22 years is far too long for a young woman to be missing, a family forced to wait for answers on her whereabouts and a case to remain unsolved. Here we are again at another frustrating and sad milestone in the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit. For years, the FindJodi.com, Inc. team has followed up leads and attempted to gain a foothold in the case. Despite years of digging, we’re not there yet. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t made progress.
We have followed up several leads in the last year, we have tightened up the last 48 hours and the timeline leading up to Jodi’s disappearance and we’ve utilized social media to discover new people who have direct connections of the case. In this day and age, we feel the web and technology overall will help, if not solve this case. Thank you to all who have kept the fire going and who have rallied the team when we’re at our lowest point in the investigation.
We wanted to spend this anniversary honoring Jodi with some tributes from those who knew her; friends, colleagues, journalists and general strangers interested in her story – and those eager to see some resolution in the case. We wanted to focus on Jodi’s enthusiasm and zest for life – just as the image above captures perfectly.
Here are a few of their stories. If you’d like us to add your personal story, please contact us and if possible, include any images you may have from the past. We’ll be sure to make this an ongoing tribute throughout the year.
Thank you for your support.
And just as we’ve said in every prior anniversary, we hope we don’t need to observe yet another.
Jennifer and Dick Langowski
Chairs of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament & Dinner
What do you remember about June 27, 1995?
Dick and I were happy to be helping with the Chamber golf outing 22 years ago, not knowing how it was going to end. It rained on-and-off most of the day, but spirits were high. We were glad to see a lot of business people and local celebrities. Dick and I were the social butterflies, so we were right in our element. We had never met Jodi Huisentruit. She was a beautiful young woman with a contagious smile. We introduced ourselves to Jodi and had a great conversation. She had gone home to change for the banquet and wore an off-white outfit. She was very sweet and humble. We told her we enjoyed her morning newscast very much. She said she didn’t know too many people in Mason City, IA and would like to get together.
We invited her to dinner for the following week and she seemed agreeable. We gave her one of our business card and told her to call us when she looked at her calendar. We were shocked to see the news the next morning.
How are you affected by this case?
Life is short. I guess it’s disappointing the case was not solved. It saddens us to believe someone can commit such a crime and get away with it.
WZZM 13 President & GM
Several months before Jodi disappeared, she sent me a video tape of her work at KIMT, the CBS station in my hometown Mason City. I was VP/News at KARE 11, the NBC in Minneapolis, at the time. I didn’t have an opening for an anchor but decided to look at the tape because I got my start in broadcasting at her station back when it was called KGLO-TV. I thought her anchoring was good, but she wasn’t ready for the Twin Cities. Normally, I would write the job applicants letters thanking them for their interest in the station.
In Jodi’s case, I decided to call her since we got our start at the same station. We had a lovely conversation. I could hear the enthusiasm and passion she had for our business. I gave her a couple of suggestions on how to improve, and we said our goodbyes.
A couple of months later, I heard the news of her disappearance. I dug through my box of resume tapes and found hers. We used that tape that night in our coverage of her apparent kidnapping. Mason City Police have received thousands of tips over the years. I even called in a tip through my contact at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in 1995. It’s hard to believe it’s been 22 years since that tragic day.
Even though no one has seen or heard from Jodi since that day, she has not been forgotten. Jodi didn’t work in Mason City very long, but she left an impression and had a positive impact on my home town. There are many people who still hope that justice will someday come for Jodi Huisentruit.
Friend of Jodi
I still think of Jodi all of the time, and this time of year is particularly difficult. I spent the two weekends prior to her disappearance with Jodi; the first weekend boating in Clear Lake, and the following weekend in Iowa City with Jon Vansice and others. I last saw her on Sunday afternoon, and two days later she was gone. I have wracked my brain countless times for anything of significance, but came up with nothing.
I talked with Jim, the investigator who passed away a couple of years ago, numerous times. I also spoke with a psychic, who knew things about my private interactions and inside jokes with Jodi that could not be explained, and she brought me some peace. Thank you for helping to keep this in the public eye. It is my hope that someday we will find her.
[Editor’s note: We featured an interview with Tammy Baker as part of our 13-part series ‘The Huisentruit File’ back in 2004. We’ve posted it here for readers to watch.]
Former General Manager, KIMT-TV
What are your earliest recollections of June 27, 1995?
While on the road to the station I took two calls that Jodi was missing and I immediately headed to the police station. The subsequent lack of any break in the case within twenty-four hours set the stage for many years of tips, investigations, and no closure, sadly.
How has this case affected your life since?
June 27th is our younger daughter’s birthday. What should be a day of celebration is also a reminder of the continual hope of solving the case for so many who worked and respected Jodi and of course peace for her family.
What personal memories you remember of Jodi that you’re willing to share?
She was like a ray of Sunshine; always smiling, making the people she worked with feel our mission was a good one. The night before she disappeared she attended a golf tournament banquet, where her enthusiasm and anticipation of her optimistic future in broadcasting was prevalent as always.
[Editor’s Note: The following video was created back in 2011 by the FindJodi.com team and serves as our motivation as we continue searching for Jodi and her abductor(s).]
Do you have a tribute or memory you’d like us to include? Please contact us with your story and we’ll get it posted as part of this tribute post.