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25 years and still missing: What happened to Jodi Huisentruit?

Huisentruit's family is asking everyone to leave a porch light on Saturday night in her honor.

MASON CITY, Iowa — Friends gathered outside the Mason City TV station Saturday where Jodi Huisentruit once worked. But 25 years from the day she didn't show up to her job as a morning news anchor, there are still no answers as to why she never made it. 

"If she hadn't been taken, she could have been covering the pandemic today in the Twin Cities. She could be covering the protests ... Somebody took that dream, took that opportunity away from Jodi," said Caroline Lowe, a former Twin Cities crime reporter and investigative journalist with Find Jodi, a team dedicated to finding answers in the Long Prairie, Minnesota native's disappearance. 

The Find Jodi team launched a podcast on June 5, what would have been Jodi's 52nd birthday. They hope the podcast, like all their work, will keep attention on Huisentruit's case and possibly bring new information. 

"I believe there's information still there," Lowe said. "The most critical area is northern Iowa, the Mason City area, or southern Minnesota."

Credit: Find Jodi
Friends and journalists gather at KIMT in Mason City, IA on the 25th anniversary of Jodi Huisentruit's disappearance.

Huisentruit was late for work the morning of June 27, 1995. A coworker called her around four that morning to see where she was. Sometime after, while headed to her car in the parking lot of her Mason City apartment, Huisentruit was attacked. 

It's not known who took Jodi, whether she knew that person, or that person knew her from watching her on TV. 

"She was very easy to follow, [to] know her schedule, anchoring the six a.m. and the noon news. Her home number, her address were even listed in the local directory," Lowe said. "She would have been very easy to find. So, I don't think you can rule that out [that her abductor targeted her after seeing her on TV]." 

Huisentruit aspired to be a journalist in the Twin Cities. Just months before her disappearance, she spoke with KARE 11's Vice President of News at the time, Janet Mason, about her career. Mason has written that the resume tape Huisentruit sent her was later used in the station's coverage of her abduction

Credit: Find Jodi
Jodi Huisentruit pictured with Paul Majers and Diana Pierce while interning at KARE 11 on election night.

On the 25th anniversary of her disappearance, both the Minnesota BCA and Mason City Police Department are asking anyone with information to contact investigators. 

Lowe says she finds inspiration for finding Huisentruit from Jacob Wetterling's case. Wetterling was found in September 2016. 

"Very different people, very different circumstances, but they're both Minnesotans. Well known Minnesota cases unsolved for many years," she said. "We found Jacob. Now we need to find Jodi."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Mason City Police Department at 641-494-3564, or the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 515-725-6010 or dciinfo@dps.state.ua.us.

Huisentruit's family is asking everyone to leave a porch light on Saturday night in her honor. 

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