FindJodi.com has learned the Mason City Police Department executed a search warrant seeking GPS data from 2 vehicles related to John Vansice, a close friend of Jodi’s, back on March 20, 2017. The “interested party” on the public records from the Iowa Courts Online Search is officially listed as Arthur John Vansice, Vansice’s full legal name.
We’re not sure if 72-year-old John Vansice, who now lives in Arizona, owned the vehicles, if he borrowed them, or if he was in Iowa at all. The two vehicles listed in the court files are a 1999 Honda Civic and 2013 GMC 1500.
What we know
All documents and information contained in the search warrant were sealed in March 2017 for six months and then resealed in October 2017 for an additional year. A sharp-eyed FindJodi.com reader was the one who spotted the public record on the Iowa Courts Online search.
FindJodi.com called the Cerro Gordo County Clerk of Court and confirmed there was an envelope there, it was officially sealed and no information could or would be sent to us. However, we were able to pull screenshots of the Iowa Courts Online Search (below) that show the warrant was issued, sealed and the interested party was listed as Vansice.
What we can’t see is what probable cause the MCPD presented to a Cerro Gordo County judge to get approval to conduct the warrant for the GPS data and what was in the Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen’s legal motions that convinced the judge to keep the warrant, and its results, secret.
John Vansice moved from Mason City to Arizona more than 20 years ago. He claims he was the last person to see Jodi Huisentruit alive and has been a focal point in the investigation almost from the beginning. He also told investigators Jodi, who was 22-years-younger than Vansice, stopped by his apartment the night before she disappeared to watch a video of a surprise birthday party he hosted for her just a couple weeks before. He also named his boat after Jodi. Jodi spent the weekend before she disappeared waterskiing with Vansice and some friends.
Learn more about John Vansice from ‘The Huisentruit File’, Episode 8 (KAAL-TV)
Jodi Huisentruit was a morning anchor for KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa when she was abducted from the parking lot of her apartment complex on June 27, 1995. She hasn’t been heard from since. According to Mason City Police, there are no official suspects or persons of interest in her case.
Jodi would have turned 50-years-old this June. It will also mark the 23rd anniversary of her disappearance.
FindJodi.com reached out to Chief Jeff Brinkley to ask about this most recent development. He responded via email:
“As you know, we continue to actively work Jodi Huisentruit’s missing persons case from June 27, 1995. The search warrant you are referring to is part of our ongoing investigation. We do not have any public comment at this time about the content of the search warrant or the person(s) named in it. We would ask that anyone with information about Jodi’s disappearance contact the Mason City Police Department. Lt. Rich Jensen is our Criminal Investigations Division Supervisor and he can be reached at (641) 421-3636.”
— Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley
We also reached out to the Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen for comment on the latest development involving the search warrant and the fact it was sealed for an additional year.
“My position is it’s currently sealed because it’s to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
— Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen
What we don’t know
As you can imagine, this is a bombshell revelation in this investigation due to the fact very little has ever been revealed publicly about the 23-year-old case. And as you can see, we didn’t receive much insight as to why the search warrant was conducted one year ago in the first place.
Here are questions we still have:
What did police learn from the search warrant?
Who owns the vehicles?
Did John Vansice return to Iowa from Arizona and was he driving the vehicle(s)?
Were police concentrating on places John Vansice was visiting due to the fact they executed a search warrant on GPS data involving the vehicles?
Why was this search warrant not sealed from the public initially?
FindJodi.com reached out to several prosecutors from various jurisdictions to get their opinion as to why the search warrant wasn’t sealed prior to being listed publicly on the Iowa Courts Online website. We learned that this is a decision that can be decided county by county and case by case. Some murder cases in other counties, for instance, have been sealed immediately. County Attorney Dalen says it’s his policy to keep the existence of a warrant public.
Based on our discussion with County Attorney Dalen, we believe this search warrant will remain sealed until this case is solved and someone is charged. But it’s obvious the Mason City Police continue to be very interested in John Vansice. From the very beginning, they were interested to learn where he was, who he was with and where he would later go. And nearly 23 years later, they continue to focus on Vansice and his goings-on.
John Vansice has repeatedly denied any involvement in the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit.
We will continue to follow this development.
Remember, if you have any tips in this case, remember the slightest nugget of information that doesn’t seem to add up, or have information that could benefit this case, please contact us. You may remain anonymous with our private form (doesn’t require a name or email). We turn over all relevant leads to the Mason City Police Department.