Missing person case still baffling after 23 years

Missing person case still baffling after 23 years

By Eric Becker

For the Write Team

CARLINVILLE (June 28, 2018) – June 27, 1995 was probably one of those days where I was busy plugging away at the office.

It was a Tuesday, less than a month into my journalistic career and less than two months from graduating from college.  I had yet to cover a high school sporting event.

That date, however, still haunts me to this day. Some 23 years later, the question still remains: What happened to Jodi Huisentruit?

Huisentruit was a  27-year-old anchor/reporter at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa on June 27, 1995.

On her way to work in the early morning hours, she vanished. Hasn’t been seen since. She was declared dead in 2001, but nobody knows for sure if she really is deceased.

I watched a  news program on this disappearance in 1999 and continually get drawn into what could have happened. It’s one of those cases where you are going along your daily business one day when suddenly you begin thinking about the case.

There have been leads followed up on, suspects interrogated, but nothing definite on the whereabouts of Ms. Huisentruit.

This past June 5, Huisentruit would have turned 50 years old. Findjodi.com is an excellent source for reading about this baffling disappearance.

From all accounts, Ms. Huisentruit was well liked in the community and had no known enemies.

However, TV anchors in a small community are celebrities and there are some strange people out there. It appears as if she fell a victim to foul play.

Look, I’m not expecting a miracle. I don’t expect her to suddenly appear out of the blue and return back to society. I just want closure for her family.

They are the ones who have had to deal with this pain for so long, hearing about it on various media outlets for so long and are dealing with the loss of a loved one for unknown reasons.

The case is still really active. Billboards have been erected around the Mason City area asking for answers from anywhere.

Facebook accounts are set up, the website is always updating the public on the latest news. Books have been written on the disappearance.

At some point, something has to give. It’s a fascinating case to follow, but also haunting and baffling at the same time.

She’s been missing and presumed dead for more than half of her life. Enough is enough. We need to bring her home, one way or another.

That goes for all who have gone missing involuntarily, including the young lady from Macoupin County not too long ago. Hopefully, the families will all get some sort of closure.


Heard about the pending closing of a Wal-Mart in a town  where I use to work and live, Clinton.

Some employees heard about it from a Facebook page the local paper had posted about it. Comments began pouring in.

I lived in Clinton from 1997 to 2001 and worked there briefly again in 2007-08. I had no issues with the town. None at all. I thought the Wal-Mart was okay – it nothing special, but then again, it wasn’t meant to be anything special.

Haven’t been back there in 10 years, though, so I do not know what kind of businesses they currently have, although pizza parlors and gas stations apparently are the big things up there these days.

Clinton has the smallest Wal-Mart in the state of Illinois and one of a very few in the country not to sell groceries.

Put it all together and one would understand why Wal-Mart would decide to close said location. I feel bad for the people who worked there and for the people who shopped there who have to find other outlets to continue their shopping groove.

But with the emergence of Amazon and other online shopping avenues, closings like these are sadly likely to continue.

Take the demise of the mall scene, for example. I live five minutes from the deserted Jamestown Mall in Missouri. It’s turned into a ghost town kind of atmosphere. Very spooky, indeed.

So folks in Carlinville and surrounding small communities, I encourage you to appreciate what you have and continue to support local restaurants and businesses, not just the major retailers.

Because, as Joaquin Andujar of the St. Louis Cardinals so eloquently once said, “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘You never know.’”