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NANCY GRACE

Newswoman Missing in Mason City, Iowa

Aired February 23, 2011 - 21:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Vanished into thin air.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just need to kind her.

GRACE: So many cases --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re still looking.

GRACE: -- so few leads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missing.

GRACE: Missing person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s our duty to find her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The witness had seen the suspect on NANCY GRACE.

GRACE: There is a God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NANCY GRACE show was out there for us.

GRACE: Found alive.

Fifty people, 50 days, 50 nights.

Let`s don`t give up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JODI HUISENTRUIT, NEWS ANCHOR: In case you`re counting, today marks the sixth consecutive day of hitting 90 degrees or better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a young lady that was a darling. She was our sweetheart. She was an all-American young lady that -- overall, a very, very good person.

HUISENTRUIT: I`m thinking, way to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m getting there.

HUISENTRUIT: Way to keep me in check.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With dreams of moving up the TV news ranks to a larger market, Jodi Huisentruit gave everything she got as a news anchor in Mason City, Iowa. She was not only dedicated to her career, but loved spending time with family, friends, and traveling.

In fact, Jodi had just returned from a road trip water-skiing in Iowa City. But it would be her last trip anywhere. Two days later, the beautiful news anchor would disappear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was about 4:00 a.m., and Jodi overslept for her shift, anchoring her TV station`s morning news show. A co-worker calls, and Jodi says she`ll be right over to the studio. As the morning drags on, Jodi never arrives for the show.

AMY KUNS, JODI HUISENTRUIT`S PRODUCER: It got to be 5:00, 5:30, and at that point I`m the only person in the building besides our master control operator because it`s a small TV station. I went on the air for her, and then one of our creative services guys walked through the studio at about, I would guess, somewhere between 6:00 and 6:30. And I told him, "Dave, Jodi`s not here. Go to her apartment, call the police, whatever you need to do, but she`s not here and I`m really worried." And that`s when we kind of got the ball rolling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her red sports car still sitting in the parking lot of her apartment complex, signs of a struggle. A bunch of items she would need for work left strewn about the ground.

KUNS: It`s now been nearly two-and-a-half days since the person who usually sits in this chair disappeared.

There was a river right behind her apartment. We had boats going up and down that river. We had dogs brought in to see if they could sniff anything out, local FBI, the police department, sheriff`s department. I mean, anybody and everybody who had anything to do with law enforcement was there trying to find her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cops not only looking into a possible kidnapping, but investigating the theory the local TV star had a stalker. Beautiful, bright, and ambitious, Jodi Huisentruit has vanished without a trace.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRACE: Every day 2,300 people go missing in America. Disappear. Vanish. Their families left behind wondering, hoping, but never forgetting, and neither have we.

Fifty people, 50 days. Fifty nights, we go live, spotlighting America`s missing children, boys, girls, grandparents, mothers, fathers. Gone. But where?

Tonight, beautiful, famous, and successful TV anchorwoman Jodi Huisentruit, a morning TV star, always leaves for work 3:00 a.m. This morning she never showed up to the set.

Her producer calls repeatedly. No answer. Co-workers call the police.

The cops arrive. They find the key to Jodi`s red Miata left still in the sports car door, the key ripped off the key chain. Her shoes, earrings, hairspray, hair dryer scattered around the car. Drag marks indicating a struggle.

Tonight, police say they are no closer to finding Jodi than the day she went missing. Who took beautiful 27-year-old TV anchor Jodi Huisentruit?

Straight out to Jean Casarez.

What`s the latest, Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, CO-HOST: The latest in all of this is touch DNA testing that`s going on right now. Now, it may not be what you think it is, but it is of the moment. It is happening now.

I want to go out to Josh Benson. He is an anchor reporter for CNN affiliate WFTV.

Josh, thank you for joining us tonight.

Let`s start from the very beginning. Let us take everybody to Mason City, Iowa, June 27, 1995.

JOSH BENSON, ANCHOR/REPORTER, WFTV: First off, thanks for having me tonight.

It was a pretty big day for all of north Iowa and southern Minnesota. I originally got involved in this case when I was a reporter in that market, and that was the day she disappeared, the 27th.

She was getting up for work, and as you heard in the beginning, she was abducted. And the latest developments you talked to us about are the DNA samples. It`s not really the latest developments.

The police department is kind of explaining to us is what`s happening. It`s a new step. It`s another step in this investigation that, we`re just trying to keep it in the public eye and trying to find that missing nugget to solve this crime.

CASAREZ: To Natisha Lance, NANCY GRACE producer, joining us from Atlanta.

Start from the beginning that morning, because she anchored the morning news. Every morning. She got up. She lived in an apartment complex, right? But there was a little difference that morning. She overslept.

NATISHA LANCE, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Right. She overslept. And the apartment was just five minutes away, just about five minutes away from her job.

But 3:00 to 4:00 in the morning is when she is supposed to be to work. Her producer calls her because she oversleeps. Jodi says, "I`ll be right there." And the producer doesn`t hear from her.

She calls her two more times again, and no answer from Jodi`s phone. Then the producer has to fill in for Jodi. She goes on the air. And at the end of the newscast she realizes that something must be wrong if Jodi didn`t show up for work.

She tells somebody to go call the police and send somebody over to Jodi`s apartment to do a welfare check. When police get to Jodi`s apartment, they notice something is out of the ordinary.

They notice that there are items, personal items of hers, that are strewn around the parking lot -- her hairspray, her hair dryer -- her purse is not located, but there`s also a key to her car, which is still in the door, which appears as if it has been ripped off the key chain. But no Jodi.

CASAREZ: All right.

Joining us tonight, a very, very special guest. This is a childhood friend of Jodi who knew her very well and has missed her for so many years, Staci Steinman.

Stacy, thank you for joining us.

First, how did you find out that you had lost your good, good friend?

STACI STEINMAN, CHILDHOOD FRIEND: I remember that day when I got a phone call, and I think it was from Joanne (ph) saying, "Stacy, have you heard from Jodi? She`s missing."

And I immediately just thought, well, she`s somewhere and just forgot to tell someone or -- I didn`t really get it. So then I started calling my other friends, saying, "Have you heard from Jodi? Have you heard from Jodi?"

No one had heard from her. And then after several phone calls, realized the extent of the seriousness of it. And, you know, it takes a while for that to sink in, and I just remember breaking down, thinking, what is going on, really? What`s going on?

CASAREZ: I am sure, Staci. I am sure that there is just the shock of not comprehending the reality.

STEINMAN: Right.

CASAREZ: Staci, tell us, what did she do the night before? We know she spent the night at her apartment. We know she got up to go to work because she called the station saying she was going to be right in, five minutes away.

What did she do the night before?

STEINMAN: Yes. You know, I honestly -- I don`t know. I -- you know, it was so long ago, and I wasn`t in Iowa -- or Mason City. I was getting married that week. So I was waiting for her to come home to be in my wedding.

CASAREZ: So you had a lot of different emotions going on.

STEINMAN: Yes.

CASAREZ: Well, Staci, let us talk to the investigator on this case that is joining us from Mason City, Iowa. This is a very active investigation. They are still intent on finding this beautiful anchorwoman.

Lieutenant Frank Stearns joining us from Mason City, supervising the investigation of this case.

Lieutenant, thank you for joining us.

First of all, I`d like to know what happened around the time she disappeared. What did she do the night before, and who did she do it with?

FRANK STEARNS, MASON CITY POLICE DEPT., SUPERVISING INVESTIGATION: Well, first off, I`d like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to come on your show and get this back out to the public again.

From what we`ve put together, the night before she was at a fund- raising golf outing at the country club here in Mason City. From that, she went to a friend`s house and then at home, where she called some of her friends that live out of state.

CASAREZ: Now, since she was the news anchor, everybody knew her in the community. So when you started your investigation, did you start with the premise that this was foul play?

STEARNS: Well, yes. I think we had to. The scene kind of showed that, that it was foul play, that there was a struggle that went on there, something bad happened.

CASAREZ: And tell us again, what exactly was found outside of the car when officers arrived to her apartment?

STEARNS: Well, we just had a lot of personal belongings. It appeared that she had her arms full, she`s rushing, she`s late for work, and a struggle occurred. And the items are scattered about in an easterly direction away from her car, like she`d been taken away from her car.

CASAREZ: Tell me about the keys that were actually -- or key still in the outside lock of the car.

STEARNS: Well, we believe she was -- she was actually in the process of unlocking her car, and somebody had come up from behind her and grabbed her. And when they yanked her away, it -- the key chain broke away from the one key for the car.

CASAREZ: We are taking your calls tonight.

Stacy in Iowa.

Hi, Stacy. Thanks for calling.

STACY, IOWA: Hi. I`m from Mason City and remember this case really well. I just wondered if police had any news leads? And it sounds like there`s some DNA leads that they`re pursuing.

CASAREZ: Well, good question.

Let`s talk about that, touch DNA. Lieutenant Frank Stearns joining us tonight from Mason City, investigating the case as an active case.

Lieutenant, first of all, what is the touch DNA that you`re working on right now?

STEARNS: Well, I don`t want to put any false hope out there to the public. What we`re doing is we`re always looking for any new technology that might be out there. This case happened 15 years ago. DNA wasn`t even really being worked in Iowa 15 years ago, let alone touch DNA.

And now, as technology grows, now they`re able to do touch DNA. We`re just now starting to look into that to see what we may have, if anything, that we can try to get a sample from.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: The day she went missing, what was the family told, Tad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was missing. We didn`t know exactly what had happened. We did not fear the worst at the time, of course. And over time I think we`ve come to realize that Jodi`s not coming back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was an all-American young lady that, overall, a very, very good person. And everybody saw her every morning, woke up to their coffee or their breakfast to her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jodi Huisentruit was going places. The driven and well-liked news anchor was late for her morning news shift on TV, which surprised co-workers.

KUNS: I called her at about 10 after 4:00, and it was very obvious that I had just woken her up. She asked me what time it was, I told her, and she`s like, oh, I`ll be there in, like, 20 minutes, half an hour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But she never makes it. Her red sports car still sitting in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Signs of a struggle. A bunch of items she would need for work left strewn about the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things like her shoes, things like her hairspray, her earrings, a variety of things that she would have taken to work with her.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CASAREZ: I`m Jean Casarez.

You know, in her journal that was found after she went missing, she said that she loved being a news anchor and that she was so ambitious, that she wanted to go to one of the biggest markets in the United States. That was her goal. And then she went missing.

I want to go out to the investigator from Mason City, Iowa, joining us tonight, Lieutenant Frank Stearns.

This was the Key (ph) Apartments in Mason City, Iowa, where she lived, where she was last known to be. Were there reports of a white van in the vicinity of that apartment that morning?

STEARNS: We have one witness that came forward that believes they observed a white van in that parking lot that morning as they drove by to go to work.

CASAREZ: All right.

We want to get out all the information we can so that if anybody out there remembers the Key (ph) Apartments, 1995, or someone who knows someone, that they can come forward.

I want to go out to Marc Klaas, president and founder of KlaasKids Foundation.

Marc, do you think that this is someone that knew her, an obsessed fan? Because everybody saw her on television every morning. She was the morning anchor you woke up with. Or do you think this is someone that she knew?

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I think that you made a very good point, Jean. I mean, she represents the worst fears of everybody in public life, that perhaps there is some twisted fan lurking beneath the radar, or perhaps even behind the dumpster, waiting for an opportunity to grab his obsession and make him -- make her his own.

And I think that that`s a very real possibility here, although she did not reference anything like that in her journal. But she also had no special security.

She was a famous person, but she was a big fish in a small market. So she didn`t have any extra security around her, and really was very vulnerable and very much on her own early in the morning.

CASAREZ: Isn`t that the truth? Four o`clock in the morning. And it`s not only a TV news anchor. It could be somebody that`s going to the local restaurant when they open up, or somebody that`s going to the hospital with the early morning shift.

Lieutenant Frank Stearns joining us from Mason City, Iowa.

What do you believe the working theory of the case is? Do you think it was an obsessed fan, someone that knew where she lived and waited and knew she was alone? Or do you think it was someone that she knew in her personal life?

STEARNS: Well, obviously, we`re not going to get tunnel vision. We`re going to keep an open mind to anything.

An obsessive fan, would they wait around an extra hour hiding behind a garbage dumpster and possibly being seen? I don`t feel they would.

It was merely 12 steps from her apartment door to her car door. I mean, we`re talking seconds, and she would have been in the safety of her own car.

So it wasn`t a stranger that just drove by and had had seen her walking through the parking lot. But, you know, I can`t rule that out either.

We`ve got nothing showing that there was a stalker -- no, gifts, no cards, no phone calls, other than one instance that she reported a truck was following her that we checked out and followed up on. Nothing else other than that.

CASAREZ: Was that a truck or was that a van that was following her?

STEARNS: That was a small pickup truck.

CASAREZ: A small pickup truck. OK.

Out to Trina in Washington.

Hi, Trina.

TRINA, WASHINGTON: Hi, Jean.

CASAREZ: Thank you for calling.

TRINA: Hi. I`m interested in the man that last saw Jodi alive, her friend John. I read that his boat (ph) was named after her.

Were they just really good friends? Was there more to it? And how did their relationship begin? Was he a fan, a co-worker? And was there anything about it in her journal?

CASAREZ: Trina, really good question. His name is John Vansice.

Josh Benson, anchor/reporter for CNN affiliate WFTV, this is a friend of hers. She saw him the night before she was last seen. Tell us about him.

BENSON: Well, that`s right. John Vansice actually came on our air from that station I worked at back when this occurred and actually told, you know, the reporter that he had seen her the night before, and that she went over to his house to watch a videotape of a party that he had thrown for her just a few weeks earlier. I believe it was for a birthday party. So he came out and said that, yes, they did hang out and they were friends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUISENTRUIT: I`m thinking, way to go. Way to keep me in check.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jodi Huisentruit was going places. The driven and well-liked news anchor was late for her morning shift on TV, which surprised co-workers. One called Jodi to check on her. Jodi answered and told them she`d be right over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But by 7:00 a.m., her co-workers knew something was wrong. Cops showed up at Huisentruit`s apartment to find signs of a struggle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her keys, her hair dryer and hairspray, her shoes and earrings, scattered in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Despite a large-scale search effort, police can`t crack the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CASAREZ: Jodi was really close with her family. She would call them every day. She wasn`t from Iowa. She was from Minnesota. But she would call them, and she and her mother actually went on a cruise several months before. That`s how close mother and daughter were.

I want to go out to the attorneys, Eleanor Odom, felony prosecutor, death (ph) qualified, joining us tonight from Washington, D.C.; Peter Odom, defense attorney out of Atlanta.

Eleanor, they have gotten so many leads in this case that have gone nowhere, according to law enforcement, but there was one that really drew my attention. It was from a woman that went to police saying that she was a runaway in her early 20s, and that she knows that Jodi was murdered, that she witnessed it, and they then cut up the body and burned it.

And she went to authorities and said, I finally have to come forward and say this, but they told me they were going to kill me if I ever came forward and told authorities. But authorities couldn`t corroborate anything she said.

ELEANOR ODOM, FELONY PROSECUTOR: You know, Jean, it`s important to check out everything. Even if the story sounds kind of crazy, which that did sound a little bit crazy, but you never know. But I think law enforcement was very diligent in looking at this, and you`ve got to look at anything that comes your way. That`s what makes these cold cases so difficult, is you get a lot of theories, sometimes people who may be mentally ill that want to get in and be a part of the story themselves, but you`ve still got to check it out.

CASAREZ: Peter Odom, with everything you have heard and researched on this case, what can they do that maybe they haven`t done, or what can they redo? Who can they re-interview?

PETER ODOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It sounds to me as if investigators are doing exactly what they should be doing, and that is taking the old evidence that was collected with old techniques and tested with old techniques and subjecting it to new techniques. A lot has changed in 15 years, and particularly with DNA. So it seems to me as if this very active case is being handled in just the right way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Where was the palm print?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The palm print I believe was on the car. And that has been sort of the one material piece of evidence that they`ve been using, the investigators have been using, to either rule out suspects or not rule out suspects as the case has progressed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRACE: Vanished into thin air.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just need to find her.

GRACE: So many cases --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re still looking --

GRACE: -- so few leads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Missing.

GRACE: Missing person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s our duty to find her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The witness had seen the suspect on NANCY GRACE.

GRACE: There is a God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy Grace show was out there for us.

GRACE: Found. Alive. 50 people, 50 days, 50 nights. Let`s don`t give up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In case you`re counting, today marks the sixth consecutive day of hitting 90 degrees or better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a young lady that was a darling. She was our sweetheart. She was an all-American young lady. Overall very, very good person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m thinking way to go. Way to keep me in check.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With dreams of moving up the TV news ranks to a larger market, Jodi Huisentruit gave everything she got as a news anchor in Mason City, Iowa. She was not only dedicated to her career, but loved spending time with family, friends, and traveling. In fact, Jodi had just returned from a road trip, water-skiing in Iowa City. But, it would be her last trip anywhere. Two days later, the beautiful news anchor would disappear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was about 4:00 a.m., and Jodi overslept for her shift, anchoring her TV station`s morning news show. A co-worker calls, and Jodi says she`ll be right over to the studio. As the morning drags on, Jodi never arrives for the show.

AMY KUNS, JODI HUISENTRUITS PRODUCER: It got to be 5:00, 5:30, and at that point, you know, I`m the only person in the building besides our master control operator because it`s a small TV station. I went on the air for her, and then one of our creative services guys walked through the studio at about, I would guess, somewhere between 6:00 and 6:30, and I told him, Dave, Jodi`s not here, go to her apartment, call the police, whatever you need to do, but she`s not here, and I`m really worried. And that`s when I kind of got the ball rolling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her red sports car still sitting in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Signs of a struggle. A bunch of items she would need for work left strewn about the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s now been nearly 2 1/2 days since the person who usually sits in this chair disappeared.

KUNS: There was a river right behind her apartment. We had boats going up and down that river. We had dogs brought in to see if they could sniff anything out. Local FBI, the police department, sheriff`s department, I mean, anybody and everybody who had anything to do with law enforcement was there trying to find her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cops not only looking into a possible kidnapping but investigating the theory the local TV star had a stalker. Beautiful, bright, and ambitious. Jodi Huisentruit has vanished without a trace.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRACE: Every day, 2,300 people go missing in America, disappear, vanish. Their families left behind wondering, hoping, but never forgetting, and neither have we. Fifty people, 50 days, 50 nights, we go live, spotlighting America`s missing children, boys, girls, grandparents, mothers, fathers, gone, but where?

Tonight, beautiful, famous, and successful TV anchorwoman, Jodi Huisentruit, a morning TV star, always leaves for work 3:00 a.m. This morning, she never showed up to the set. Her producer calls repeatedly. No answer. Co-workers call police. When cops arrive, they find the key to Jodi`s red Miata left still in the sports car door. The key ripped off the keychain. Her shoes, earring, hairspray, hair dryer scattered around the car. Drag marks indicating a struggle.

Tonight, police say they are no closer to finding Jodi than the day she went missing. Who took beautiful 27-year-old TV anchor, Jodi Huisentruit? Straight out to Jean Casarez. So, Jean, back it up. Start at the beginning one more time.

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": This is a very active case. Jodi Huisentruit gave herself to report the news so everyone could know what is happening, the crime, the murder. She reported that on a daily basis. And then, suddenly, she`s gone, and she`s in the news. We have to find her. It`s only fair to her, and it`s only justice.

I want to go out to Bethany Marshall joining us tonight from Los Angeles. She is psychoanalyst and author of "Deal Breakers." Bethany, what is it like for the family of Jodi to have thousands of tips as the years have gone by, but they all end up to be dead ends?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, Jean, each tip must torture them because they have to balance the grieving process and accepting that she`s gone and most likely will never come back between maintaining hope and keeping this an active investigation and keeping her face forward so that we know about this case, but I want to comment for a second about the psychology of stalking versus serial murder because I think it`s an important consideration in this case.

Stalkers go after the victim. What they do is they give gifts, as the lieutenant mentioned. They try to get contact, try to gain proximity, and then, they get destabilized when the victim does not return their affections, and they kill the victim as punishment for perceived rejection, but as the lieutenant pointed out, no one was giving her gifts or approaching her. Serial murderers, on the other hand, target a victim because they fit a type, like maybe that she was blond.

A serial murderer maybe saw her on TV, and the fact that there was that creepy van in the parking lot at that time makes me wonder if this fits more of a serial murder-type profile.

CASAREZ: Bethany, that`s fascinating what you`re saying. Back to Lieutenant Frank Stearns joining us from Mason City, Iowa, the investigator on this case. I want to talk about this palm print or partial palm print. Where was it exactly on the car?

VOICE OF LT. FRANK STEARNS, MASON CITY PD: Well, Nancy, we have so few things that we have left in the investigation that`s kind of close to the chest, and not everybody knows what we have and what we don`t have. We do have a palm print. I`m just a little hesitant to share with you where we got that palm print, but we do have a palm print and we did recover, and we do have a hair that we did recover.

CASAREZ: You have a hair that you did recover. Does the hair have a root to it?

STEARNS: I can`t answer that.

CASAREZ: Wow. That tells me, lieutenant, that the technology of DNA, which has gone forward dramatically since 1995, that that could help this case. To Paul Penzone, former sergeant of the Phoenix Police Department, child advocate, joining us tonight from Phoenix. Paul, your response and your thoughts to what we`ve just heard from the lieutenant.

PAUL PENZONE, FORMER SERGEANT, PHONIEX PD: Well, the lieutenant is -- obviously, they`re doing a great job there, and he`s got his thumb on the pulse of a very old case, which is difficult, but while I was at silent witness, we worked a lot of cases like this because I spent a lot of time in news stations, and although Bethany and the lieutenant have perspectives that I think may be a little different than mine, I don`t underestimate the possibility that a stalker could be that patient.

I`ve worked a lot of news reporters, and they`re in very dangerous crosshairs. People grow affections for them and feel like they have a relationships because they know them through the TV when actually they have none at all. So, although, it`s unlikely, that`s still a strong probability, and I`m sure the lieutenant feels the same way, although, they have to focus on a broader scale.

CASAREZ: And you know, Paul, for the first time tonight, we`ve learned about a hair that appears as though to have been found at the crime scene, which I think could be instrumental because if it does have a root and the lieutenant does not want to compromise the investigation to tell us, but if it has that root then a full DNA profile can be extracted from that, if it does not then mitochondrial DNA can, but that could be critical or at least very important to this case.

Back to Staci Steinman who was a very good, very good friend of Jodi`s, tell us about her because I`ve heard some things about her. She was very ambitious but very much into athletics when she was young.

STACI STEINMAN, CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF MISSING 27-YEAR-OLD ANCHORWOMAN, JODI HUISENTRUIT: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Jodi was goal-oriented. She had goals since she was little and athletics. She was a great golfer, basketball player, volleyball. She took anything full force. She gave it 200 percent. Everything in her life. She didn`t do anything halfways. It was, like I said, 200 percent. And she was very -- golf was probably her main love for sports.

CASAREZ: Natisha Lance, ironically, her journal -- and she had written in a journal for many years, had ended up in the hands of the newspaper in Iowa. Explain that and tell us a little about what the journal said.

NATISHA LANCE, PRODUCER OF NANCY GRACE: One of the things that the journal said is that she had been away the weekend prior to her disappearance with this man, John Vansice, and she had had a great time, according to her journal. She had had fun water-skiing and having a blast. Apparently, this man had a boat. And there were positive things in the journal. Nothing, unfortunately, that helped police with the investigation, but that journal did end up in the hands of the newspaper, and it came from the wife of the chief at the time.

There was no indication as to why she sent it to the newspaper. There were no charges filed for her doing so. But, currently, that journal is back in evidence with the police station.

CASAREZ: And tonight, please help us find Denise Hiraman. She is 13 years old. She vanished on August 27th, 1999 from Queens, New York. She is 5`3", 90 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. If you have any information, please call 212-473-2042.

If your loved one is missing and you need help, go to CNN.com/nancygrace. Send us your story. We want to help you find your loved ones.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She graced the Iowa airwaves as a beloved news anchor for KIMT in Mason City. With the world in front of her, 27-year- old, Jodi Huisentruit, was set to head to work the morning of June 27th, 1995. Though, when she didn`t arrive for her usual 4:00 a.m. call time, her producer called the anchorwoman`s home to make sure everything was OK.

KUNS: I called her at about 10 after 4:00, and it was very obvious that I had just woken her up. I mean, she sounded very groggy like I had just woken her from a deep sleep. She asked me what time it was, I told her, and she was like oh, I`ll be there in like 20 minutes, half an hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hours tick by. Jodi misses her shift, and co- workers become extremely concerned. The no-show very out of character for the well-respected TV news anchor.

KUNS: Go to her apartment, call the police, whatever you need to do, but she`s not here, and I`m really worried.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police summoned to Jodi`s apartment for a welfare check. What they find, shocking. Jodi`s car still there, but her personal items, car keys, a hair dryer, shoes strewn around it in the parking lot. Who attacked TV anchorwoman, Jodi Huisentruit?

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CASAREZ: What did Jodi Huisentruit go through that morning? What did she comprehend was happening to her? We need justice for Jodi. We need to find Jodi. I want to go to Mickey in California. Hi, Mickey.

MICKEY, CALIFORNIA: Hi. How are you?

CASAREZ: I`m fine. Thank you for calling.

MICKEY: I have a question. Is there any blood evidence left behind?

CASAREZ: Good question. To Lt. Frank Stearns of the Mason City Police Department. Did you find any blood evidence at all?

STEARNS: Again, I just want to stress that we don`t have a whole lot that we haven`t shared with the public, and I`m not going to comment too much on the evidence that we have got.

CASAREZ: All right. Mickey, what we understand is no blood evidence was found. Lieutenant, I want to ask you, through the years, how many tips have you had on this case?

STEARNS: I think we`re approaching around 4,000 now.

CASAREZ: 4,000. How many persons of interest have you had or do you have?

STEARNS: Well, we have several persons of interest. We`ve, you know, we tried to follow up on them. In my opinion, there`s really no way to clear a person. I mean, I wasn`t there that morning. We don`t have a witness. So, just because -- we will follow leads out and check it out, and we`ll try and eliminate them as much as we can, but you can never totally eliminate someone.

CASAREZ: Have you given any polygraphs to anyone?

STEARNS: I`m not going to comment on any polygraphs that may have been given to people.

CASAREZ: Do you foresee re-interviewing people at all?

STEARNS: Absolutely. This is an ongoing process. We bring fresh eyes into the case and have them look at it, and we have been bringing people back in, bringing witnesses back in, friends of Jodi`s, bringing them back in and re-interviewing, and I can see us continuing to do that.

CASAREZ: To Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaaskids foundation, joining us from San Francisco. What are your thoughts that investigators should do at this point going forward?

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT & FOUNDE, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I find the palm print intriguing. You know, Jean, in the aftermath of my daughter, Polly`s kidnap and murder, legislation was immediately passed allowing palm prints -- or mandating that palm prints become part of a fingerprint protocol for individuals that were being charged with crime. For the simple reason that in the aftermath, they were able to connect Polly`s killer with the palm print that he left in her bedroom.

Therefore, now, when palm prints are found in crime scenes, they can be proactive pieces of evidence as opposed to reactive pieces of evidence. In other words, they can match them with known criminals as opposed to waiting around for somebody to be captured and then having a palm print taken from them. So, I would hope that other states would have followed that legislation over the years so that those palm prints, in fact, are on record because you know, this is not the first case that we`ve covered in this series where a palm print has been found.

CASAREZ: Well, you know, Marc Klaas, many states do follow California. California is a leader with legislation. Let`s ask about Iowa. Lt. Frank Stearns joining us from Mason City Police Department. What is the law in Iowa? Do they take palm prints of those that are being arrested?

STEARNS: We don`t take palm prints for people that are being arrested. My understanding is palm prints are taken as part of the intake into the prison system.

CASAREZ: Intake in the prison system. Well, that`s good. That`s a very good thing. To Sherry in Iowa. Hi, Sherry. You`re right there in Iowa.

SHERRY, IOWA: Hi there.

CASAREZ: Do you remember this case, Sherry?

SHERRY: I remember very well. I lived in the area. And Forest City is just a little bit east of Mason City, and we watched Jodi every morning.

CASAREZ: Oh.

SHERRY: On TV. I`m not sure of who she worked with. I can`t remember his name, but I mean, they were just a joy to watch. And I`ve always been so interested in this case, and I think anybody that lives in Iowa and knew of her at that time are still just wishing that we would find something out that happened to her.

CASAREZ: Sherry, do you have a question for the lieutenant, who is the lead investigator on this case?

SHERRY: Well, I just am -- you know, I know when I lived up there, my husband was a farmer, and as a farmer, when you hear these things and people go missing, you always are on the outlook for something different and something strange. And I just -- you know, I think even to this day people, you know, look for different things. I just -- you know, I just hope there`s new evidence or new thoughts about this case. You know, I`m glad to see that it`s still in the forefront and, you know, and not being forgotten.

CASAREZ: It is not being forgotten. And anyone that knows anything that is watching, they want you to call the tip line to solve this case.

Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst, author of "Deal Breakers," joining us from Los Angeles. You know, when you`re a morning news anchor, you`re family, because just as Sherry said, you`re in everybody`s home every morning. Everybody knows you. They love you because you are the morning anchor, but maybe that`s part of what can give motive, just as you were talking about a stalker.

MARSHALL: That`s right. And Paul Penzone made an excellent point just now. And that is a stalker can have -- imagine themselves to have a special and unique relationship with somebody they have never met. Think about Gabby Giffords and the shooter who shot her recently. He was obsessed with her for years. He had a note written to her. In his sake (ph), you had a very paranoid relationship felt persecuted by her. And we know if someone is paranoid and has a psychotic delusion, they can feel themselves compelled to go after the victim and to punish them because that victim in their mind has done something wrong.

LANCE: To Natisha Lance, NANCY GRACE producer, go through with us some of the leads that police have gotten in the last years, because they are detailed.

LANCE: Right. Well, you mentioned that woman who, back in 2006, she said that she was a 13-year-old runaway. She was taken by six men to this area, and she witnessed the killing of Jodi. She says that she saw these men stabbed her and then dismember her body. As you mentioned, police said that they were not able to corroborate that story. It was dismissed.

There was another person. A man by the name of Tony Jackson, who was a potential suspect at one point. He was a convicted rapist. He actually wrote a song called "Stiffen and Tiffen," which is an eastern town in Iowa. Apparently, there was a farm that was there. Police went and searched that farm, but again, nothing that turned up connected to Jodi.

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GRACE: These are the faces of America`s missing. Every 30 seconds, another child, a boy, a girl, a father, a mother, disappears. Families left behind. We have not forgotten.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kelly Allen went missing in Berkeley, Missouri in March of 2007. She was last seen leaving a friend`s home. Kelly has a tattoo on her left shoulder and behind her left ear. If you have any information, call 1-800-the-lost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She wasn`t coming home and spending the night at a friend`s house. She always contacted me, her sister or brother. I`m hoping against all hope, and I`m praying that she`s somewhere where she wants to be. She`s one of my joys of my life. I have three kids. She was patient. She`s a very good listener. She`s very helpful.

So, the policies for being a nurse, she would have did good with that. I pray. I have a special relationship with Jesus, and I just pray. And I know and believe that something positive is going to come out of Kelly not being around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Masaoay went missing under suspicious circumstances. He was last seen in San Francisco in 1989. His family is still searching and praying.

Bernard Ross disappeared from Ashland, Maine. He was 6`1" and 160 pounds at the time. His parents are still hoping for a miracle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did not tell anyone that I know of where he was going. We do know that he did not have any money. No contact. Absolutely nothing. We`ve had phone calls where people would hang up, and we`d think is that him, you know? My greatest sadness is around him losing his -- everyone he knew. His family. His friends. We`ve all had each other day by day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elizabeth Allen was last seen wearing a fake fur coat with black specs and a hood, gray sweatpants with blue stripes on the legs. She vanished from Oak Harbor, Washington.

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GRACE: I`m Nancy Grace. See you tomorrow night, 9 o`clock sharp eastern. And until then, we will be looking. Keep the faith, friend.

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