DAILY REMINDER: Please remember Jodi for the life she led rather than death she suffered at the hands of a murderer. While the details sure to be released in the upcoming days will be dramatic. Please remember she was a wonderful person who still deserves respect and privacy in death. It is important for people to understand how horrible this crime was to understand the need for anti-stalking law change, but please do not make the details your office water cooler talk.
Prosecutors continued to build the timeline leading up to Jodi’s disappearance. Witnesses were called to discuss video footage from Cowley County Community College and the Subway where the defendant worked prior to Jodi’s death.
Jodi’s parents took the stand as well to describe the events of 1/5/2007. Brian Sanderholm began his testimony describing a “normal day.” He left for work about 7:30 a.m. and did not see Jodi as she was still in bed. He later went to lunch with Cindy (Jodi’s mom).
Cindy Sanderholm’s testimony followed. Cindy described her relationship with Jodi as wonderful and mentioned double dating often with Jodi and her boyfriend. Cindy worked for the couple’s business, Ark City Glass and described the day as “normal” as well. She spoke with Jodi at 11:51 a.m. (phone records recorded the time). Jodi stated she was feeling too sweaty to go to lunch and wanted to go home and take a shower before going to a friends’ house. After lunch (12:40 p.m.) Cindy began calling Jodi and was unable to reach her. After a few tries she began calling Jodi’s friends and was unable to locate Jodi.
About 4 p.m. Cindy returned home to try to locate Jodi. At the house she found no sign Jodi had entered the house. The mail was not there, the shower was not wet, and Jodi’s dance clothes were not there. Cindy stated, “I was a nervous wreck.” Cindy continued to look for her daughter until 6 p.m. when the Sanderholm’s called the police.
The defendant’s family took the stand today as well. His sister confirmed phone records of her calls to him on 1/5/2007. Afterwards, his mother took the stand and confirmed that he was living at home with her, her husband and daughter at the time of Jodi’s murder. She further confirmed the calls made that day and the fact that her husband went to pick up the defendant after one of those calls from east of town on Highway 166 about 6 p.m. She confirmed she laundered the clothes he was wearing that day.
The defendant’s father was next on the stand. He confirmed picking his son up from Highway 166 that evening and stated he had troubles locating him in the dark. At the time he picked up his son he asked if they needed to pick up the friends that the defendant had previously stated he was with when the car became stuck. The defendant told him that the friends had walked the other way and they should return to town to see if they call. The father’s testimony ended with “there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary that I could tell.”
Ark City Police Department officers testified of the investigation the night of 1/5/2007. Officers went to the Sirloin Stockade to speak with a friend of Jodi’s when they learned the defendant and been seen following Jodi after the dance practice. The police began looking for Justin Thurber at that time.
Additional testimony included:
- A friend of Jodi’s stating she saw Jodi with a man in her car at 12:04 p.m. She tried to call Jodi and did not receive an answer.
- KBI Agent Dave Falletti’s testimony of the cellular phone records of Justin Thurber and Jodi Sanderholm during the time frame of Noon to about 7 p.m. Phone records show the two cell phones were in the same towers or out of service at the same time.
- Witness testimony from MeLynda Shritter stated the she was in the Kaw Wildlife Area on the day Jodi went missing. She witnessed a black car (matching Jodi’s) with a man driving it sometime between 3-4 p.m. She was asked to ID the man driving and pointed to the defendant. She was shown a police photo line up of six men and identified the defendant. When asked if she was sure. She stated, “I am 100% sure.” Her testimony was confirmed by the account of her aunt who accompanied her that day.
- A man stating he saw Jodi’s car along Highway 166 on 1/5/2007. Accompanied by the gas station manager with a receipt to confirm the man was indeed in the area at the time.
- Additional witness placing a man in dark clothing walking along Highway 166 after dark.
- Subway workers testified that the defendant picked up his paycheck about 7:30 p.m. on 1/5/2007 driving his own car.
- Testimony of a neighbor of the Sanderholm’s stated she had seen a man several times walking on the dead-end street that the Sanderholm’s lived. She saw the man the evening of 1/5/2007. He walked down the adjoining street looking at the Sanderholm’s residence. Patrol cars were present at the time. She identified the man as Justin Thurber in the court room.