(via Echo Press) A lot of people want to know what happened to Jodi Huisentruit, including Abby Kleinschmidt of Alexandria.
Kleinschmidt grew up across the street from Jodi’s sister in Sauk Centre and was friends with Jodi’s nieces.
“Whenever Jodi came to visit them she treated me like her own niece,” Kelinschmidt said. “She’d play with us, take us to the zoo. After she became a news anchor we thought she was such a movie star. I really looked up to her.”
Many who knew Jodi were in shock after Huisentruit was abducted from the parking lot of her apartment complex in Mason City, Iowa on June 27, 1995.
Her body has never been found and there have been very few clues that point to a killer.
“I was only 13 at the time,” Kleinschmidt said. “I didn’t understand what it all meant. I figured they would find her. I thought only kids got kidnapped and she’d be fine.”
But, like many others, Jodi’s story has haunted Kleinschmidt in the years since.
“It’s something I have never forgotten,” she said. “Now that I am an adult, I can’t forget it. I have read her book, I am on the findjodi.com website at least twice a week. I still can’t believe she’s missing after 20 years.”
Kleinschmidt was one of about 50 people who took part in “Finishing Jodi’s Journey,” a walk to remember the missing TV news anchor held Saturday, June 27 in Mason City, Iowa.
Participants walked from the Riverside Friends Church, which is across the street from the apartment complex where Huisentruit lived, to KIMT-TV, the TV station where she worked.
“Some of Jodi’s friends, cousins, co-workers, a tenant of her apartment building at the time, and just those that never knew her but can’t forget were there,” Kleinschmidt said of the event. “It was a beautiful walk and lots of memories were shared.”
Besides taking part in the walk, Kleinschmidt donated $1,000 to the efforts to find Jodi. As an employee of Bell State Bank in Alexandria, she is annually given $1,000, which she can give to any cause she chooses.
“Since starting at the bank six years ago, I’ve always wanted to donate the money to the Find Jodi team,” she said. “It just amazes me that none of those people knew Jodi personally, yet they are all out there searching for her. This year being the 20th anniversary of her disappearance, it just felt right.”
Huisentruit went to work at the CBS affiliate KIMT-TV after stints at stations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Alexandria.