(via NBC Bay Area)There are many ways to measure time. For short periods, clocks work just fine. For longer stretches, there are calendars.
When it comes to measuring how long Jodi Huisentruit has been missing, Caroline Lowe uses thumb tack holes. There are dozens of them in the picture of Huisentruit that Lowe keeps on her desk.
“Each hole represents a different time, different place, I have posted this,” Lowe says.
The picture was with her for much of her 34-year career as a television news reporter in Minnesota. It also accompanied her for the past six years working as a news manager at a station on California’s Central Coast. Most recently, it sits beside her computer in her home office in Petaluma.
“Too many holes, too many,” Lowe said.
Jodi Huisentruit was the early morning news anchor at KIMT in Mason City, Iowa. On June 27, 1995, she left her apartment for work but never arrived and has never been seen since.
At the time of Huisentruit’s disappearance, Lowe was working the police and crime beat for WCCO-TV, the CBS television station in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Lowe didn’t start covering Huistentruit’s story until two years after her disappearance when a serial rapist Lowe had been investigating turned out to have lived just a couple of blocks from Huisentruit.
That lead did not prove to be a break in the case, but Lowe has not stopped investigating Huisentruit’s disappearance in the more than two decades since. Lowe says after getting to know Huisentruit’s relatives, it was something she felt she needed to do.
“Once I met her sister and met her family you feel a connection that you can’t walk away from,” Lowe said. “I just stayed with it over the years did follow up stories.”
Even now, that Lowe is no longer working full-time as a reporter, she continues to investigate the case. Working with a team of other investigators, Lowe continues to make calls, follow leads, and revisit timelines of Huisentruit’s activities before her disappearance.
FindJodi.com is the website the group maintains to publicize their work and keep Huisentruit’s name, face, and story in the news.
Asked why she still pursues this case with such passion, Lowe says it is something that stems from her years covering crime in the Twin Cities. Long after a story no longer made headlines, Lowe knew the victims and their families still dealt with the trauma. If she could do something that could ease their suffering, it needed to be done.
“You get attached to them and you identify with them and you hope somebody would do it for your family,” Lowe said.
There is also another aspect of this story that speaks to Lowe: the possibility, had things turned out differently, she and Huisentruit might one day have crossed paths.
“Jodi was a Minnesota gal who had a dream of going to the Twin Cities someday where I worked. We very possibly would have worked together if things had taken a different turn.”