Public Safety

Jodi Huisentruit is still missing, investigative TV show takes fresh look at famous cold case

Jodi Huisentruit, a TV anchor in Mason City, was abducted June 27, 1995, from the parking lot of her apartment while on
Jodi Huisentruit, a TV anchor in Mason City, was abducted June 27, 1995, from the parking lot of her apartment while on her way to work at KIMT-TV. She was 27 at the time and has not been seen or heard from since. (Gazette archives)

A true-crime podcast turned into a TV series is bringing fresh eyes to the unsolved case of missing Iowa newscaster Jodi Huisentruit during its two-hour season premiere, which airs at 6 p.m. Central time Saturday on the Oxygen network.

Huisentruit, a morning and noon anchor for CBS affiliate KIMT-TV, was abducted from the parking lot of her Mason City apartment at 600 N. Kentucky Ave. around 4:30 a.m. June 27, 1995.

Huisentruit’s body has not been found.

In the years after her disappearance, investigators followed up on thousands of tips and interviewed more than 1,000 people. Although names of several people of interest emerged, no arrests have been made.

Huisentruit was legally declared dead in May 2001.

Before taking the Mason City job, Huisentruit was an Iowa City bureau reporter for Cedar Rapids TV station KGAN.

Oxygen’s “Up and Vanished” aims to bring new voices and information to the case in the hopes of providing Huisentruit’s family with the answers they’ve awaited for more than 24 years.

“Up and Vanished” started as a true-crime podcast that launched in 2016 with an investigation of the decade-old cold case of missing schoolteacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead in the small town of Oscilla, Ga.

Hosted by Payne Lindsey, the podcast claimed to be instrumental in cracking the case, leading to two arrests in early 2017.

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In its second season, launched in 2018, the podcast covered the case of a mother, Kristal Anne Reisinger, who disappeared in 2016 from Crestone, Colo. The podcast investigation, according to its marketing material, played a role in getting the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to take a closer look at the case.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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