Childhood & Education
Jodi Sue Huisentruit was born on June 5, 1968 to Imogene L. Jane and Maurice Nicholas Huisentruit. She was raised along with her siblings, Joann Nathe and Jill Lettauin Long Prairie, Minnesota.
During her schooling in Minnesota, Jodi waspart of the State Champion Golf team. She then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a major in Mass Communication and Journalism.
She first worked for the Northwest Airlines, after which she moved to Iowa where she worked as the Bureau Chief at KGAN, a local news channel. She then went on to workfor the KSAX news station in Minnesota. After a few years, she decided to return to Iowa and worked as a producer from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. She also worked as an anchor, hosting the morning and noon shows.
The Unsolved Mystery
On June 27, 1995, Jodi was getting ready for work, when she received a call from Amy Kuns, her colleague and co-producer. Sinceshe was running late for her 6 a.m. broadcast,Amy had called to check on her. Jodi had replied by saying that she had overslept and will soon be reporting to work. That was the last time she was heard by someone. Jodi left her apartment around 4 a.m. and was never seen again.
When Jodi failed to show up at the station by 6 a.m., her colleague called and requested the Iowa police officers to check on her. As the police team reached her apartment, they found Jodi’s red Mazda Miata car parked in the basement.
Some of Jodi’s belongings like her shoe heels, hair spray, blow dryer and earrings were scattered near the car and thatproved that someone had forcefully abducted her. An unidentified palm print was also spotted on the car. According to Amy’s statement, she did not sense anything unusual when she had called her as Jodi seemed like she was getting ready for another day at work.
A few neighbors stated that they heard a loud scream around the time Jodi left herapartment. Some even witnessed a white Ford van with its headlight on in the vicinity, but it is unknown if the van is related to her disappearance.
Going by her bent car key,which was found on the ground next to her car, police said the young woman could’ve been abducted while she was unlocking her car.
Jodi's friend, John Vansice, was the last person to see her as she had visited him to watch the video of her birthday party, which was thrown byJohn. She also had a golf tournament that day.
When the police department failed to crack the case, the mysterious case was passed on to many other departments including the FBI. Unfortunately, no one could find any valuable clue and the case eventually hit a dead end. It was reported that she did not have any enemies so there was no reason to suspect that she was in any danger.
As the investigation came to a standstill, the police formulated a theory that an obsessed fan could have stalked her, abducted and murdered her. However, no evidence was found to validate this theory.
The case was first aired on February 18, 1996 in TVshows, ‘Disappeared’ and ‘America's Most Wanted’.
In May 2001, Jodi was officially pronounced dead, but police could neither recover her body nor apprehend the killer. In 2015, the case was reopened as a witness linked Tony Jackson, a convicted serial rapist, to Jodi’s case. Jackson was 21 at the time of Jodi's abduction and lived nearby. He is presently serving a life sentence for raping three women in 1997.
Jackson lived just two blocks away from the news station she was working for, and the Fox 9 investigators found this fact to be an important lead.
A friend of Jackson reported that Jodi had met Jackson at a bar before her disappearance. However, due to lack of substantial evidences, he was never convicted of Jodi’s abduction.
The then Police Chief, Jeff Brinkley, took over the investigation and revealed that there might still be someone from the Kentucky apartment who might not have shared everything related to the case.
Jodi's mother diedon Dec 9, 2014 at the age of 91at Central Care Health Systems in Long Prairie.
2015 marked the 20th anniversary of Jodi's disappearance. On this account, a team of journalists and retired police officers who've long followed the case, created a website ‘FindJodi.com’ which restored the hopes of cracking the case.
News anchor, Josh Benson, who used to work for KAAL TV in Austin, is one of the founders of the website. The Find Jodi team includes former news channel reporter Caroline Lowe and retired Woodbury Police Commander Jay Alberio.