MASON CITY – Five years. Five long years – Mason City Police Capt. Mike Halverson has been waiting for a lead, a clue, a hint of some kind that would lead him and his investigators to the whereabouts of Jodi Huisentruit.
But, unfortunately, there is no new evidence in the case of the June 27, 1995, disappearance of the then 27-year-old KIMT-TV news producer and anchor, and Halverson wants to bring closure to Huisentruit’s family and to his officers.
“We don’t know she’s dead,” said Halverson, the department’s field operations commander. “However, the probability of her being alive after five years is very slim. I don’t think she’s alive, but do we have anything to confirm she is dead? No.”
Huisentruit was last heard from about 4 a.m. the morning she disappeared. That was her regular arrival time at the television station, and she spoke with co-worker Amy Kuns, telling her she’d be there in a few minutes, but she never arrived.
Police believe she was kidnapped from the parking lot of her apartment complex in Mason City.
Scattered around her car in the apartment parking lot were the things she’d have used to get ready for work: a pair of red women’s dress shoes, a blow dryer, bottle of hair spray, car keys and earrings.
Police began their investigation with those items and were joined by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state Division of Criminal Investigation. In the five years the investigation has continued, investigators have followed thousands of tips and interviewed more than 1,000 people.
Today, Halverson said, he and his officers continue to investigate leads as they come in, though fewer leads are being found.
Dozens of rumors continue to float through the community regarding the possible circumstances of Huisentruit’s disappearance, but authorities say even though they take all possible leads seriously, they don’t want to comment on them publicly.
“We have never dealt with rumors and we’re not going to start now,” said Halverson.
Mason City Police Investigator Frank Stearns agreed: “We don’t comment on rumors.”
Stearns did say that each time the National Crime Information Center reports finding an unidentified person’s body that matches Huisentruit’s description, he compares dental records – so far to find the unidentified body is not Jodi Huisentruit.
Stearns said that despite the age of the Huisentruit file, it’s still being actively worked on. The FBI and DCI each still have a special agent assigned to the case, and there isn’t a day that goes by that Halverson and Stearns don’t think about Huisentruit, they said.
“We have not received any leads that have led us closer to the conclusion of this case,” Halvorson said. “This has been an extremely hard case to solve. It’s something that all the investigators and patrol officers think about every day. We’d like to get the information we need to solve the case and make an arrest.”
“It has been a difficult case,” Stearns said. “It consumes you, and it is almost your every thought.”