SOLON, Iowa - Cold case investigator Steve Ridge has revealed that popular Mason City, Iowa morning television anchor Jodi Huisentruit boarded a ski boat with two men she did not previously know the weekend before she vanished in June of 1995. It has been widely reported that Huisentruit went skiing at Coralville Lake north of Iowa City, Iowa with the primary person of interest in her disappearance, a man twenty-some years here senior, John Vansice, Vansice’s son and two of Jodi’s friends.
Ridge says that his investigation has discovered that Jodi met two young men with a Master Craft ski boat. Ridge has managed to speak with witnesses who were at the lake that late June day in 1995. Ridge says he’s been told that while Vansice was clearly not enthused that Jodi jumped ship to spend some time with younger men, he did not overreact or cause a scene at the time, as some claim Vansice was prone to do.
Ridge says that once aboard the other boat, Huisentruit and a female friend were observed drinking and eventually singing and dancing on top of the enclosed engine compartment. Ridge says the young women’s performance was actually captured on a video made by the boat owner. That video is believed to be the last one ever made outside of Huisentruit’s workplace before she was abducted three days later. Ridge says this particular boater, whose name he is withholding at this time, made it a practice of trolling for young women along the beach. Ridge says the boater’s normal routine was to invite young women to ski, ply them with liquor and then get them to sing and dance while being videotaped on the deck of the boat.
Ridge says he’s exploring whether one or both of the young men might have visited or attempted to visit Jodi in Mason City the next day, a rainy Sunday, or possibly the Monday night before she was abducted. Ridge believes it is plausible that a confrontation occurred between parties inside Jodi’s apartment the night before she went missing, or in the parking lot, minutes before she was abducted on that Tuesday morning. Ridge says such a confrontation could shed light on both a motive and a proximity to the long mysterious abduction.
Ridge says he is convinced the strongest clues in Huisentruit’s disappearance can be found in the critical days and weeks leading up to her disappearance. “A lot of unfortunate things came together in a relatively short period of time just before Jodi went missing”, Ridge asserted.
Ridge emphasized that while he is working independent of authorities, he does not withhold any potentially valuable information from them. “Our common goal is to bring closure to Jodi’s family and friends”, Ridge said. “ultimately, we would like to bring Jodi home to a permanent resting place.”