The unsolved disappearance of news anchor Jodi Huisentruit has haunted Iowa for two decades.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of her disappearance, members of the non-profit group FindJodi are organizing the event “Walk for Jodi: Finishing the Journey” on June 27 to raise awareness about Huisentruit’s case. The walk will begin at the Riverside Friends Church at 527 North Kentucky Avenue in Mason City and will proceed to KIMT-TV studio, just a little over a mile away.
Huisentruit was a news anchor for KIMT-TV. A native of Long Prairie, Minnesota, she earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud University in 1990 with a double-major in TV broadcasting and Speech Communication. Before working in Mason City, she worked at KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids and KSAX-TV in Alexandria. She would have celebrated her 47th birthday on June 5.
The search for Huisentruit is one of the largest investigations in the history of the Mason City Police Department. She was reported missing on the morning of June 27, 1995 when she did not come into work.
When investigators arrived at the crime scene in the parking lot outside of the Key Apartments, they found Huisentruit’s red Mazda Miata along with traces of blood and personal items such as car keys, a pair of red shoes, earrings and other evidence indicating there had been a struggle. Neighbors reported hearing screaming that morning, but did not alert the authorities.
The Doe Network describes the circumstances surrounding her disappearance as “endangered missing,” because authorities suspect foul play in her case. She was declared legally dead by judge Steven P. Carroll in Cerro Gordo County District Court in 2001 even though her body has never been found.
Mason City Police Chief Michael Lashbrook issued a press release on June 24 recognizing the upcoming anniversary of Huisentruit’s abduction. “As disappointing it is not to have resolution twenty years later, we are still very committed to this investigation and will always be until Jodi is found and whoever is responsible is held accountable.”
Huisentruit’s family, friends and supporters are petitioning Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer to name June 27 as “Jodi Huisentruit Day” in honor of the missing broadcaster. Supporting that effort are 100 members of the Iowa State House, who have signed a letter dated May 4 that is addressed to Bookmeyer and the Mason City Council, to help make their request a reality.
“Ms. Huisentruit’s disappearance had a profound impact on the entire state of Iowa and draws much needed attention to the many unsolved missing person cases in the state,” the letter reads.
After the walk, members of FindJodi will have a question and answer session.
“We encourage any family and friends who’d like to say a few words to please do so in front of the group. It’s a chance to say a few words to Jodi and to the people still working hard to find her and bring the family justice,” according to an official statement issued by FindJodi.
The event will start at 10am and is open to the public.
For more information, visit http://www.findjodi.com/
Photo Credit: FindJodi.com