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Overview of Jodi Huisentruit:
On June 27th, 1995, Jodi was scheduled to anchor the morning news at KIMT-TV, but when she didn't show up at 3:00am, a producer for the station, Amy Kuns, called her to wake her up. Amy later told investigators that Jodi had overslept, and that she explained that she would be there as soon as possible. Even though Jodi lived only 5 minutes away from the station, Amy grew more worried as Jodi missed her 6:00am newscast. Around 7:00am, a coworker called the Mason City Police Department to request a welfare check be done on Jodi.
When police arrived shortly after, they immediately noted that Jodi's new red Mazda Miata was still in the parking lot. Investigators also noted that many of Jodi's personal items were scattered on the ground around her car. Once they entered Jodi's apartment, they noted that nothing inside seemed out of the ordinary.
Upon further investigation, police learned that neighbors from Jodi's apartment complex heard a scream sometime around 4:30am, as well as seeing a mid-1980s white Ford Ecoline van in the building's parking lot around that time. Police also learned that Jodi had spent a short amount of time the night before her disappearance at a friend named John Vansice's home to watch a video tape from her birthday party earlier that month.
Jodi had reported to police around nine months prior to her disappearance that she believed she was being stalked by a man in a white truck while out jogging. She also mentioned this to friends, and shared her concerns about leaving for work while it was dark. Jodi had also been hoping to leave her job & Mason City, and try to get a job at a Twin Cities TV station, closer to her hometown.
Since her disappearance, a non-profit organization named FindJodi Inc. was created by TV journalists Josh Benson and Gary Peterson, in order to keep Jodi's case in the spotlight. The organization erected four billboards in 2018 in attempt to bring in more information regarding her disappearance. In January of 2020, one of their billboards was vandalized with the words "Frank Stearns Machine Shed" written in yellow paint across the bottom of the billboard, mentioning a retired investigator in Jodi's case. The Mason City Police Chief does not believe that this is a tip, but instead was written by someone with "their own agenda".
In 2001, Jodi Sue Huisentruit was declared legally dead. Jodi is described as being a 27-year-old Caucasian woman with blonde hair and brown eyes, who was 5'4-5'5 and weighed 110-115lbs at the time of her disappearance.
Using the community to uncover answers and bring hope to the families of the murdered or missing:
We’re building a software platform to combine data, analytics, and the wisdom of the community to help solve the cold cases of murdered or missing people. We believe the more resources we can provide to digital volunteers and citizen solvers mean more Citizen Detective communities. We can reduce the burden for law enforcement, use our collective impact and success of the platform to influence public policy, and ultimately start getting wrongful murder convictions overturned and cold cases solved.
National murder clearance rates continue to fall annually.
Every year, more than 5,000 cases go unsolved. Victims’ cases that go cold most often are BIPOC, sex workers, or members of the LGBTQ+ community.
1: Indigenous women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.
2: 80% of trans women killed in the past five years were Black, and only 42 percent of the cases resulted in an arrest—declining murder clearance rates exclusively occurred among homicides of Black victims.
3: Moreover, sex workers are 18 times more likely to be murdered. These aren’t just statistics, they are people: who deserve justice.
By no means do we think we can do this in one day, one month, or even one year, but it’s past time to start working on something that matters—together.
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WE ARE INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL TO THOSE WHO HAVE SUPPORTED OUR VISION TO BUILD UNCOVERED THROUGH OUR CROWDFUND. WE APPRECIATE AND VALUE THEIR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE AS WE BUILD TECHNOLOGY TO SOLVE COLD CASES.