MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Iowa TV anchor Jodi Huisentruit was featured on national news magazine “48 Hours” two months ago.
And as WCCO-TV found, investigators in Mason City have been busy following up on new leads in the decades-old disappearance ever since.
When “48 Hours” dedicated a Saturday night in December to telling Huisentruit’s story, police in Mason City paid attention.
“Over the next couple of weeks we took probably a couple of dozen calls,” said Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley.
He told us some calls came from people they had never heard from before, but he declined to comment on any new information.
The show cast the most suspicion on John Vansice, who has always maintained his innocence. The 72 year old who now living in Arizona is believed to be the last to see Huisentruit alive in June of 1995.
While Brinkley would not talk about specific suspects, he did say his department will likely keep a search warrant sealed, which they executed two years ago for GPS data on two of Vansice’s vehicles.
“I don’t think anybody on the scene that day would have told you that today we’d still be working that case,” Brinkley said.
Cases making headlines in Minnesota this week caught Brinkley’s attention after DNA testing lead investigators in the right direction: A woman’s remains identified 49 years later, and an arrest in a 1993 cold case.
“We hope that happens here,” he said.
Brinkley would not talk about potential evidence or testing in Huisentruit’s case, but he remains optimistic that answers are close.
“This case is solvable. There’s the opportunity for prosecution. We need the information we don’t have, as those pieces come in they may fit into the puzzle,” Brinkley said.
“Frozen Truth,” a podcast focusing on cold cases across the country, is currently featuring the Huisentruit mystery.