An Echo Press Editorial: Closure needed in Huisentruit case
By the Echo Press Editorial Board
Someone, somewhere — maybe even in Douglas County — may hold the key to a 27-year-old mystery: What happened to television news anchor Jodi Huisentruit?
As reported in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Huisentruit has now been missing as long as she was alive; she was 27 when she disappeared 27 years ago on June 27, 1995.
Next Monday, friends, family and members of FindJodi.com, a website and podcast devoted to solving the case of her disappearance, will gather outside the TV station where she worked, KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa, to mark the anniversary, the Pioneer Press reported.
One can only imagine what Huisentruit's friends, family members and co-workers have been going through in those 27 years.
Her disappearance struck a chord in Douglas County. Huisentruit worked as a morning news anchor and reporter for KSAX-TV in Alexandria from May 1992 to November 1993 before she was hired in Mason City. The evidence supports the theory that she was abducted in the early morning hours, soon after telling a colleague that she had overslept and was running late for work. Police found signs of struggle outside her apartment.
The Echo Press ran the story across the front page of its June 30, 1995 edition. Susan Anderson, vice president of KSAX-TV at the time, noted that there was an "awful feeling" at the station. "It's very tough," she said in the story. "A lot of viewers who used to watch her have been calling, expressing their concern." Huisentruit, who grew up in Long Prairie, was not the type of person who would not show up for work without an explanation, Anderson said. "No, that's just not her," she said. "When she worked here, Jodi was so energetic and just a lot of fun. She was really a hard worker and just loved the business."
An Echo Press editorial from that same issue carried the headline, "Local community shares pain of disappearance." The editorial noted, "In Alexandria, the name of Jodi Huisentruit has been on just about everyone's minds. Just the mention of that name brings awful silences and looks of dread and horror. We deeply hope that Huisentruit is soon found — safe and sound."
But, of course, that hasn't happened.
The Echo Press continued to print stories of her disappearance — a vigil, a reward fund, a search for a white van, how the search progressed nationwide — but the case remained unsolved for weeks, months, years and now, 27 years.
Huisentruit's memory lives on. The gathering at KIMT-TV next Monday will celebrate her life. Photos of her will be on display at the event. Organizers say they hope the gathering will bring some light to who Jodi was in life, and what she meant to those who knew and loved her.
People are also asked to “Leave A Light On For Jodi” by leaving a porch light on or lighting a candle in her memory during the weekend of June 24-26 and posting photos on social media using the #LightsForJodi hashtag.
If anyone who is reading this has information on the case, please — for the family's sake, for closure, for human decency — contact the Mason City Police Department (641-421-3000), the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (515-725-6010) or leave an anonymous tip at findjodi.com (970-458-JODI).