How Jodi Huisentruit Disappeared Without A Trace

On June 27, 1995, when Jodi Huisentruit failed to show up for work as a morning anchor at KIMT-TV, her producer was unconcerned. She dialed Huisentruit’s number, who answered, apologized, and informed her that she was late. Jodi Huisentruit, on the other hand, never showed up.

As she raced out of her apartment, it became evident that something terrible had happened to the 27-year-old. Huisentruit’s things were found scattered around her Mazda Miata in the parking lot of her apartment building after police were called by KIMT-TV to conduct a welfare check.


It was the start of a mystery that has remained unsolved to this day. Jodi Huisentruit, what happened to her? Has she been kidnapped by a stalker? Is there a local rap artist? Or possibly by a friend who has developed a crush on her?

This is the complete story of Jodi Huisentruit, the morning news anchor whose fate has been unknown for over two decades

Jodi’s Childhood

Jodi Sue Huisentruit was born on June 5, 1968, in Long Prairie, Minnesota, where she was a member of her high school golf team and intended to be a news anchor.

Kim Feist, her high school best friend, told 48 Hours, “She wanted to be famous.” “She knew she wanted to be a news anchor when she was in high school.”

Huisentruit pursued this objective by attending St. Cloud State University and working for the school’s television station. After graduating, she worked for a few other television stations until landing a job as a morning anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa, just four hours from her hometown.

She seemed to fit well in at her new career and in her new city. Despite the early hours she worked, her coworkers described Huisentruit as “bubbly” and “effervescent.” Huisentruit also made a new circle of acquaintances, one of which was an elderly man named John Vansice.

Everything seemed regular in the days leading up to Jodi Huisentruit’s disappearance. Vansice joined her on a waterskiing excursion to Iowa City with a group of buddies. She also came by Vansice’s house the night before she vanished to watch a videotape from her surprise birthday party earlier that month.

Jodi Huisentruit, however, did not show up for her morning shift at KIMT-TV on June 27, 1995.

The Morning Jodi Huisentruit Disappeared

Jodi Huisentruit usually arrived at work around 3 a.m. to anchor the KIMT-TV morning show DayBreak, which airs at 6 a.m.

DayBreak producer Amy Kuns phoned Huisentruit at home just after 4 a.m. after 3 a.m. had passed.

“I dialed her number twice. In 2011, Kuns told co-founder Josh Benson, “I talked to her and woke her up for the first time.” “The second time, it just kept ringing and ringing… I had clearly jolted her awake. She inquired as to the time. I informed her. She stated that she will be right in.”

Jodi Huisentruit, on the other hand, never showed up for work. Kuns became irritated and decided to make the program herself. She then persuaded a coworker to phone the police and seek a welfare check, believing Huisentruit had fallen in the shower.

Her key found in her place

However, when the police arrived at Huisentruit’s Mason City apartment about 7 a.m., they discovered proof that something far worse had occurred. Her red Mazda Miata was still parked in front of the building, and officers discovered her bent key, as well as her red high heels, blow dryer, and earrings, on the ground nearby. On the damp pavement, there were drag marks.

A scream was also heard by several of Huisentruit’s neighbors at 4:30 a.m., and a man who lived close described seeing a light-colored van as he went for work. Because of the bent key, authorities thought that the young news anchor had been kidnapped while unlocking her automobile.

Apart from that hypothesis, detectives didn’t have much information. There were no new clues found during a search of the area near Huisentruit’s apartment. However, cops discovered a palm print on her windshield and a stray hair beside her vehicle.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of evidence in this case, period,” Mason City Police Department Lieutenant Ron Vande Weerd told, before adding, “But we do have definite parts of the investigation, different things that we know, that we are withholding for just that reason, that if we are able to develop a subject, that we are able to eliminate him or corroborate with him.”

Since her disappearance in 1995, a number of suspects in Jodi Huisentruit’s case have surfaced.

Various Theories Regarding The Young Anchor’s Disappearance

Huisentruit’s apartment may not have yielded much evidence, but police have weighed several suspects throughout the years. One is Huisentruit’s friend John Vansice, who was likely the last person to see her alive.

Vansice met Huisentruit and her companion, Ani Kruse, at a bar, according to 48 Hours. Despite the fact that he was 22 years older than them, they became friends. Some of Huisentruit’s acquaintances, on the other hand, thought that he was looking for something more. Huisentruit’s 27th birthday celebration was hosted by Vansice, who even mentioned naming his boat after her.

John Vansice behind

“To me, she was like a daughter.” In 1995, he told KIMT-TV that she was “exactly like my own child.” “I cared for her as if she were my own child.”

Vansice has passed a polygraph test, given a grand jury his palm prints and DNA, and supplied an alibi for his location on the day Jodi Huisentruit vanished. He’s subsequently moved to Arizona and refuses to speak to the media about the issue.

So, if Vansice wasn’t the one who kidnapped Jodi Huisentruit, who was?

Another idea is that Huisentruit was kidnapped as she was watching TV. observes, “Jodi would have been easy to stalk.” “In the public Mason City phone book, her home address, apartment unit, and phone number were all listed… She also had a consistent work schedule and routinely discussed her social and community event plans while giving the news.”

Indeed, in October 1994, Huisentruit told the police that someone driving a white vehicle had made her feel uneasy. She then admitted to her companions that she was concerned about being followed.

As a result, two males who did not know Jodi Huisentruit intimately have surfaced as potential suspects.

One of them is Tony Jackson, a serial rapist who resided barely two streets away from Huisentruit’s workplace when she vanished. He was arrested and found guilty of raping four women in 1997. He allegedly told another prisoner that he killed Huisentruit while serving life in prison for his actions.

“She’s a-stiffin’ around Tiffin in pileage of silage in a bylow, low down…” Jackson allegedly rapped. This prompted officers in Tiffin, Iowa, two hours away from Mason City, to search silos.

However, they found nothing, and the Mason City Police Department concluded in 1999 that Jackson was not a suspect. For his part, Jackson has maintained his innocence.

Jerry Burns was another suspect. In 2018, DNA linked him to the 1979 murder of Michelle Martinko, an 18-year-old blond woman who was killed in Iowa. Not only did Martinko and Huisentruit look alike, but Burns even mentioned Huisentruit’s name during his interrogation, according to CBS News.

Other ideas surrounding the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit point to a larger conspiracy. One theory claims she was slain while researching the killing of Billy Pruin, a farmer who was shot at his home in Mason City after warning about local methamphetamine rings.

Her car at the scene

Indeed, one of the four billboards that purchased to raise awareness about her case was vandalized with the name of Frank Stearns, a retired Mason City Police Department detective, and the words “machine shed.” Police never discovered who vandalized it, concluding that it was done by someone with their own “personal agenda.”

Jodi Huisentruit’s disappearance remains a mystery to this day. Despite the fact that the 27-year-old was certified legally dead in 2001, her case has not been closed.

Another theory is that she was murdered by a member of the Mason City Police Department. Mason City Police Officer Maria Ohl stated to AETV that an informant told her the cops were engaged in Huisentruit’s kidnapping.


4 thoughts on “How Jodi Huisentruit Disappeared Without A Trace

  • June 20, 2022 at 5:10 am

    I remember when this occurred. Either on the news or watching 48 Hours.
    Why do people do these things to other people? Apparently someone had a fettish about her. I would assume with her having her name, address and phone number published, she was easy to find. I would blame that on her. But, with her excitement and being never she really wasn’t thinking correctly by having this done. There’s alot of Perverts out there who fantasize over people that they see daily coming into their homes via Television and form those notions into there demrnted minds that the commentator is smiling and talking to them. I would assume that she is most likely deceased but, there have been cases where people gave been kidnapped and kept locked up so that the pervert can have his ways with her whenever he wants. But with nearly over 20 years I would doubt this sinerio.

    • June 21, 2022 at 1:47 am

      My friend told me abther friend.that was missing for a month.her cards & phone not being used. Then this trucking co.wanted to dump old concrete pieces off a bridge over a creek.and they kept hearing a pinging sound. So they went under the bridge.found her car,with her still in it! Said she must have swerved tomiss something, flipped car& it went under bridge. Maybe something weird like that happened to Jodi

    • June 24, 2022 at 6:05 am

      You’re correct except it wasn’t her fault in any way and you should not even imply that having her name, address, and phone number in public excuses what someone did to her.

  • June 21, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    If she was investigating the murder of a farmer who was shot, obvious the person who killed wanted to cover his/her tracks.


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