Who is responsible for the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit? The local news anchor was only 27 years old when she went missing in Mason City, Iowa on June 27, 1995. While she was never found, Huisentruit was declared dead in 2001 but her loved ones are still searching for answers. Payne Lindsey explores the case in the season premiere of Oxygen’s Up and Vanished on Saturday, February 15. In an In Touch exclusive sneak peek and interview, Lindsey learns more about the possible suspects who could have had something to do with Huisentruit’s case.
Retired TV anchor and author Beth Bednar explains that Huisentruit attended the Mason City golf tournament the night before her appearance. Angela Johnson, the girlfriend of Dustin Honken, worked at the country club.
“I don’t know that she talked to Jodi, but she may have very well come face to face with her a number of times that evening,” Bednar says in the clip.
But there is a theory that Honken and Johnson could have had something to do with Huisentruit’s disappearance. In 2002, Johnson and Honken were arrested for murders of five people who had gone missing in 1993. Honken is currently serving a sentence on death row and Johnson is currently serving a life sentence.
“As police were putting their case together against Dustin Honken, he managed to suppress a couple of major witnesses that would have proved harmful to him in court,” Bednar adds. But Honken and Johnson had also been allegedly running a drug business at the time of Huisentruit’s disappearance. It’s speculated that if Huisentruit somehow knew about the business, they would have been worried she could have exposed them and they may have tried to silence her.
Another person of interest in Huisentruit’s missing persons case is the last person who saw her alive, John Vansice. In March 2017, the Mason City Police Department placed a search warrant against Vansice for GPS data from a 1999 Honda Civic and 2013 GMC 1500, according to local paper Globe Gazette. The results of that search remain sealed. But in April 2019, Vansice was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s that could prevent him from contributing any further in the case, according to local TV news station KIMT. Vansice had previously denied any involvement in Huisentruit’s case. According KTTC, Vansice was still a “person of interest” in October 2019.
In an exclusive interview with In Touch, Lindsey reveals those close to Huisentruit think Vansice may be responsible.
“Some do. Her friends and family seem unanimous in thinking it was some sort of admirer,” Lindsey tells In Touch.
But during his investigation into Huisentruit’s disappearance, Lindsey did find out some new details that may or may not have an impact in the case moving forward. “We talked to some people off the record that told us some pretty damning stories,” he tells In Touch. “Basically, all I will say is that timelines aren’t matching up for everyone in Jodi’s life. I think that a clean timeline is truly key in a missing persons case like this. I always go back to the timeline for each person of interest.”
Up and Vanished premieres on Oxygen Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
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