On June 27, 1995, in Mason City, IA, news anchor Jodi Huisentruit was set to go to her early morning shift at KIMT-TV. When she didn't arrive in time for her shift, her coworkers contacted the police, who were unable to find the 27-year-old woman.
Since that day, the question of what happened to Jodi Huisentruit haunted local authorities and amateur crime sleuths alike. Even decades later, people are upset; vandals graffitied one of the Jodi Huisentruit billboards, which asked for information on her whereabouts, with a suspect's name and a mysterious location.
Here is everything we learned about Jodi Huisentruit's mysterious disappearance from her episode of Up and Vanished.
On June 27, 1995, News Reporter Jodi Huisentruit Never Arrived For Her Morning Anchor Shift
Jodi Huisentruit was a news anchor for KIMT-TV, a CBS news syndicate in Mason City, IA. The 27-year-old reporter was supposed to arrive at the news station around 3 am for her position as a morning and noon anchor and producer. One of her fellow producers, Amy Kuns, noticed her absence. Around 4 am, Kuns called Huisentruit, who confirmed she was running late but was on her way to work.
"I said, 'Jodi, it's 10 after four, you need to be in,' and she said, 'I'll be right there,'" Kuns recalled. However, Huisentruit never did arrive. Three hours later, her coworkers called the police and requested a welfare check.
Police Found Signs Of A Struggle In Her Apartment’s Parking Lot, Such As Her Scattered Belongings And Her Broken Car Key
On June 27, 1995, at 7:30 am - roughly half an hour after Huisentruit's coworkers called local authorities - the police arrived at her residence. Police found her belongings strewn about her apartment complex's parking lot, including a pair of red high heels, some keys (including her damaged car keys), a hair dryer, hair spray, and earrings, all in the vicinity of Huisentruit's car, a red Mazda Miata.
The police searched around the area but were unable to find any compelling leads, and Huisentruit's missing person case began.
Neighbors Claimed To Have Heard Strange Noises The Night Before Huisentruit Disappeared
A day before authorities began looking into Huisentruit's disappearance, police acquired new witness accounts that suggested foul play in the reporter's vanishing. Neighbors told police that they heard noises in the apartment complex's parking lot around 4 am, which was the time that Huisentruit told her producer she was heading to the station. Other neighbors claimed to hear a scream and believed they saw a white van in the parking lot around the time of Huisentruit's disappearance.
"We have confirmed that there have been... some people heard some noise, others have described it as perhaps an animal or animal noise," Mason City Police Chief Jack Schlieper said in an official statement to the Associated Press. These accounts turned up no new leads, and the search continued.
Prior To Her Disappearance, Huisentruit Was Followed By A Black Pickup While Jogging
Those close to Huisentruit believe that if someone did take her, it may have been an obsessive admirer. Huisentruit's sister, JoAnn Nathe, told the producers of Up and Vanished that Huisentruit had mentioned an incident that made her uncomfortable. As she was jogging, a man in a black pickup truck allegedly followed closely behind her.
"And then that guy had been following her one day when she was out jogging, who knows? Maybe that was it... it didn't leave her with a good feeling," Nathe explained. Several of Huisentruit's other friends also cited the mysterious follower as a potential suspect, though there are no leads as to who the driver could be.