicly.

"We have never dealt with rumors and we're not going to start now," said Halverson.

Mason City Police Investigator Frank Stearns agreed: "We don't comment on rumors."

Stearns did say that each time the National Crime Information Center reports finding an unidentified person's body that matches Huisentruit's description, he compares dental records - so far to find the unidentified body is not Jodi Huisentruit.

Stearns said that despite the age of the Huisentruit file, it's still being actively worked on. The FBI and DCI each still have a special agent assigned to the case, and there isn't a day that goes by that Halverson and Stearns don't think about Huisentruit, they said.

"We have not received any leads that have led us closer to the conclusion of this case," Halvorson said. "This has been an extremely hard case to solve. It's something that all the investigators and patrol officers think about every day. We'd like to get the information we need to solve the case and make an arrest."

"It has been a difficult case," Stearns said. "It consumes you, and it is almost your every thought."

Other Case Developments
2/11/2000 Crews from the ABC television network were at KIMT-TV today, shooting video and gathering information for an hour long program that is to feature Jodi's story.
6/21/99 ST. PAUL (AP) -- Jackie Folkerts, a 19-year-old woman who was fatally stabbed in her Iowa home, told relatives before her death that a man told her he was involved in the disappearance of television newswoman Jodi Huisentruit, KSTP-TV in Minneapolis reported.

Huisentruit, an anchorwoman at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa, disappeared four years ago, and authorities believe she was abducted as she was on her to way to work for the early-morning shift at the station.

Folkerts, a waitress, was found dead in her Britt, Iowa, home Jan. 25 by a co-worker and customer who had gone to check on her when she did not show up for work.

Britt is 30 miles west of Mason City in northern Iowa.

Folkerts' aunt and uncle, David and Olivia Mitchell, said Jackie told them a man approached her about three weeks before her death at the Colony Inn where she was working and talked about Huisentruit, KSTP reported Friday night.

" Some man had came in and was talking to Jackie about he was the one who either kidnapped Jodi Huisentruit or had something to do with it, " Mitchell said.

Mitchell said his niece was upset by the incident.

The man then showed up at the restaurant a second time, and Folkerts got the man' s license number. After her death, the Mitchells said they turned the number over to the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.

Blake Dietrich, Britt' s police chief, told KSTP that he only recently became aware of the information and intends to follow up on it on Monday.

May 6, 1999: A convicted rapist in Minnesota is no longer considered "a viable suspect" in the disappearance of KIMT-TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit, Mason City Police Capt. Mike Halverson said Wednesday.

"After conducting a thorough investigation which included interviews, crime laboratory analysis, records review and polygraph examination, Tony Jackson is not considered, at this time, a viable suspect in the investigation," Halverson said.

Huisentruit disappeared from the parking lot of her Mason City apartment in June 1995. Authorities started looking at Jackson, 25, last year and the investigation intensified in February after a Minneapolis television station reported that a man who was in jail with Jackson in 1998 said that Jackson had confessed to killing an anchorwoman.

"We haven't been able to develop anything that will tie him in with this case," Halverson said. "However, that does not mean something won't come forward that could put him right back there at being looked at again."

Investigators interviewed Jackson March 25 and asked him to take a lie detector test, which he passed. Jackson had agreed to the interview months earlier, but Halverson said that investigators didn't want to interfere with criminal proceedings against Jackson in Minnesota.

Jackson is in prison there for three rapes and also was charged in February with a February 1997 attack. He is serving a life sentence for the first conviction and will be in prison until he is at least 88 years old, according to the Dakota County attorney's office.

Halverson said the investigation is ongoing and that leads in the case are still being received.

WCCO television reporter Caroline Lowe, who broke the story about Jackson allegedly confessing to killing the anchorwoman, said she thought the lead was definitely worth pursuing.

The prison inmate said Jackson recited rap lyrics about a woman being "stiffin' around Tiffin" and that led WCCO to an abandoned farm near Tiffin in eastern Iowa where search dogs reacted to an odor in a silo. Nothing was found.

"They did their job," Lowe said of investigators. "I wouldn't agree or disagree. We aggressively covered a report on a serial rapist."

February 27, 1999 Laboratory tests show that boards from a silo found at an abandoned farmstead in eastern Iowa are not linked to the disappearance of a Mason City television anchorwoman, police said Friday. See the full article here.
February 21, 1999 MINNEAPOLIS - Possible new evidence in the June 1995 disappearance of KIMT-TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit was reported Sunday night by Twin Cities WCCO-TV I-Team investigative reporter Caroline Lowe. The report, that also aired on KIMT-TV Channel 3, Mason City, during its 10 p.m. newscast, suggested Huisentruit's body may have been buried in a silo near the Johnson County town of Tiffin and alleges a possible connection to Tony Jackson, a convicted rapist who was linked to Huisentruit's disappearance by the I-Team in an earlier WCCO report. See the full article from the Mason City Globe Gazette.
July 10, 1998 -- The assistant county attorney who successfully prosecuted Tony Dejuan Jackson for rape in Minnesota said she believes he is responsible for the disappearance of an Iowa TV anchorwoman three years ago. "In my own mind and in my own heart, I think he did it," Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Melinda Elledge told the Des Moines Register for a story published today. A Ramsey County judge sentenced Jackson, 24, Wednesday to life in prison as a "patterned sex offender" for the rape of a St. Paul woman. He would have to serve at least 47 years before being eligible for parole. "Knowing what I know about him and the way he has been involved as a rapist, I would bet my bottom dollar" that Jackson abducted Jodi Huisentruit, Elledge said. Jackson is being investigated in the disappearance of Huisentruit, a native of Long Prairie, Minn., who vanished on June 27, 1995. Jackson lived a few blocks away from her Mason City TV station at the time. In April, Jackson was sentenced for raping an 18-year-old Cottage Grove, Minn., woman and for burglary. He faces trial this fall for the rape of an Inver Grove Heights, Minn., woman, and may be retried in Washington County, where a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the rape of a Woodbury woman. Iowa authorities said their investigation of Jackson and the Huisentruit case continues. Steve Conlon, a spokesman for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, declined to discuss the details. "It would be fair to say that we're looking at further trying to pin down his whereabouts and the manner in which he committed the crimes in Minnesota," Conlon said. Jackson has maintained his innocence.
February 9.1998 (Mason City) -- Mason City police aren't commenting so far on news from Minneapolis about a possible development in the case of missing T-V anchor Jodi Huisentruit. A Minneapolis T-V station reports that information about a Twin City rapist has been sent to Mason City police. W-C-C-O T-V says F-B-I and state investigators may compare the palm print of 24-year-old Tony Jackson with an unidentified print found on Huisentruit's car. Huisentruit was the morning and noon anchor at K-I-M-T T-V who vanished on June 27, 1995. W-C-C-O says Jackson, who's charged with four rapes in 1997, lived two blocks from K-I-M-T T-V at the time of Huisentruit's disappearance. Mason City police say they found NO connection between Jackson and Huisentruit's disappearance during earlier investigations. Jackson repeatedly denied involvement in the case to W-C-C-O reporters.
August, 1997: A possible sighting was proven false. A retired California Highway Patrol Officer reported seeing someone matching Jodi's description in the Western US. A member of Jodi's family met with the officer, and the person that matched Jodi's description and it was confirmed not to be Jodi.
June 5, 1997: Jodi's 29th birthday; and the 2 year anniversary of the abduction is approaching. An upcoming nationally sanctioned women's 10K run in Iowa City will feature a candle-light vigil to remember Jodi.
1/9/97 Mason City Police want to question a Clemons, IA man who was arrested in Canada faces possible charges of kidnapping, sexual assault, and burglary in Marshall County Iowa. Raymond N. Hinders, 18, was arrested in Canada after a 21-year old female, also from Clemons, IA contacted Canadian authorities saying she had been kidnapped and needed help. Police are interested in interviewing Hinders apparently made comments about Jodi to his alleged victim on the way to Canada.
December7, 1996 Mason City police say that a tip on where to find the body of a missing newswoman has turned out to be another false lead.
Lieutenant Ron Vande Weerd says police received a tip via the Internet that the body of missing KIMT newswoman Jodi Huisentruit would be found in a soybean field about 35 miles southeast of Mason City.

He says the information appeared promising because it provided exact coordinates, but investigators found nothing when they excavated the site about three weeks ago.

The department normally does not comment on specific leads, but Vande Weerd made an exception today after the department received calls in the wake of news reports that police were responding to the tip.

He says the department follows all leads aggressively but that there have been no breaks in the case.

June, 1996: The one year anniversary passed with nothing new to report - KIMT did a special show that featured the case, and those of other missing person from North Iowa, and the station was again in the national spotlight for few days.
In early January, CNN's Larry King Live, and the NBC show Unsolved Mysteries started doing background research and was in Mason City shooting video for a future program, and Jodi's coworkers, family, and friends have appeared on a number of syndicated and network programs. This page continues to see an average of 1000 visits a month, and occasional e-mail messages of concern and support continue to be a source of strength as time passes with no new information. The reward fund is now over $34,000
December 27, 1995 marked the passing of six months since Jodi's abduction. The investigation continues - and all there is to report is that there is nothing new to report. Jodi's abduction continues to gain attention in various media - with newspaper and magazine articles, and TV shows about the case, with more to come.
Oct. 25, 1995. The fall harvest and hunting seasons are underway, and investigators in the case are again asking for the public's help. Farmers have been asked to look for anything unusual in their fields, outbuildings and grain storage bins. Hunters have been asked to look for anything that is out of the ordinary as they are out in remote, wooded areas as they hunt. The reward fund continues to grow, now in excess of $30,000.
Sept. 8, 1995: Jodi's family hired a private investigator to look into her disappearance, not because they are unhappy with the investigation, but they just want someone with a fresh perspective to see if there is anything that may have been overlooked in the search for Jodi.
Aug. 10, 1995: Police report that they are scaling back the investigation and the number of people working full time on the case will vary day to day based upon the number and nature of further tips received. Investigators have followed over 1200 leads in the case, all over the country.
July 1, 1995, 5:00PM: Authorities are looking for a Mid-1980's White, full-size Ford Econoline van. The vehicle and the person or persons in the vehicle may or may not be involved and are wanted for questioning. No license plate information is available.

Crime Stoppers of Cerro Gordo County have established a reward fund at Liberty Bank and Trust of Mason City. Contributions to the reward fund may be sent to:

Crime Stoppers
Liberty Bank & Trust
PO Box 851
Mason City, IA 50402-0851

Use your browser's 'back' function to return to the main page.

monkalup - July 26, 2006 09:43 PM (GMT)

monkalup - November 20, 2006 11:58 PM (GMT)
Jodi S Huisentruit
Age At Report: 27
Age Now: 38
Weight: 110 lbs.
Height: 5'04"
Race: White
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Brown
Sex: Female
Incident Type: Involuntary disappearance

Jodi Huisentruit was reported missing to the Mason City Police Department, in Mason City on Jun 26, 1995.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation 1-800-346-5507.

monkalup - November 20, 2006 11:59 PM (GMT)

Jodi Sue Huisentruit was a television news anchor for KIMT, based in Mason City, Iowa in the United States. It is believed that she was abducted while on her way to work in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995. She was 27 years old at the time. To this day an investigation is underway to find her whereabouts. This page is dedicated to a new investigation in hopes to find any information related to the case. This is the most accurate and up to date source for Jodi Huisentruit information.

September - 2006

These are quiet times. Thanks to the visitors that continue to come back to the site. New feedback, and a new headline. We'll keep you posted on the latest developments in the case.

We've reached 20,000 viewers! Thank you all for your support!

monkalup - November 20, 2006 11:59 PM (GMT)
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts or information regarding the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit are asked to call the Mason City Police at 641-421-3636, the FBI, or their local law enforcement agency. Crime Stoppers of Cerro Gordo County has a toll-free number available for tips regarding the investigation. The number is 1-800-383-0088.

Jodi Huisentruit, morning and Noon News producer/anchor at KIMT-TV, Mason City, Iowa is missing, and believed to be abducted. She was due to report to work early Tuesday morning, June 27, 1995. When she did not arrive at her usual time, producer Amy Kuns called Jodi by phone at around 4:00AM and talked to her briefly and Jodi said she would be at the station in a few minutes. She never arrived, and has not been heard from since.

Police began their investigation shortly after getting a call from coworkers at about 7:00AM. Some personal items of Jodi's were found near her car, which was parked in the lot of the apartment complex where she lives. Since then The Mason City Police, Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, the FBI, volunteers with search dogs from the Iowa Search and Rescue Group, and several local law enforcement agencies have been involved in the search.

A scholarship endowment fund has been established at Jodi's alma matter - St. Cloud State University - St. Cloud, Minnesota in Jodi's name. The initial funds for the endowment are from contributions that were originally intended for the Crime Stoppers reward fund, including $5000 from KIMT's former parent company, Spartan Communications, $2,050 from KIMT employees, and $5000 from CBS. If you would like more information or to contribute to this scholarship fund, you can contact:

St. Cloud State University Foundation, 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301 (320)255-3177,

monkalup - November 20, 2006 11:59 PM (GMT)

monkalup - December 2, 2006 06:26 AM (GMT)

New Tip in Huisentruit Disappearance

Justin Foss
Friday, December 1, 2006

Friday night, Mason City police investigators are looking into a new tip in the disappearance of former KIMT anchor Jodi Huisentruit.

But they're not getting their hopes up quite yet.

Jodi was abducted from outside her apartment eleven years ago.

Friday, the lead investigator in the case says they were forwarded a tip from a Minnesota woman who says she personally saw what happened to Jodi.

Now, they are hoping to interview her and find out more.

Lt. Ron Vande Weerd is the lead investigator in the case, and tells KIMT NewsChannel 3, "God, next to the family I don't think anybody wants this solved more than us here at the police department. But over the years we've had a lot of false leads, so I want to be careful, be meticulous. I want to investigate this fully and see where it takes us before we go too far."

KIMT NewsChannel 3 spoke with Lt. Vande Weerd about this tip earlier this week.

At that time he didn't want to comment, now he says it's in the public and want the public to know they are looking into it.

Count on us to let you know when the police know more.

© 2006-2007 New Vision Television

oldies4mari2004 - December 6, 2006 02:14 AM (GMT)
Woman says she witnessed 1995 murder of TV anchor
She says six men cut up and burned the body of Mason City's Jodi Huisentruit, missing for 11 years.


December 5, 2006

Eleven years after television anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit vanished from her Mason City apartment, a Minnesota woman is claiming that when she was 13 years old she witnessed six men kill Huisentruit and then cut up her body and burn the remains.

Mason City Police Lt. Ron Vande Weerd confirmed Monday that the woman, who is now a married mother of two, came to Iowa on Friday for interviews with authorities.

Vande Weerd said it's too soon to say whether the lead is credible.

Huisentruit disappeared from the Key Apartments in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995, shortly after she'd told a staffer at KIMT-TV that she was on her way to work.

Authorities found her hair dryer, a pair of red shoes and a bottle of hair spray scattered in the parking lot around her red Mazda Miata.

Last week, the unidentified woman told investigators she was a 13-year-old runaway in June 1995 when two men took her to "a party" in a pole barn northwest of Mason City, where she witnessed the murder, Vande Weerd said.

In a news interview with KMSP-TV in Minneapolis that was broadcast with her face mostly concealed, the woman said when she got to the barn, she heard a scream.

Then she saw someone she thinks was Huisentruit being brutally killed, she said. "I immediately backed away," she said.

The men wanted the teenager to see what they were doing, she said. "I think it was kind of a braggadocious thing," she said.

The six men took 36 hours to dispose of Huisentruit's body, she said.

"No one should have to see anything like this, especially a child," she said in the television interview. "Because you don't understand what it does to you for the rest of your life. It messes everything up."

She didn't tell authorities until now because "I was afraid for my life," she said. "They told me if I ever told anybody the same thing would happen to me."

But she recently told her husband of six years, who encouraged her to step forward, KMSP reported.

"Well, I'm a mother, too, and I started wondering how her family must feel," the woman said in the interview. "I hope to give them the answers they've been looking for."

Police in Minnesota passed along the tip to Iowa authorities Wednesday.

Vande Weerd wouldn't reveal whether they know the first and last names of the six men the woman described, but said "some of the people live far away, in Iowa and Minnesota."

Over the last decade, all the tips the Mason City police, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the FBI have received petered out. No suspect has ever been arrested.

Reporter Jennifer Janeczko Jacobs can be reached at (515) 284-8127 or

wv171 - February 27, 2007 10:02 PM (GMT)
Warrent Issued for Woman who lied in Huisentruit case
Updated: 12-13-2006 06:32 PM
(KAAL)-- Police have issued arrest warrents for the woman they say provided false information in the case involving missing news anchor Jodi Huisentruit.
Mason City Police says Cynthia Marie Sweeney of Anoka falsely identified people she claimed were responsible for Huisentruit's abduction and death.

Sweeney could be looking at up to a year in jail and a $15,000 fine

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:23 PM (GMT)

Mystery lingers 10 years after Huisentruit's disappearance

By JOHN SKIPPER, Of the Globe Gazette

MASON CITY — Ten years later the mystery lingers but hope flickers, especially for those who knew and loved Jodi Huisentruit.

The KIMT-TV morning anchor disappeared on the morning of June 27, 1995, and has not been seen since.

"The great hope was always when someone thought they saw her," said JoAnn Nathe, Jodi's sister, who lives in Sauk Centre, Minn.

"Now," she said, "when there's news, it's usually when someone thinks they've found her remains. The dynamic is entirely different."

Amy Kuns is the last person known to have talked to Huisentruit. Kuns called her at her Key Apartments home when Huisentruit was late for her early morning anchor shift at KIMT. Huisentruit told Kuns, a co-worker, she was running late.

She never arrived for work.

"For some reason, the 10-year anniversary has been harder on me," said Kuns, who now works for KTTC-TV in Rochester, Minn. "I'm having a tough time with this."

She said she flip-flops between having hope and no hope that the case will ever be solved.

"Sometimes I think: not in my lifetime. Other times I think with all the new technology, there can be new hope. Like CSI," she said.

Kuns said she doesn't think about it every day, but certain things make her think about it all the time.

"White vans still trigger something in my head," she said. A white van was reportedly seen near Huisentruit's apartment the morning she disappeared.

Huisentruit, who was declared legally dead several years ago, would have been 37 this year. She was the youngest of three children.

Nathe, the eldest child, was 18 years older than Jodi.

"When Jodi was in kindergarten, I was teaching kindergarten. That shows you the age difference," she said.

Their mother is 81 now and remains heart broken, said Nathe.

"Jodi was her late-in-life baby. They had a special bond. Jodi's father died when she was 13 and she and her mother did everything together. So it's been hard, really hard.'

The other sister, Jill, lives in Las Vegas.

Huisentruit grew up in Lone Prairie, Minn., and was a star golfer in high school.

A week ago, a bench at the 10th hole of the Lone Prairie Country Club was dedicated in her honor.

In Mason City, police continue to get leads — a few a month, according to Detective Lt. Ron Vande Weerd.

"The quality isn't always so good. We have psychics call and people with suggestions and people with ideas they want to bounce off us," he said. "The ultimate hope is that the person or persons responsible will be held accountable — and hopefully that will happen in our lifetimes."

Sgt. Frank Stearns said, "We don't get many leads any more but we're still keeping our eyes and ears open. When we do get a lead, we follow through on it just as aggressively as we did on the first day of the investigation."

Mike Halverson, a police captain who retired earlier this year, said he will always consider the Huisentruit case unfinished business. "I really didn't want to retire until this one was solved and early on I thought we would. It's been a long ten years. One thing's for sure," said Halverson. "Someone out there knows what happened."

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:24 PM (GMT)
Jodi Huisentruit: A peaceful morning, then innocence lost


MASON CITY — Globe Gazette reporters John Skipper and Julie Birkedal were among current Globe Gazette staffers who were in the newsroom the day that Jodi Huisentruit disappeared.

Here is what they remember about that day.


Of The Globe Gazette

It was a quiet morning in the Globe Gazette newsroom, so quiet in fact, that the occasional banter on the police radio seemed like an intrusion.

I'm not sure when police were officially notified that Jodi hadn't reported for work that day at KIMT-TV. The first inkling we had was at about 9:30 or 10 a.m. when we heard police radio traffic about it.

Even then, it didn't seem too alarming. She hadn't shown up for work. Big deal. This is Mason City, Iowa. Why suspect anything was wrong? She probably just overslept.

And then police went to her apartment and found a pair of red shoes in the parking lot and the scenario changed instantly.

Three weeks earlier, Jodi and I had worked together — me in my role as Band Festival coordinator and she in her role as a festival TV reporter wanting information about the festival. We drank Cokes out of the can and talked about the parade.

And, of course, like thousands of other North Iowans, I knew Jodi from seeing her on KIMT first thing in the morning when I'd tune in to get a feel for what was happening in the world.

As Jodi prepared to go to work on the morning of June 27, 1995, she might have been wondering, like most of us do when we arise in the morning, what life had in store for her on that day.

Moments later, she found out.

The rest of us still wonder what happened to her. But as a community, we lost our innocence that day. No longer can we ever say, "it can't happen here" because it did.


Of The Globe Gazette

It was a summer day much like these recent days.

Few people were in the office the morning when we first heard scanner traffic.

Everyone was talking about how Jodi Huisentruit hadn't shown up for her early morning shift at the TV station. It soon became clear that she wasn't oversleeping either.

I took a drive over to the Key Apartments. There, what had at first seemed merely to be a bit of mystery took on a serious tone.

Beyond the police officer keeping curious reporters and passers-by at bay were a pair of red pumps sitting on the ground near her car. When I went back later, a chalk line marked the place in the parking lot where the shoes had been.

It seemed so out of kilter. This was Mason City, the home of Meredith Willson, the Band Festival parade and 76 Trombones. It wasn't the kind of place where people disappear.

In the days and weeks after Jodi vanished, biking along the Winnebago River behind the Key Apartments or heading down the tree-shrouded section of Birch Drive to the east left me feeling fear.

When my daughter wondered years later at anniversary news reports if it was safe for her mother to be a reporter like Jodi, I mumbled about television being different than working for a newspaper, but I knew the real difference wasn't in our roles but in the way the face of life has changed.

Midwestern communities where people once didn't bother to lock their doors, the kind conveyed in "Father Knows Best," aren't the safe havens they were.

We must all be more wary. Enjoy community, but be cautious, too.

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:24 PM (GMT),10651


Farmer: Missing TV Anchor Is Buried In Iowa Lake

It's been ten years since Mason City, Iowa television anchor Jodi Huisentruit disappeared on her way to work.

She was an early morning anchor and usually left her apartment in the dark morning hours. A few of her things were found next to her car that was still in her apartment parking lot.

Over the years investigators have chased down dozens of leads, but none every panned out. This week an Iowa farmer is offering them another one.

Duane Arnold has a cabin on Eagle Lake which is about 30 miles west of Mason City. Ten years ago he told investigators that he'd noticed some disturbed earth near the lake. Digging turned up nothing, but Arnold is convinced investigators dug in the wrong spot. He has spent $2,000 of his own money to hire an engineering firm to survey the land to see if indeed the earth was disturbed a decade ago. The crew used radar and did find something under the ground, but what, they can't say.

Arnold wants the local Sheriff's Department to dig in the area again and find out what is below the surface.

Huisentruit's disappearance remains unsolved has kept her name alive and in the headlines for a decade.

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:25 PM (GMT)

May 9, 2006 - Hancock County

Search For Jodi Huisentruit Turns Up Nothing

An Iowa man is convicned Jodi Huisentruit's body is buried near his cabin. Now, almost 11 years since her disappearance, authorities are digging into his theory. The search happened at Eagle Lake in Hancock County, about 30 miles away from Mason City. That's where a man claims Huisentruit's body was buried nearly a decade ago. Duane Arnold spent $2,000 to hire a company to radar the area. And he says it's worth every penny because he can't get the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit out of his mind.

Arnold says the radar found a four foot grave. But on Tuesday afternoon, authorities spent half an hour digging in the area and all they found was a few rocks and a paper cup. Arnold says for almost 11 years, it's been a horrible waiting game. He knows what happened to Jodi Huisentruit. His theory is that she was killed and buried near Eagle Lake. Arnold claims the weekend after she disappeared back in 1995, he noticed a freshly dug grave near his Eagle Lake cabin. Authorities did dig near the lake a few years ago, but Arnold claimed they missed the right spot. "The back hoe moved forward really slow. I stood right there and watched the back hoe operator and they stopped him, stopped him short of where I told him the grave was and where they had GPS-ed," he says.

Arnold says not knowing if they dug in the right area has been haunting him for years. So a couple of weeks ago, he hired a company to radar the area. "I've got to know. I'm 74 years old. I've got to know. It's right, if I haven't stayed on this, it would have died, went away."

Authorities wanted all of the questions and concerns to go away, but they came out to the lake to dig for themselves. Scott Dodd is the Hancock County Sheriff and says, "The reason why we dug this of course because if there was someone buried here or there was not someone, we wanted to find out one way or the other and we have done it now and there was no evidence of anything there at all."

It's been almost 11 years since Jodi huisentruit disappeared. But Arnold say the thoughts of her are still fresh in his memory. "I had a beer drinking session with her about a year before she disappeared. Boy, can she drink beer...just a perfect person."

The Hancock County Dheriff says authorities are finished searching the Ragle Lake area for Jodi Huisentruit.

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:25 PM (GMT)

After 11 years, Search for TV Anchor Jodi Huisentruit Continues

By Seamus McGraw
May 11, 2006

MASON CITY, IA (Crime Libarary) — There was never much of a question in the cops' minds. Jodi Huisentruit, the morning anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, was not the sort of person who would just vanish on her own.

It wasn't just that she was far too well known, though the 27-year-old television personality was a minor celebrity of sorts in Mason City. She also had deep ties to the community and to her family, and "would never have left without saying anything," said Lt. Ron Vander Weerde, an investigator for the Mason City Police..

But vanish she did, before dawn on a June morning, 11 years ago.

For more than a decade now, Mason City Police, aided by state authorities, and the FBI, have tracked down every lead, and there have been plenty of them, and still have come up with nothing. They've compared notes with other law enforcement agencies, and when bodies have turned up elsewhere, Mason City investigators turned up too, wondering whether this time, they had found the answer to the Huisentruit mystery, Vander Weerde told Crime Library. They've quizzed suspects in other cases, and all of it has been to no avail.

Earlier this week, the cops and the missing woman's family had another disappointment. A 74-year-old man, who lives in a cabin 30 miles outside of Mason City, told police that for years he had been haunted by a nagging suspicion about a patch of ground not far from his home. Though authorities had searched the area not long after Huisentruit's disappearance, going so far as to partially drain a nearby lake, the old man told police that he feared that the searchers may have missed the spot, which he insisted looked to him like a freshly dug grave.

Though the old man told police that he had long suspected that the spot might have been Huisentruit's grave, dug hastily he believed by a killer, he did not come forward at first. In fact, Vander Weerde said, it took the man several years before he finally did. "He said it was eating at him," Vander Weerde told Crime Library. Before he came forward, the man said, he spent $2,000 to hire a company to use ground-penetrating radar to scan the area. Though the tests were hardly conclusive, they seemed to show an anomaly in the spot the man had identified.

On Tuesday, police returned to the remote area and after hours of fruitless digging, which turned up only rocks and discarded bricks, they abandoned the search.

No Question that Huisentruit was abducted

There is, of course, little question in the investigators' minds that Huisentruit's remains are moldering a grave somewhere. The way Vander Weerde puts it there is no doubt that she "was the victim of foul play."

Not only was it unlike her to simply vanish of her own accord, there are also other clues that point to a violent abduction, Vander Weerde says. Just a few minutes before she vanished, for example, she had a brief telephone chat with a colleague at the television station and told her colleague that she was on her way into work. The way police have pieced it together it was sometime around 4 a.m. June 27, 1995, and still dark, when the young woman left her apartment and headed toward her car. She never made it. Though authorities have declined to release many details of evidence they collected at the crime scene, they note that several personal items belong to Huisentruit were found scattered on the pavement of the parking lot, and that there were signs of a struggle.

And for the moment, despite their brief moment of hope earlier this week, that is where the trail still ends for investigators.

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:27 PM (GMT)

Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2006 10:10 AM CDT

Huisentruit’s case monitored on the World Wide Web

By BOB LINK, Of The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY — When Jodi Huisentruit disappeared 11 years ago, the World Wide Web was in its infancy.

News of the anchorwoman’s disappearance on June 27, 1995, made newspaper headlines, television special segments and radio reports across the country.

Today, after years of investigation of suspects, false alarms and the continued search, the case remains on the national radar, especially on the Internet.

Huisentruit, then a 27-year-old news anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, failed to show up for work after briefly talking to a colleague during the early morning hours. Personal items were found near her car in the apartment complex where she lived.

A check of major Internet search engines provides a list of nearly 300 opportunities to read stories, message boards and blogs, as well as viewing photos and video footage of reports about the young woman and the people searching for her.

Keith Hanson, who lives in Clear Lake, worked at KIMT-TV when Huisentruit disappeared.

“It went up shortly after the day it happened,” said Hanson of his Web site. “I put the page together as another means of getting the word out.”

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:27 PM (GMT)

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The latest tip on a Mason City anchorwoman who has been missing since 1995 is leaving Mason City police in doubt.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mason City police Lt. Ron Vande Weerd said nothing new came of the tip on what happened to Jodi Huisentruit.

Earlier this week, an unidentified Minnesota woman came forward saying she knew what happened to Huisentruit.

The woman said she was 13 at the time and knew the killers.

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:27 PM (GMT)

Tipster to Face Charges

Anthony Welsch
Mason City, IA (KIMT)
Thursday, December 7, 2006

Police knew right away the story Cindy Sweeney brought with her to the Anoka Police Department was juicy. Right away, they say they were skeptical.

"Yeah, the claims she made, they were kind of on the spectacular side, for lack of a better word," Lt. Ron Vande Weerd of the Mason City Police Department said.

Now, the woman who says she saw six men kill Jodi Huisentruit will be facing charges of her own. Sweeney, the formerly anonymous tipster could see a year in prison if she's convicted of lying to investigators and misleading them in the case.

"They confronted her and they wanted some answers. They asked some questions and wanted answers for them," Vande Weerd said.

Ultimately, Sweeney cracked and investigators knew it was a bum tip that wouldn't lead to finding Jodi.

"I have no idea why she did this. I have no idea," Vande Weerd said.

Now the department is seeking charges, after all, that police work doesn't come without a cost.

"For us, it wasted man-hours, it wasted time. Some officers had to put other calls on hold, which is very frustrating," he said.

For Mason City he says the latest investigation took up about forty man hours of time. That comes out to more than one thousand dollars in tax payer money. That's doesn't take things like overtime costs, gas money, and other expenses they would came across during the past week.

But the the money and man-power costs aren't Vande Weerd's chief concern.

"I know it upset the family. I talked with them. They were very disappointed with what the media did," Vande Weerd said.

Charges against Sweeney could come as early as next week. She'll like face charges for filing a false report, a serious misdemeanor. Cerro Gordo County Attorney Paul Martin says typically, false charges is a simple misdemeanor--- but because of the severity of the crime involved in the latest bum tip--- those charges would get bumped up to serious misdemeanor status.

Yet, Vande Weerd doesn't believe the latest bad tip will hurt the investigation as a whole.

He says there could be one small shining light to come from all of this. The excitement at least put Jodi back in the public eye. Theoretically, the story could start weighing on the right person's conscience and lead to a legitimate tip that helps Police find Jodi.

"We certainly haven't forgotten about Jodi down here and... This gets out in the country maybe it gives them a reminder we're still working on it," Vande Weerd said.

They plan to investigate every new lead that comes in.

monkalup - June 23, 2007 11:28 PM (GMT)

Mar 11, 2007 11:22 am US/Central

Huisentruit Tipster Pleads Not Guilty

(AP) Mason City, Iowa A Minnesota woman pleaded not guilty to providing false information to police about Jodi Huisentruit, a Mason City newswoman who went missing in 1995.

Cynthia Sweeney, 25, of Anoka, Minn., entered a written plea Friday in Cerro Gordo County District Court.

She faces charges of making a false report to a public safety entity and malicious prosecution. Both are serious misdemeanors, punishable by one year in jail.

Investigators allege Sweeney intentionally provided information about Jodi Huisentruit that she knew to be false. The information included identifying people she claimed were responsible for kidnapping and killing Huisentruit, a former KIMT-TV newswoman and Long Prairie, Minn., native whose body has not been found.

Besides providing the information to police, Sweeney contacted media and shared the story.

monkalup - May 2, 2008 12:03 AM (GMT)

Plea For False Info in TV Anchor-woman's Disappearance

MASON CITY, IOWA -- It appears a woman who authorities say gave investigators false information about the disappearance of a former television anchor will be changing her plea.

Twelve years ago, 27-year-old Jodi Huisentruit disappeared after telling a colleague she was on her way to work.

25-year old Cynthia Sweeney of Anoka Minnesota claimed to have seen six men kill Huisentruit inside a barn near Mason City.

If Sweeney pleads guilty she could be sentenced Monday on charges of filling a false report and malicious prosecution.

monkalup - May 2, 2008 12:05 AM (GMT)

Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:10 AM CDT

Finding the lost, naming the unnamed


MASON CITY — It was the year that Michael Jackson introduced “Thriller.” Ronald Reagan was president. “Terms of Endearment” swept the Oscars.

It was also the year Grace Esquivel disappeared.

Grace, then 25, was last seen on June 10, 1983. She lived at 1619 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Mason City with her daughter, Angie, 6.

Grace’s story has faded in most memories. But not all.

“I don’t want anyone to forget about Grace,” said Angie Bunch, an area director in Iowa and Indiana for the Doe Network, a group of nationwide volunteers who try to find the missing or identify the unknown. “I still have hope.”

Grace is just one of 200 cases of missing men, women and children in the two states she investigates. The 34-year-old Kentucky woman is familiar with each of them, even calling the victims by first names.

Bunch roams the Internet for information, updates files and contacts law enforcement agencies in the hope of uncovering that one clue that might lead to a discovery. She works on multiple cases daily.

“There aren’t many nights I go to bed before 4 a.m.,” she said, her soft southern voice like velvet. “If you ask my fiancé or my children, they’ll say I have an addiction. But I believe this is a way I can help.”

The Doe Network was founded on a simple principle: If the correct information — dental records, DNA, police reports, photographs — is entered into the right databases, many of the unidentified can be matched with the missing.

In the United States, there are more than 40,000 unnamed bodies, according to the National Crime Information Center and about 100,000 people are formally listed as missing.

In Iowa, there are six unidentified bodies and 43 listed as missing. The oldest case is the 1973 disappearance of 11-year-old Boy Scout Guy Heckle of Cedar Rapids; the most recent are the 1999 disappearances of 56-year-old Dennison Stookesberry of Blakesburg and Dennis Addlesberger, 46, of Council Bluffs.

There are four North Iowa cases on the list. Besides Esquivel, there is the 1986 disappearance of Rodney J. Olsen of rural Mason City; the 1995 disappearance of KIMT-TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit of Mason City; and the little-known case of Kenora Cavan, a 16-year-old Clear Lake teenager who was last seen on her birthday, June 6, 1998.

Although Bunch has not resolved any case herself — she has only devoted full-time hours to the position since 2006 — she is hopeful her work will pay off.

She continually seeks media reports and other bits of information to add to and update files, but all information must be verified first through law enforcement agencies.

“It’s only then that we will post that information,” Bunch said. There is also an Iowa-based researcher who works with Bunch to seek out information.

Cooperation shown by law enforcement has been good, Bunch said.

Cerro Gordo Sheriff Kevin Pals said he is more than willing to work with “any agency that might help us shed light” on a case.

His department is the primary investigating agency for the Olsen case. He still believes there are some in the area “who still can be re-interviewed in this case,” he said.

The problem is time, he said. That’s hard to admit, he added, when family members continue to hope for breaks in the cold cases.

“But the day-to-day never ends,” he said. “The work on new cases is always there. So when someone like this (Doe Network) inquires, I am very open-minded about them helping us solve cases.”

Lt. Ron Vande Weerd of the Mason City Police Department agreed.

“I have no problem” with the work done by the network; in fact, he said, they have contacted the department on the cases several times.

“I think they have done some amazing things,” he added.

Bunch said that older cases like Esquivel’s make investigations tougher, but not unsolvable. Primary investigators retire and, sometimes, family members move from the town in which they lived at the time of a disappearance.

In other cases, DNA has not been secured from family members in case where remains are found. Losing ties with family can make it hard to obtain DNA or even dental records.

Vande Weerd said his department is fortunate to have kept in contact with Grace’s family and does have DNA from Grace’s family members in case remains are found.

In Cavan’s case, however, investigators found that the family moved at some point after her disappearance and are not sure where they are today, said Clear Lake Police Chief Greg Peterson.

Keeping in touch with families is important for other reasons, said Bunch, especially if there are children. Sons and daughters often take up searches after their parents, or other older relatives, die or can no longer be involved. Bunch believes the more looking into cases, the better.

Bunch becomes very close to many victims’ families, she said. “I have one case in Indiana; sisters who are looking for their sibling. I talk to them weekly. In many ways, they become like extended family.”

Her own interest in resolving cases came with a first-hand experience when a childhood friend disappeared. She and other children were on a playground with a young boy who left the playground on his bike to go to a nearby store. He was not seen after that.

“My family moved from that area and I never heard what happened to him,” she said. Years later, she began to look for information about him on the Internet and discovered the boy’s body had been found in a pond near the town.

“Along the way, when I was on the Net, I came across the Doe Web site and I was fascinated with all of it,” she said.

If the hours of searching get long, she does not get depressed, she said.

“For me, not being able to find someone just fuels the fire. It pushes me to work harder,” she said.

It is hard, though, when some cases — like Grace’s — provide little information. Vande Weerd agreed that few leads have surfaced since 1983.

“I really want to find more,” Bunch said. “It’s such a long time.

“I feel bad, too, when some cases overtake others, just because we know more about them. I want to get Grace’s case out there (in the public eye), get out as much as we can. And we can hope.”

North Iowa's Missing:

Kenora (or Kenore) Cavan. Cavan, of Clear Lake, has been missing since June 6, 1998, her 16th birthday.

She was not immediately classified as missing and questions remain about whether she was a runaway. Her parents, Noi and Natly Cavan, moved from the area.

Description: Height: 5 feet, 5 inches tall; weight: 107 pounds; Asian female with brown hair and brown eyes.

Graciela (Grace) Esquivel. Esquivel, 25, the mother of a 6-year-old daughter, Angie, was reported missing in June 1983. She lived at 1619 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Mason City.

Her daughter spent the night of June 10 with her grandparents, Manuela and the late Armando Esquivel, while Grace said she was going out with friends.

According to reports, her bed was found turned down as if someone was ready to go to bed and her wallet and driver’s license were left behind. Her Social Security number has never been used since her disappearance, according to Lt. Ron Vande Weerd of the Mason City Police Department.

Manuela Esquivel moved to Missouri several years ago.

Description of Grace: height: 4 feet, 11 inches; weight: 140 pounds; Hispanic female with brown hair and brown eyes.

Jodi Huisentruit. Huisentruit’s disappearance is one of the most widely known of Iowa’s missing persons cases. Huisentruit, an anchor for KIMT-TV in Mason City, failed to show up for work on June 27, 1995. Personal effects were found scattered near her car at the Key Apartments in the northeast part of the city, leading law enforcement to term her disappearance as an abduction.

Description: height: 5 feet, 3 or 4 inches; weight: 110-120 pounds; white female with blonde hair and brown eyes.

Rodney J. Olsen. Olsen, a rural Mason City farmer, was 32 when he was reported missing on October 18, 1986. Olsen was the father of a young son and farmed northeast of Mason City. He had moved from his native Britt area not too long before he disappeared.

He reportedly left his rural home at 1 a.m. to visit someone and has not been seen since.

Several months later, Olsen’s car, a black 1978 Pontiac Sunbird, was found in a Forest City trailer park. No clues were found to indicate what happened to Olsen, according to reports at that time.

Twenty-one years later, Olsen’s family still thinks of their lost son.

“You always want to know,” said his father, Myrlen, who lives in Britt. “We always have hope.”

Myrlen believes that Rodney, one of his three children, “went off in the middle of the night by himself — and after that, we just don’t know.”

Rodney Olsen’s son today lives in California, Merlyn said.

Myrlen Olsen keeps in contact with the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department, in hopes new information about the case can be developed.

Description: height, 6 feet; weight, 210 pounds; white male with brown hair and brown eyes.

Iowa's Missing Persons

1973 — Guy Heckle, 11, Cedar Rapids.

1975 — Colleen Simpson, 14, Bedford; Jane Wakefield, 26, Iowa City.

1976 — Alice Mae Vanalstine, 28, Polk County.

1978 — Mattie Zabel, 45, Cedar Falls; Steven Kirchhoff, 22, Waterloo.

1979 — Norma Maynard, 61, Boone; Ronald Westwick, 34, Ames; Richard Forsyth, 27, Waterloo; Charles R. Elmquist, 34, Iowa City.

1981 — Naomi Wilson, 32, Cedar Rapids.

1982 — John Gosch, 12, West Des Moines; Kimberly Doss, 16, Davenport; Denise Fraley, 30, Cedar Rapids; Dale Strassburger, 34, LaClaire; Theodore Hoerstman, 45, Dubuque.

1983 — Maurice Kneifl, 58, Sioux City; Grace Esquivel, 25, Mason City.

1984 — Harry Milligan, 21, Albia; Eugene Martin, 13, Des Moines.

1985 — Ronald Zellmer, 31, Sioux City.

1986 — Marc James-Warren Allen, 13, Des Moines; Rodney J. Olsen, 32, Mason City; Sandra S. Vanderhoef, 42, Webster County.

1987 — James Jamison, 75, Burlington; Sharon Pinegar, 42, Des Moines.

1988 — Johnny Shields, 32, Carter Lake.

1989 — Barbara Lenz, 31, Woodbine.

1990 — Robert Lee Kellar, 19, Muscatine; Mervin L. Walvatne, 53, Paul Knockel, 53, Dubuque.

1991 — Matthew Ferris, 20, Des Moines.

1993 — Barbara Lee Elms, 50, Cedar Rapids.

1995 — Jodi Huisentruit, 27, Mason City.

1996 — Kenneth Harker, 34, Sioux City; John Johnson, 71, Des Moines.

1997 — Robert Bresson, 57, Independence.

1998 — John Steven Conaway, 36, Council Bluffs; Gary Allan Brown, 23, Waterloo; Crystal Sue Hunt, 21, Centerville; Kenora Cavan, 16, Clear Lake.

1999 — Dennison Stookesberry, 56, Blakesburg; Dennis Addlesberger, 46, Council Bluffs.

For more information on disappearances and remains found in Iowa being investigated by the Doe Network, go to:

The ProjectEDAN (Everyone Deserves A Name) organization, formed in conjunction with the Doe Network, brings together volunteer forensic artists who offer their time on facial reconstruction and age progressions that help identify remains. Go to:


The Iowa Department of Public Safety also maintains a database of missing people at

NOTE: Listings on different Web sites do not match in all cases. The Iowa-based IDPS Web site, for instance, includes many listings for juvenile disappearances, some of which may be runaways. They are not listed on the Doe Network.

Ell - June 25, 2008 02:47 AM (GMT)
Police say they know who sent diary of missing TV anchorwoman to Iowa newspaper
Wire reports • June 24, 2008

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MASON CITY, Iowa – Investigators say they have identified “the individual” they believe is responsible for sending a copy of a missing television anchor’s diary to the Mason City newspaper.

The journal belonged to 27-year-old Jodi Huisentruit. She disappeared on her way to KIMT-TV in June 1995.

The Globe Gazette received a copy of the 84-page journal in a large envelope with no return address and a June 4th postmark from Waterloo.

Jeff Jacobson of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says authorities are not releasing the person’s name because the investigation continues.

Jacobson said Tuesday that officials know why the journal was mailed but he declined to comment “until we release the whole thing and the investigation is complete.”

Huisentruit’s diary was taken into evidence after her disappearance.

Ell - June 30, 2008 11:56 PM (GMT)

Missing Anchor-Journal

Investigators say they have identified a former police chief's wife as the person responsible for sending a copy of a missing television anchor's diary to the Mason City newspaper.

Authorities say Cheryl Ellingson, wife of former Chief David Ellingson, admitted she sent the journal to the Globe Gazette. It had belonged to 27-year-old Jodi Huisentruit who disappeared on her way to KIMT-TV in June 1995.

The newspaper received a copy of the 84-page journal in a large envelope with no return address and a June 4 postmark from Waterloo.

Police officials say that when David Ellingson resigned he inadvertently took a copy of the diary. They say his wife found the copy as they were preparing to move and decided to share it with the Globe Gazette.

Investigators say no laws were broken and no charges will be filed.

monkalup - June 28, 2009 03:47 PM (GMT)
14 Years Since Huisentruit Disappearance

Last Update: 6/27 9:30 pm

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MASON CITY, IA--KIMT anchor Jodi Huisentruit disappeared 14 years ago Saturday.

Police say the high profile case continues to hang over the Mason City community.

14 years after the apparent abduction, her case continues to interest people in north Iowa and southern Minnesota.
Police say she was on her way to work one summer morning when she went missing.

“We proceed as the leads come in,” said Police Chief Mike Lashbrook. “We follow-up, we dedicate the resources to it that are necessary to follow it up as quickly as we can and always in the hopes of coming to some resolution.”

Chief Lashbrook said even though the leads on the case aren't as strong as they used to be, the department still gets one to two tips a month.

tatertot - June 27, 2010 03:26 AM (GMT)

15 Years: Jodi Still Missing
Last Update: 6/25 11:01 pm

MASON CITY, IA- This weekend marks 15 years since the disappearance of KIMT anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit. The 27-year old vanished without a trace on June 27th. Investigators are talking about the cold case. And despite how much time has passed, remain hopeful there's closure for this case in the future. Huisentruit normally arrived at work between three and four in the morning. Lieutenant Frank Stearns didn't believe the case would turn into this.

"When I got the case I had no idea of how big it was going to grow. I thought we'd find her quickly."

Each year the community marks the disappearance, police expect more tips to generate. Lieutenant Stearns thinks about the case often. Though some leads are less than promising, it's his duty and others on the team to follow through with all of them. Huisentruit was declared legally dead in 2001.

user posted image

monkalup - June 29, 2010 01:26 AM (GMT)
15 Years Since TV Anchor Vanished
Published : Monday, 28 Jun 2010, 1:23 PM CDT

By Kevin Boie | MYFOXDFW.COM

MASON CITY, IOWA - It's been 15 years since Iowa TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit disappeared but despite signs of a struggle, the case remains cold.

The former KIMT TV employee was reported missing to the Mason City police after she failed to appear for work, according to the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office.

Twenty-seven at the time, Huisentruit had left her residence at about 4 a.m. for her scheduled shift anchoring the morning news, The National Center for Missing Adults reports.

When investigators arrived at her apartment complex, they found her red Mazda Miata convertible in the parking lot and personal items that the sheriff's office said indicated foul play.

Witnesses said they heard a scream that morning and investigators were looking for a white mid-1980s Ford Econoline van, according to the center.

However, no solid leads ever materialized.

Neither Huisentruit nor her body was ever located.

The investigation into her mysterious disappearance continues.

The National Center for Missing Adults

Cerro Gordo County Sheriff's Office

Huisentruit Report on "Unsolved Mysteries"

Missouri Mule - August 1, 2010 07:29 PM (GMT)
I have a possible suspect for you; now deceased. There is a tangential connection to this person and Jodi Huisenstruit.

"There have been rumblings that the second state that authorities should direct their focus is Iowa. On June 27, 1995, Mason City news anchor, Jodi Huisentruit, vanished from the parking lot of her apartment complex.

The night before her disappearance Jodi had gone to 510 6th St #2 in Mason City to view a videotape of her birthday celebration. The home that belongs to that address is a duplex, and was the home of Huisentruit's friend John VanSice. Jennifer Beamish-Revak resided in the lower part of the duplex however when she lived there is the question.

Ronald J. Coticchio, an attorney represeting Jennifer Beamish-Revak, states that she did NOT reside in Iowa at the time of Huisentruit's disappearance, however, online records show that she resided at the 6th street address."


monkalup - August 3, 2010 11:52 PM (GMT)
wow. that does not bode well

Pilgrim - June 24, 2011 06:27 PM (GMT)

tatertot - September 13, 2011 06:36 AM (GMT)

Dead Air: Author speaks about missing news anchor
By AJ CASSIDY/Staff Writer
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011 14:09

Standing before an audience in the Center for Multicultural Education Thursday, author Beth Bednar asked a very pointed question to start her talk: "Why are all of you here?"

Bednar, a former news anchor from KAAL-TV in Austin, Minn., was on campus to discuss a suspected murder that occurred 16 years ago – one that remains unsolved to this day. That case is the disappearance of Mason City news anchor Jodi Huisentruit on June 27, 1995. Bednar details the disappearance and possible solutions to the mystery in her new book, "Dead Air: The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit."

Of those in attendance, some were there for participation points for class, and several others grew up in the Mason City area, experiencing news of the events firsthand. Huisentruit's unsolved abduction left an indelible mark on the people of Iowa, and on Bednar.

As a news anchor in the same region as Huisentruit, Bednar described hearing the news of the abduction.

"The day she disappeared, it hit so close to home, that it felt like someone punched me in the gut," Bednar said.

For research into her book, Bednar spent a year and a half conducting interviews and searching the site of the disappearance and surrounding vicinity. Some people shot down her requests, others angled for something in return and many spoke to her only on condition of anonymity.

Even after all this time, Bednar found a wealth of information.

"Most people are still fascinated, frankly," said Bednar. "It's still the highest-profile cold case in the history of Iowa. People don't want to see it swept under the rug. This is one case where people still care."

During the visit to campus, Bednar answered questions about her process of writing the book, discussed the disappearance and read a section of the book about one potential eyewitness on the morning of the disappearance.

"My ultimate hope is that someone will come forward and say something. There's got to be someone out there who knows something but is keeping quiet," said Bednar.

Dakota Fleshner, a junior elementary education major, enjoyed the talk and Bednar's book.

"I thought it was really interesting – I read it last August," said Fleshner. "I'm from south of Mason City, so I grew up hearing about (the case), and I thought it was cool to hear."

Jake Green, a freshman management major, echoed the sentiment.

"I thought (the talk) was really interesting. I thought it was interesting how it's still unsolved," he said.

Bednar's book is available for sale at, with a list price of $24.95. A portion of the proceeds from the book sales will be donated to three foundations honoring Huisentruit's memory.

Information about the author can be found at, and information about Jodi Huisentruit and the case can be seen at

monkalup - November 13, 2011 03:04 PM (GMT)
Jodi Huisentruit Cold Case Revisited by Author
Posted: Nov 12, 2011 6:13 PM EST Updated: Nov 12, 2011 7:59 PM EST
By Mallory Peebles, News Reporter - email
Miss Mankato 2012 is Crowned
Updated: Nov 13, 2011 12:05 AM EST

A news anchor who disappeared in 1995 is still very much on the mind of an author and former TV reporter who is now promoting her book about the case- Dead Air: The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit. KIMT morning anchor Jodi Huisentruit disappeared in the early morning and ever since her case has gained national attention... every couple of years supposed leads come forward bringing her case back into the spotlight.

Police never convicted anyone in her disappearance but this author believes there are still many leads to be followed up on. Many people in the Midwest have followed the disappearance of TV anchor Jodi Huisentruit since 1995.

"I remember hearing about the case. I followed a lot of the media as well, and her sister actually lived next door to my grandmother."

For former KAAL TV personality Beth Bednar... who had worked just an hour north of Huisentruit, it was more than just a news story.

Beth Bednar says, "It was a kick in the gut to me when Jodi disappeared because no one knew at that time if it was Jodi that someone was after or if it was television anchors in general."
Bednar had just gotten out of the TV business when Jodi disappeared.

It was early one July morning in Mason City, Iowa that Jodi Huisentruit never showed up for work. Her co-workers called the police and what they found was signs of a struggle... her car keys left in the parking lot along with a single shoe. Police followed up on numerous leads and have repeatedly for years, but Bednar believes there's still more to be uncovered.

"I think someone knows something, I think perhaps more than one knows a lot more than they are telling," Beth said, "there are certain things that I wrote about in the book that the police never investigated adequately."

She interviewed a woman who claimed she was in the vicinity at the time when Huinsentruit went missing and claimed to have relevant information to the case. Bednar says that supposed information was never followed up on by police.

Bednar says, "it was a curious amount of secrecy in Mason City when I was talking to people about her disappearance, it is still very hush hush."

She hopes information in this book will shed light on the case and play a role in reopening it.

"I think that there are leads that were never adequately followed up on over the years and I do think that this case should be re-opened."

While Huisentruit's body has never been found, she was declared legally dead in 2001.
It's just one of many questions in this case that goes unanswered. There have been several persons of interest who have been investigated over the years including one particular one who eventually left Iowa and then came back. Police never found enough evidence against any them to consider them suspects.

The last time the Huisentruit case was in the news was earlier this year when a police officer from the Mason City Police Department claimed she was fired for looking into the case.

mimi - January 27, 2013 02:43 PM (GMT)

Posted: Thu 7:01 PM, Jan 24, 2013
Reporter: The Associated Press Email
Updated: Thu 8:22 PM, Jan 24, 2013
Missing TV News Anchorwoman Subject Of "Disappeared"

A television show that tells the stories of missing persons will spotlight the enduring mystery of Jodi Huisentruit, the Mason City, Iowa television news anchor who vanished in 1995.

The one-hour episode of the show "Disappeared" is scheduled to air Monday on the Investigation Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. Central time. Crews were in Iowa and Huisentruit's native Minnesota filming for the show last summer.

Huisentruit disappeared while on her way to work the morning shift at KIMT-TV. She was 27.

Witnesses said they heard screams outside Huisentruit's apartment where investigators found personal belongings such as jewelry and shoes scattered near her car. Investigators have never found Huisentruit, who was declared legally dead in 2001. No one has been charged in her disappearance.

Ell - November 16, 2013 02:42 AM (GMT)
CANISTOTA, S.D. |The man who for nearly 18 years voluntarily worked on the case of missing KIMT-TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit has died.

Jim Feldhaus, 79, of Canistota, S.D., died Oct. 10 at a Sioux Falls hospice.

Feldhaus had no personal connection with Huisentruit, who disappeared from her Mason City apartment building parking lot in the early morning of June 27, 1995, as she headed to work. But he spent hours each day interviewing potential suspects, tracking any and all information on the case and tipping off law enforcement and media to any information he uncovered.

The retired computer programmer for the University of South Dakota at Brookings and a former researcher for the 3M Co. in Minnesota, said in a 2005 interview with the Globe Gazette that the case was an “obsession” for him and “I want to solve it.”

Also in the 2005 story, Bill Basler, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigator, now retired, said while some of Feldhaus’ suspects had no conceivable link to the case, others were people law enforcement considered.

Basler said of Feldhaus, “He certainly is fascinated with the case.”


Ell - October 2, 2014 12:32 AM (GMT)

Nineteen years ago, while on the way to her morning shift at a local Mason City, Iowa television station, anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit disappeared.

When she went missing, Minnesota native Jodi was twenty-seven, with a bright future ahead of her. She was a prominent journalist in the Mason City area and had landed a job anchoring a morning news show. On the morning she vanished, police found her belongings scattered across the parking lot of her apartment complex. She never made it in to work that day.

After years of searching for clues that could help police piece together what happened that morning, Jodi, who would have turned forty-six last June, was declared legally dead in 2001. Her family has never held a funeral, instead opting to host Jodi’s Network of Hope, an annual golf tournament held in her hometown of Long Prairie, Minnesota, where Jodi was once a state championship golfer.

Although the case went cold years ago, recent developments and renewed public interest have reinvigorated search efforts. As local NBC affiliate KARE reported in June 2013, a group of law enforcement officials and journalists came together to found a website where they are able to compile all of the publically available information in one central location. was the brainchild of veteran journalist and state certified death scene investigator, Gary Peterson, as well as Miami morning TV anchor, Josh Benson. When he spoke to KARE, Peterson was optimistic about the progress they’ve been able to make with regard to the investigation: “We have been all over the state of Iowa following up leads and I think that we are very close.”

Jay Alberio, a retired Woodbury Police Commander joined the group in 2013 after he left the police force. He first became interested in the case in the late 1990s when he arrested Tony Jackson, a serial rapist who was in the Mason City area around the same time Jodi went missing. Although Jackson has never officially been named a person of interest in Jodi’s case and has maintained his innocence, Alberio believes that he should be further examined.

Lt. Frank Sterns is the only person who remains with the department from the original team tasked with investigating Jodi’s disappearance in 1995. Lt. Sterns, along with the rest of the Mason City police force welcome the help from but urge the public to contact them directly at (641) 421-3636 with any information that could lead to a break in the case

Ell - June 21, 2015 02:52 AM (GMT)
A question that’s haunted for 20 years: ‘Where’s Jodi?’

By Mary Divine, St. Paul Pioneer Press Today at 5:32 p.m.

LONG PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Jodi Huisentruit overslept on the day she disappeared.

On June 27, 1995, when a co-worker at the TV station where she worked in Mason City, Iowa, called to check on her, the 27-year-old Long Prairie, Minn., native said she would be racing to the station and be there in time for her 6 a.m. broadcast.

It was the last anyone heard from Huisentruit.

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of her disappearance, her family, police and a dedicated team of journalists and retired cops continue the quest to solve the cold-case mystery.

“I thought for sure it would be solved within five years. But it just kept going on and on and on, and now it’s been 20 years,” said JoAnn Nathe, who said the memories of her younger sister haunt her every day.

“We just want to find her. We want to know what happened.”

For months, the case dominated the headlines in the Upper Midwest. How could a TV news anchor disappear from a small town in Iowa without a clue?

Mason City police have received thousands of tips on Huisentruit’s disappearance over the years, and they continue to trickle in. Police Lt. Rich Jensen said the department still gets one to three a month.

“We expect that with the 20th anniversary, we will get more,” Jensen said. “It’s like any anniversary — it stirs people’s emotions. We’re waiting for the call. We’re hoping that there will be a day we’re in the courtroom, and somebody will be held accountable.”

Huisentruit arrived at CBS affiliate KIMT-TV in Mason City after stints at stations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Alexandria, Minn. She hoped to someday land a TV job in the Twin Cities.

Nathe suspects her sister overslept that morning because she was worn out from playing in a golf tournament the previous day. “Maybe she was just exhausted,” said Nathe, who lives in Sauk Centre, Minn.

It was Huisentruit’s assistant producer, Amy Kuns, who called her when she didn’t arrive at the station. Kuns said she called two or three times but never got an answer after the first phone call. She ended up producing the show and going on air herself.

“My first gut reaction was just to be mad,” said Kuns, who now lives in Clear Lake, Iowa. “I’m like, ‘Where the hell is she?’ … I thought she had just gone back to sleep and wasn’t answering her phone. Never in a million years did I envision abduction.”

Authorities believe someone grabbed Huisentruit shortly after 4 a.m. as she went to her red Mazda Miata in the parking lot of the Key Apartments. Neighbors said they heard a scream about that time and saw a white van in the parking lot.

Police found Huisentruit’s red high heels, blow dryer, hair spray and earrings strewn across the lot. Her bent car key lay on the ground near the Miata, and police believe the young woman was unlocking her car door when she was taken.

An unidentified partial palm print was found on her car, but there were no other substantial clues.

Jensen said Huisentruit’s abduction rocked Mason City, a community of 27,700 people.

“People here have a real connection with the local media,” the police lieutenant said. “They would turn on the news, in the morning or at noon, and there she was. They didn’t know her personally, but they knew her.”

Volunteers work on case

A team of journalists and retired police officers — called — is hoping renewed attention on the 20th anniversary of her disappearance will help crack the case.

The team includes former WCCO-TV reporter Caroline Lowe and retired Woodbury police Cmdr. Jay Alberio. The two met last month at Alberio’s house in Woodbury to compare notes on convicted serial rapist Tony Dejuan Jackson, someone they believe should be a “person of interest” in the case.

Jackson was 21 at the time of Huisentruit’s disappearance and living just two blocks from KIMT-TV — a fact Lowe and Alberio say can’t be overlooked.

“We don’t know if he is involved,” said Lowe, who worked on the WCCO-TV I-Team investigation on Jackson. “We, to this day, don’t know, but if you think of a person living that close who is capable of very violent stuff, he had to be investigated.”

Sitting at a computer in Alberio’s home office, the two scrolled through a Minneapolis police transcript of an interview with a woman Jackson was convicted of sexually assaulting in 1997. They were searching for a clue that could connect Huisentruit to Jackson, who is serving a life sentence at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City for raping three women that year in Cottage Grove, Inver Grove Heights and St. Paul.

“One of the questions that the detective asked the victim was: ‘When you woke up, did he say anything to you?’ ” said Alberio, who investigated Jackson in connection with a sexual assault in Woodbury. “He said, ‘d*mn, I thought I killed you,’ like he meant to, and he was disappointed that he hadn’t.”

When Alberio learned Jackson had lived in Mason City, he alerted Mason City police.

“We sent them a file down and said, ‘You’ve got to look at this guy,’ ” he said. “Based on his m.o., his pattern, we felt that he needed to be looked at.”

“You don’t wake up one morning and become a serial rapist,” Lowe said. “What had gone on before? And one of the cities that popped up was Mason City.”

She said that after stories about Jackson’s assaults appeared in the media, other possible victims stepped forward.

“We heard from two women in Iowa, including one (in Worth County) that police were skeptical was even a rape,” Lowe said. “They went back into their property room and took out a towel that she said had been used during the rape, and Tony’s DNA was on there.”

While living in Mason City, Lowe said, Jackson attended North Iowa Area Community College and put on a talk show at the Multi-Cultural Student Union.

“One of the things we hoped to find, but never did, was whether we could actually put him at KIMT. Did he ever visit there?” she said. “You look for those connectors. I haven’t found it yet, but you never know when one person might have seen something.”

In 1996, Jackson was charged with domestic violence in Muscatine, Iowa, but the charges were later dismissed.

“After the charges were dropped, he got his gun back,” Lowe said. “Police say he used that same gun in several sexual assaults in the Twin Cities, so you can see why we say he needs to be looked at.”

Despite Lowe’s and Alberio’s suspicions, Mason City police say no link between the convicted rapist and Huisentruit has ever been found and that Jackson is not a suspect in her disappearance. Jackson, who has denied any involvement in the case and said he never met Huisentruit, could not be reached for comment.

“Maybe there is something that eliminates him; we just don’t know what it is,” Lowe said. “We’re not locked into any one person. We’re there to keep digging. We’re going to continue her journey until we have answers.”

Lowe, who now works for KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo, Calif., recently moved to a part-time investigative reporting job to have more time for her volunteer work on unsolved crimes. She keeps a photo of Huisentruit on her desk next to a photo of Jacob Wetterling, the 11-year-old Minnesota boy abducted at gunpoint in 1989 in St. Joseph.

“I’ll be working on this until it’s solved,” Lowe said.

Website founders

News anchor Josh Benson, co-founder of the website, became interested in the Huisentruit case after he went to work at KAAL-TV in Austin, Minn., in 2002. Benson and his news director, Gary Peterson, started the website in 2003.

“We hated the idea of somebody disappearing off the face of the planet and not having any answers,” said Benson, now a news anchor for WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla. “There are tragedies every day, but when you just don’t have an answer, when you can’t put closure to it, that’s probably the worst hell anybody could go through.”

But Benson said the team is “working against the clock.”

“The biggest problem is time,” he said. “People are passing away — people who had details regarding the past. We have to get this thing figured out. It just gets harder and harder, and we just don’t want to see a 21st anniversary.”

Benson hopes Saturday’s anniversary, which includes a “Finishing Jodi’s Journey” walk from a church near Huisentruit’s apartment complex to KIMT-TV, will help revive interest in the case.

“Anniversaries always serve as a way to get people reinvigorated,” Benson said. “People start to remember things again.

“Take a look at some of these cases that are being solved thanks to technology and thanks to social media and thanks to people just putting a renewed focus into them.”

Benson mentions the case of Cassandra Rhimes, a Minneapolis woman missing for nearly three decades. Her remains were found in May 2014 in Gooseberry Falls State Park in northern Minnesota and identified last month.

“If you just keep fighting and working on it, somebody slips at some point, or somebody dies and leaves a clue, or something happens where someone says, ‘Hey, we’re too far away from when it happened. I’m in the clear,’ and they screw up,” he said. “We’re waiting for the big screw-up, or to connect the dot that is just sitting there waiting to be connected.”

Light of family’s life

Nathe remembers her sister as the light of her family’s life — someone who liked to play golf, bicycle, boat and in-line skate, who loved to travel and spent college summers working the golf beverage cart at Madden’s on Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minn. Someone who made people laugh.

“She brought so much joy to the family,” Nathe said. “She was just our sunshine.”

Nathe said it breaks her heart that their mother, Imogene, died last December at age 91 without knowing what happened to Jodi.

“She so wanted to find Jodi.”

Ell - June 26, 2015 12:41 PM (GMT)

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