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The brutal murder of Jodi Sanderholm: Everything you need to know

Jodi Sanderholm murder
Image Source: KAKE

Jodi Sanderholm, a Kansas City girl, was brutally raped and murdered by a suspect, Justin Thurber, on January 5, 2007. The victim’s parents, father Brian Sanderholm and mother Cindy, were still struggling for their daughter’s justice. Her father said that this was the most unbelievable thing that had ever happened to a person. Let’s start from the beginning of how and what happened to Jodi Sanderholm, an innocent girl who became a victim of a cruel man.

Who was Jodi Sanderholm?

Jodi Sanderholm murder

Image Source: The Cinemaholic

Jodi LeAnn Sanderholm, a Kansas girl, was only nineteen at the time of her death. Jodi, who had the highest grade in her class, was attending Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas. Jodi was passionate about dancing and was in the Cowley College Tigerettes dance team. Jodi was a loving daughter to her parents Brian and Cindy.

What has Happened?

On January 5, 2007, following her routine went to her dance practice at the college, which finished at around 10:45 am. After training, she left the college; no one had seen or heard of Jodi.
When Jodi did not arrive home, her mother, Cindy and sister, Jennifer, tried to contact her several times, but there was no response. They also got her friends to know her whereabouts, but no one had seen her since she left the dance class.

Then around 6 pm, Cindy and Brian reported to the Kansas City Police that their daughters were missing.

Investigation Updates and The suspects

Jodi Sanderholm murder

Image Source: NBC News

The police department went to Jodi’s house and spoke to their parents to find any links in the case. They came to know that Jodi had a boyfriend named David. The police then contacted David and found that he was out of the city and was visiting his brother in Dallas, Texas.

The police then spoke to Jodi’s friends and found that they saw a man named Justin Thurber, who frequently came to watch them in the parking lot.

The suspect Justin 23, who worked at a local sandwich shop, had been arrested for petty theft and other non-violent charges. The police then spoke to Justin, and he said that he had been with his three friends that day and denied the allegations of Jodi’s disappearance. Later the three friends that Justin claimed to be with them denied being with Justin.

After digging into Justin Thurber’s background, the investigators from Justin’s girlfriend learned that he liked to spend time in the Kaw Wildlife Area. She also said that Justin had mentioned if he killed someone and dumped a body in the area, it would not be found.

Investigators with a search warrant went to Justin’s house, and a shoe print matched Justin’s tennis shoes. The identical shoe prints were found in the wildlife area. The officials found 50 shoe prints from Justin and only four from Jodi.

On January 9, the trackers caught sight of the crime and saw a woodpile and a hand sticking out from underneath it. The trackers then saw a nude body covered with sticks. After the dental records, it was confirmed that the body was of Jodi. The body was then sent to the medical examiner, who determined that Jodi was sexually assaulted. The Texas Eqqusearch team was also successful in locating Jodi’s car in the lake.

Justin Thurber was then charged with capital murder, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sodomy and kidnapping.

Jodi Sanderholm murder

Image Source: Kansas Reflector

Justin Trials details

Justin’s trials were delayed many times and finally began on February 2, 2009. More than 60 witnesses testified against Justin in the trial lasted for 7 days. Justin was found guilty of all charges and was sentenced to death in March 2009. In 2018 Justin’s death was postponed by the Supreme Court, and post-conviction DNA testing is also in the works.

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