The shooting death of Billy Pruin, an acquaintance of Jodi Huisentruit’s, had no connection to the disappearance of the Iowa television news anchor later that summer, according to the findings of a detailed investigation.
Our latest podcast episode reveals what FindJodi has learned about the death of Billy Pruin in 1995.
Pruin died in his rural Mason City, Iowa home from a gunshot wound three months before Jodi disappeared. There has been a long-rumored possible connection between the two incidents 25 years ago.
However, Don Sazma, a Minnesota-based private investigator hired by the Pruin family, tells FindJodi that his investigation concluded definitively that Pruin was the victim of an accidental firearm discharge.
“The death of Mr. Pruin was a freak accident,” Sazma says in the latest episode of the FindJodi podcast.
“The decedent’s family members, children and grandchildren, they see this stuff all over social media and there’s no reason for this rumor,” says Sazma. “(It’s) stuff going around from these conspirators. It’s been on the news stations time after time, year after year.”
Sazma was an investigator with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department from 1995-2016. His investigation into Pruin’s death on behalf of the family interviewed witnesses, consulted Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department files, and forensically examined the scene.
His findings in the Pruin case have not been made public until now.
Pruin’s official manner of death was initially ruled ‘suicide’ in 1995. It has since been changed to ‘could not be determined’.
FindJodi has also obtained a copy of the original case file and updated death certificate.