It’s been almost two decades and the disappearance of television news anchor Jodi Huisentruit still remains a mystery.
It would be an understatement to say this is simply a cold case. The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations Cold Case Unit was investigating this case but due to lack of funding, the unit disbanded. Mason City Police Department leaders say they have an officer assigned to Jodi’s case to follow up leads and track new information. FindJodi.com has learned that this officer is now assigned to the patrol division (in addition to his role looking after the Huisentruit case.
Complete cold case investigation unfinished
Despite nearly two decades of investigations conducted by various agencies, a very disturbing realization remains: a complete cold case investigation of the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit has never been done.
A complete cold case investigation requires completing many steps. Basic steps involve an investigator or entire team taking a second, more detailed look at the case. Every aspect of the case is reviewed. It starts with the initial report and when it was made to police, right on through to every lead that has been filed since then. Every page of the report have to be read. With the volumes of information in the Huisentruit case this is daunting task, no doubt. But it is absolutely crucial.
The one piece of information or name that may help solve the case could be buried in existing reports. Oftentimes witnesses are interviewed repeatedly. Evidence is evaluated and submitted for DNA testing using the most current technology that compares samples from the victim and persons of interest. It’s also important to revisit the crime scene on the same day and time of when the actual crime occurred to flesh out new details for comparisons and other leads.
By no means is this all inclusive of what a cold case investigation entails. Over the years, the Mason City Police Department has done some of these tasks and continues to say it follows up on all new leads and information. It is difficult however to conduct a complete cold case investigation with only one officer assigned to conduct follow up from his patrol assignment. But like most agencies, the Mason City Police Department has to best utilize their limited resources.
Tony Jackson speaks from prison; a second look
One person of interest whom the FindJodi.com team believes needs a second look is convicted serial rapist Tony DeJuan Jackson. Jackson has told several sources over the years he has never talked to or met Huisentruit. In the following telephone recording, you will hear Tony Jackson himself tell FindJodi.com team member (and then-WCCO-TV news reporter) Caroline Lowe that he never met her. We’ve selected the time codes of his answers to the question.
Excerpt of Caroline Lowe’s Telephone Conversation with Tony Jackson
The following is an excerpt of the telephone conversation between Caroline Lowe and Tony Jackson. This recorded telephone conversation was obtained through a public records request with the Woodbury Police Department in the state of Minnesota (1998).
In recent months, a witness has contacted the FindJodi Team with information that Jackson actually had met with and talked to Huisentruit at the South Bridge Lounge. According to the witness, Jackson’s meeting with Huisentruit occurred just weeks before her disappearance. This individual claimed to have witnessed Jackson walk up to and engage Huisentruit in conversation.
I took a second look at Caroline’s WCCO-TV investigative report that aired in late 1998. I learned of another person reporting that Jackson had told her he had met Huisentruit at the Southbridge Lounge. Here is Caroline’s series on Tony Jackson:
WCCO-TV I-Team Special: Tony Jackson (1998) Part 1
WCCO-TV Dimension Special: Tony Jackson
We now have two individuals who have reported that Jackson had met Huisentruit prior to her disappearance.
Why has Jackson continued to adamantly say that he’s has never met Jodi Huisentruit? Does he have something to hide? This is one of several items we’ve discovered that simply don’t add up. That is why Jackson needs a second look.
Mason City Police stated in a news release dated May 5, 1999:
In upcoming articles I will be outlining further information why I believe Tony Jackson needs another look. The FindJodi.com Team has obtained never-before-heard audio recordings that we plan to release to the public to help further our analysis.
There are a lot of unanswered questions about Tony Jackson that need to be answered. If you have any information about him that you feel may be beneficial to our investigation, please contact us. You may remain anonymous.
19 years is a long time without any answers. The FindJodi.com Team continues to work to uncover these answers to help bring Jodi home, and her abductor(s) to justice.