Help Us Find Jodi Huisentruit
A 25-year-old abduction case remains unsolved
Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Jodi Huisentruit. Is your hand in the air? If it is, I’m very glad. If not — that’s where I come in.
Jodi was a blossoming morning anchor and journalist working for a local CBS affiliate, KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa. She had a passion for her work, and ultimately wanted to get out of the small town environment of Mason City, and begin work in a larger market. She had brains, talent and determination. As Jodi prepared to get into her vehicle to head to work on an early June morning, she was abducted. She was 27 years old. It’s now been over 25 years, and Jodi has not been found. No arrests have been made in the case. Here’s a breakdown of what we know occurred before and leading up to Jodi’s abduction:
In the early morning hours of June 27, 1995, Jodi Huisentruit was scheduled to anchor the morning show on KIMT-TV. Jodi had attended a golf tournament and dinner the night before, and she arrived home that evening at around 8:20 PM. It’s been rumored that she may have left again, and gone to the home of a close friend John Vansice. Nobody has been able to positively place her there, however. The information comes from Vansice himself, who later told police that Jodi had stopped by his place to watch a video of her birthday party that he had co-hosted.
At some point that evening, Jodi went to sleep. Her normal work routine was that she would rise early and report to the television station around 3:00 AM to begin prepping for her morning anchor duties. At approximately 4:00 AM when Jodi still had not arrived for work, her producer Amy Kuns made a call to Jodi’s home. She believed that Jodi may have overslept, as this had happened in the past. Amy was in fact correct, and woke up Jodi. They spoke briefly on the phone; Jodi asked Amy what time it was and how much time she had to get prepped for the show. She hung up and began hustling to get out the door.
Jodi failed to report to work even after being called by Amy Kuns. Amy was forced to fill in for Jodi on her anchor duties that morning. When she had completed her position as morning anchor — and when Jodi had still not arrived to work — Amy asked a co-worker to call the police.
The first officer arrived at the Key Apartments at 7:16 AM. The apartment complex was just a short drive away from the studios of KIMT-TV. What he found upon arrival was of great concern. The officer found Jodi’s red Mazda Miata in the parking lot. It was parked 10–12 steps from the main door of the Key Apartments. On the ground and strewn about, were Jodi’s red high heels, her car key which was bent, her earrings, hairspray and a hair dryer. There was no sign of Jodi, and the officer noticed that her side mirror on the drivers side was bent forward. It was clear to police that some type of struggle had taken place. Police also noticed drag marks on the ground around Jodi’s driver side door.
At some point that morning, John Vansice arrived at the scene. He told police that Jodi had been at his home the night before, to view the video of her birthday party from a couple of weeks earlier. As mentioned, Jodi has not been positively placed at the home of Vansice. It is the word of Vansice only.
It is believed that Jodi stepped out of her apartment at around 4:30 AM. There are unsubstantiated reports of a possible scream around that time. There is also a report that someone may have heard a voice at Jodi’s apartment door asking her to open the door. That also has not been verified. The bottom line is this: Jodi’s apartment window faced the parking lot where her vehicle was parked. It’s a fact that when Jodi was inside the apartment, she could be seen from the parking lot through her window. It’s also a fact that in the roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes between the time Jodi was abducted, and the police arrived on scene, nobody made a call to the Mason City Police Department. Nobody reported anything suspicious.
Was someone lying in wait for Jodi on that early June morning? That certainly seems to be the most logical answer. Perhaps a stalker? Possibly. Whoever abducted Jodi would have needed to act quickly, as her car was only a few steps from the door of her apartment complex.
And here is another interesting tidbit of information. Consider that Jodi was 27 years old when she was abducted. Now consider this: she was taken on June 27th of that year. Coincidence? It’s unknown at this time, but it’s been questioned if there is a significance with number 27.
Here’s what else we know. At the golfing event the night before, Jodi had told people that she was going to change her phone number the next day, as she was getting “nasty” calls. Jodi was listed in the public phone book, making it very easy for anyone to get her number and find her address. Another fact is that a passerby reported to police that he observed a white van parked in Jodi’s parking lot, with the parking lights on. He observed this the same morning that Jodi was taken. That vehicle was never located.
Finally, it’s been confirmed that just across the parking lot(and near a dumpster) from Jodi’s apartment, there were several empty beer bottles or cans lined up. The dumpster was in clear view of Jodi’s apartment window, and vice versa.
What does it all mean? It means that 25 years later police are still looking for answers. A number of people have come to police attention, and I’ll be writing about that in future articles. But suffice it to say that there is still work to be done. And somebody out there knows something about the fate of Jodi Huisentruit. That’s why I’m bringing this case to light. To help find Jodi. And now, I’m asking for your help too.
There exists a group of individuals who are determined to keep Jodi’s case alive. Since 2003, findjodi.com has dedicated huge amounts of time to the case of Jodi Huisentruit. If you know anything about Jodi’s case, even if it seems insignificant, you may reach out to them through the above link. And you can follow Jodi’s case through her official podcast, which is linked above.
Finally you can reach the Mason City Police Department at (641)421–3636. And the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) can be reached at (515)725–6010. I will be providing more information on this case in upcoming articles. In the meantime, please spread the word about Jodi. Do it for Jodi — for her family. And tell your friends about this article.
Thanks for spending time with me today. Stay well.
This is Part 1 of a three part article. You can read the second chapter here: Part 2.