Since 1995 the Mason City, Iowa Police Department has been investigating the disappearance of television news anchorwoman, Jodi Huisentruit. She was abducted from the parking lot of her apartment complex in the Key Apartments about 4:30 a.m. on June 27th, 1995. Her body has never been found and there have been very few clues that point to a killer.
Jodi Huisentruit was declared legally dead in May of 2001 by a judge in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. The volumes of Jodi’s case take up several file cabinets and numerous binders. Somewhere in the midst of all the paperwork could lie the answer to the question: what happened to Jodi Huisentruit? Over the years investigators have interviewed hundreds of people. By their own admission police say they aren’t any closer to solving this case than they were at the beginning.
Jodi had gotten home about 9pm on Monday, June 26th, 1995. She had been at a golf tournament at the Mason City Country Club and then went to the home of a friend, John Vansice. Vansice told police the two viewed a video tape of her birthday party earlier shot earlier that month. When Jodi returned to her apartment she called a friend in Mississippi. The friend said Jodi sounded cheerful and happy. Jodi normally left for work around 3 a.m. But this morning she overslept. Her producer called at 3:45 a.m. and woke Jodi up. The producer said everything sounded okay. Jodi said she would be right in to work. A subsequent call by producer Amy Kuns at 5:00 a.m. went unanswered.
It had rained on and off for several hours the morning of June 27th 1995. The air was heavy with moisture and there was fog along the river behind Jodi’s apartment. At 4:30 a.m., Jodi was in a hurry. She was two hours late getting to work. Amy Kuns was prepared to fill in as the anchor of the morning show and for the hour between 6 and 7 a.m. Amy presented the news of the day to viewers in the Mason City area.
At 7:13 a.m. the police department received a call from Jodi’s co-workers requesting they do a welfare check at her apartment. An attacker is believed to have struck Jodi as she attempted to insert the key into the door of her red Mazda Miata. The key was bent in the lock. The blood evidence at the scene indicates Jodi was injured and fighting for her life. In an apparent effort to fend off her attacker Jodi drops a pair of red dress shoes, her purse, a hair dryer, a bottle of hair spray, car keys and earrings. Part of the evidence at the scene was a palm print. Police also recovered other evidence at the scene. There were drag marks on the pavement. The dumpster was searched as was the parking lot and park nearby.
Randy Linderman lives up the street on Kentucky Avenue. He was driving to work about 4:30 a.m. and noticed a light colored van sitting in the parking lot as he went by. It caught his attention because the parking lights were on. He slowed down figuring the vehicle was a police officer. The van he claimed to had seen has never been found. Three neighbors heard screams around 4:30 a.m. but didn’t call the police.
Jodi Huisentruit was no where to be found.
Within hours, search teams were assembled and the immediate area was searched. The search expanded to 2 miles…then 5, 10 and eventually hundreds of miles.
Although the following men were persons of interest at some point in the case, they were never considered suspects and are no longer being pursued by police.
Since 1995 there have been many suspicions of what happened to Jodi. Rumors of her working in a casino in Reno, Nevada to being abducted by an Arab Shiek never developed into anything credible. Anyone who had a light colored van was of suspicion. One such person was Thomas Corascadden. He was in and out of the Minnesota prison system and had made comments to prison officials about Jodi Huisentruit. He was given a lie detector test in 2004 and passed it. Police also secured his palm print and compared this to the print left at the scene. It did not match.
Tony Jackson is currently serving time in a Minnesota prison. Tony Jackson had lived in Mason City when Jodi was abducted and was later convicted of rape. In jail he recorded a rap song that included a lyric referring to “Stiffin around Tiffin”. Police searched an abandoned silo near Tiffin, Iowa in 1998 with scent dogs. Police discounted alerts from one of the dogs as animal remains. Investigative journalists Josh Benson and Gary Peterson returned to that silo in 2004 and talked to the farmer that directed police to the abandoned silo and heard his story.
The last person to see Jodi alive was her close acquaintance, John VanSice. He was a man 20 years her senior that hung around with Jodi and other young women. He had a boat and named the boat “Jodi”. Relatives and friends discount the theory that there was more than a casual relationship between VanSice and Jodi. VanSice has been interviewed several times by police as well as taking a lie detector test which he claimed he passed. Since the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit, VanSice moved to Phoenix, Arizona. He lives in a single story home on the west side of the city and works in the landscaping business. We have repeatedly tried to contact VanSice and our calls went un answered.
So, what happened to Jodi? Psychics and mediums have offered their opinions and many of their theories match. The investigation continues into what happened to Jodi Huisentruit.
Your theories, suggestions, clues and observations are of interest to us. Thank you.