One of the toughest things for me when I moved away from Minnesota for a new job at a television station in California was leaving behind several unsolved crimes I had covered often over the years as a crime reporter at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis.
The two cases that have remained uppermost in my mind are the disappearances of Jacob Wetterling in 1989 and Jodi Huisentruit in 1995. Jacob and Jodi are still missing, but they are never far from my thoughts. I keep their photos on my desk at KSBY-TV in Santa Maria, California.
Having a role in keeping the investigations alive motivated me to join the FindJodi.com team. Our group includes co-founders Josh Benson and Gary Peterson, who reported on several stories on Jodi Huisentruit’s disappearance back in 2002 at KAAL-TV in Austin, Minnesota.
Their investigation 10 years ago prompted them to create the FindJodi.com website, convinced that keeping Jodi’s case in the media spotlight will help to unravel the mystery of the missing Mason City, Iowa, anchorwoman’s disappearance.
Beth Bednar, a former Minnesota anchorwoman who wrote a book about Jodi’s disappearance, joined the team in the past year. So did Florida TV news producer, Tara Manis, and a Minnesota web expert, Chris Tardiff. Our team had its first group conference via Skype a couple of weeks ago. We had a terrific and inspiring discussion that included Josh and Tara in Miami, Gary, Beth and Chris in Minnesota and me in California. As we caught up on tips and leads, I felt all the more committed to doing my part in searching for Jodi.
Our focus on Jodi’s tragic case also reminded me of all the missing persons who have loved ones waiting for answers, justice and closure. As I write this, I have a new photo on my desk next to the ones of Jodi and Jacob. It’s a picture of a co-worker’s niece Sabrina Fair Allen, who was abducted in 2002 from her home in Austin, Texas, when she was just 9 years old.
I am hopeful the FindJodi.com team’s efforts to educate the public about Jodi’s case and those of all missing persons will lead to much needed resolution of these cases.