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Additional Charges Added Against Justin Thurber in Jodi Sanderholm Murder Case

Prosecutors have added an additional “aggravated sodomy” charge against Justin Thurber in the death of 19 year old Jodi Sanderholm.

The charge is aggravated criminal sodomy. The new charge will be added to the previous charges of aggravated kidnapping, rape and capital murder, according to Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison and Cowley County Attorney Chris Smith.

Smith said this morning that some evidence had come back that demonstrated to them that the additional charge needed to be brought.

“It was something we thought, but we just wanted to make sure we had the evidence to sustain the charge,” he said. “It’s another charge to go with in what we believe happened to Miss Sanderholm.”

This additional charge will allow the prosecution to go after the death penalty against Thurber. A sentence that he justly deserves.

Smith said the new charge was an “aggravating charge” and in the capital murder statute, if a person commits a murder while engaged in a rape or aggravated criminal sodomy, it allows the state to make it a death-eligible case if prosecutors choose that route.

He said the state already had that option with the rape charge but this would give them another option. (Ark

February 26th, 2007 at 04:53pm Posted by | Crime/Murder, Jodi Sanderholm, Rape, sex offender, sexual assault | no comments

Texas Equusearch “Appreciation Day” in Ark City KS for Jodi Sanderholm

Scared Monkeys “Missing Persons” would like to thank Texas EquuSearch and Tim Miller for inviting us to attend the Jodi Sanderholm fund raiser last Tuesday night. The event hosted by the community of Arkansas City, KS was truly an amazing, moving and inspiring evening. Scared Monkeys, Missing and Exploited had posted on the Jodi Sanderholm disappearance from the outset. Like so many missing persons, Jodi could have been any one of our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces or cousins. Jodi Sanderholm will never be forgotten.

Please watch the following tribute to Jodi, her family and TES … Its the first of many video reports we will be doing. A moving tribute to an emotional night.


Special thanks to the Ark City, Kansas Community … The video contains footage from the search, fund raiser and interviews with family & Tim Miller

Thank you to singer & song writer Jay Brown for the use of his song for our video
Also special thanks to Klaas for all of her hard work in the video production

Meeting Jodi Sanderholm’s family, friends and community was a humbling experience to say the least. The Ark City community showed what small town Americana is all about. The spaghetti dinner fund raiser at the Ark City High School was a tremendous out pouring of caring, compassion and support for Jodi’s family and those that helped to find Jodi Sanderholm. Three local clubs sponsored the event. As thousands rolled into the school, the lines of people of all ages kept going around corners, down hall ways and throughout the school.


(Sanderholm family with Tim Miller)

We are honored to take part in such a heart-warming event that is designed specifically to raise monies for TES. Thank you, Kim Hager, thank you to the entire Ark City Police, Ark City High School, the FFA, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Kay Club Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Ark City Dance Studio, and thank you to all of Jodi’s family and friends. God Bless You All! (TES)


The organizers of the event hoped to bring in about $5000. They did that easily and from some accounts it appears that some $8000 was raised. As a TES volunteer member I would just like to say thank you … Ark City you did a tremendous job. Texas EquuSearch relies on donations to continue their work in helping families recover missing persons. Tim Miller was humbled by the communities show of support.


Epler said today more than $8,000 had been collected from Tuesday night’s fundraiser, after a later tally. All money raised will be presented to EquuSearch, the Texas-based volunteer group.

The amount raised exceeded the $5,000 goal set by the event organizers, Epler said. The dinner was sponsored by Ark City’s FFA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Kay Club. (Ark

TES had come to Ark City, Kansas to help a family in need and within minutes of searching the lake located Jodi’s car in the water. The cooperation of all law enforcemnet toawrd the common goal of finding Jodi is to be commended. Its about finding missing persons, not about us or jurisdictional issues. Thank you Ark City and KS law enforcent.

Tim Miller and I have talked on several occasions about the caring and community that takes place during searches. The sad reality of missing person cases is that no Tim_Lawmatter how big or small the community, Missing Persons can occur anywhere. The good people of Ark City and the family of Jodi Sanderholm did nothing to become part of a growing epidemic in our society.

Interview with Tim Miller from the Dana Pretzer show regarding Jodi Sanderholm from The Scared Monkeys radio network.


Brian and Cindy Sanderholm are just two of the latest parents to join a special fraternity that no one wishes to be a member of. Our hearts and prayers go out to them and the rest of Jodi’s family. As Tim Miller stated that evening, “we all feel that we are apart of theirs and the Ark City family.”


(Alana Rocha talking with Tim Miller)

Also, the local media of Ark City did a tremendous job during this ordeal as the unthinkable was thrust upon small town America. I had the opportunity to meet news members of both KAKE-TV and KBSD, Eye Witness News 12. Alana Rocha and I discusses the role of the media and the delicate nature of reporting such difficult events. They did a tremendous and respectful job reporting the news, informing the community and respecting the family.


Jodi Sanderholm … God Bless and Rest in Peace

Cross-posted at Scared Monkeys

February 19th, 2007 at 05:04pm Posted by | Jodi Sanderholm, Missing Teen, Scared Monkeys Radio, Texas Equusearch | no comments

Silver Lining to a very Dark Cloud … Stalking Bill Introduced from Jodi Sanderholm Murder

The tragic and terrible story of the murder of Jodi Sanderholm has at least a silver lining to it. Joshua Thurber stalked, raped  and murdered Jodi Sanderholm. As a result of this terrible crime new stalker bills are being submitted to hopefully prevent such actions in the future and hopefully nip such stalking events in the bud.

The Department of Justice says eight to twelve percent of women will be stalked at some point in their lives.

“It is a growing problem in our nation, no doubt,” says Rep. Kasha Kelley of Arkansas City.

Kelley introduced House Bill 2473, aimed at cracking down on stalkers.

She worked with law enforcement after Sanderholm’s murder to try to prevent something similar from happening in another community.

“It seeks to bring a tighter definition to what stalking is,” says Kelley.

The current law says stalking occurs when the situation poses a credible threat. (KBSD 6)

Ark City Teen Inspires Anti-Stalking Bill

With Jodi in mind, Kelly introduced a bill into the House that would increase the severity level for stalkers. The bill would put the crime of stalking at a higher level and would require longer sentences. (KAKE)

February 11th, 2007 at 10:04pm Posted by | Found Deceased, Jodi Sanderholm, sex offender | no comments

Did Joshua Thurber have Past Allegations (Lewd & Lascivious behavior) Prior to Death of Jodi Sanderholm?

Its being reported that the man, Joshua Thurber, accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering Jodi Sanderholm had past allegations against him. Allegations that seemed to have gone by the wayside as Thurber was never charged. It does appear that Thurber did have run-ins with the law. When will we ever learn that a criminal element escalates their crimes until all too often it becomes murder.

An Ark City woman claims Joshua Thurber tried to abduct her niece. Loretta Caballero says last April her 11-year-old niece was held by Thurber, against her will.

According to police reports, the young girl was asked by a friend of her mom to help the friend translate a conversation with Thurber. The friend didn’t speak English very well, so the 11-year-old girl tried to help.

The girl says the woman and Thurber started fighting, and Thurber refused to take them home. Instead, he kept them in his car and drove farther away from town. The girl also says Thurber was exposing himself to both of them.

In the end, both girls jumped from the moving car, ran to a nearby home and called police.

Police showed the girl a photo lineup and she immediately picked out Thurber’s picture. (KAKE)

It always seems the case that when predators get away with lesser crimes, they are destined to do it again and escalate the violence until they get caught. We are still trying to understand how the “lewd and lascivious” behavior was allowed to go without incident.

The police reports called the case criminal restraint, endangering a child and lewd and lascivious behavior. But days and weeks went by without an arrest. To this day Thurber has never been charged with these crimes.

Cowley County Attorney Chris Smith says the case was eventually turned over to his office but there wasn’t enough evidence to file charges. It would be Mariela’s word against Thurber’s and Mariela admitted she got in his car willingly.

January 23rd, 2007 at 11:01pm Posted by | child welfare, Exploitation, Exploited, Jodi Sanderholm | one comment

Justin Thurber Charged with the Capital Murder & Rape of Jodi Sanderholm

It had been speculated for quite some time that the individual in custody on an unrelated charge, Justin Thurber, was the main suspect in the murder of Jodi Sanderholm. Today the Kansas AG has charged Justin Thurber with the rape and murder of Jodi Leann Sanderholm.

Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison and Cowley County Attorney Christopher Smith today filed charges against Justin Eugene Thurber for the murder of Jodi Leann Sanderholm. Thurber has been charged with Capital Murder, Rape and Aggravated Kidnapping.

Authorities believe Thurber kidnapped Sanderholm following her dance practice on Friday, January 5th. According to police, he then drove her to a rural part of southeast Cowley County where she was raped and murdered. Police also allege that Thurber then disposed of Sanderholm’s car in the Cowley County State Fishing Lake. (KWCH)

Charges announced in Jodi Sanderholm case

The evidence shows Sanderholm was kidnapped at midday Jan. 5, raped and strangled within about three hours, Morrison said.

Authorities had said last week they were preparing charges against a suspect already in the Cowley County Jail on unrelated charges.

Thurber was taken into custody the weekend Sanderholm disappeared. (Kansas

Justin Thurber seems to have quite the frequent issue when it comes to breaking the law.

On Jan. 1, Thurber was charged with false impersonation and disorderly conduct. Thurber has also been charged with burglary, forgery, theft and drug possession.

Two women have also accused Thurber of stalking and have filed protection petitions in Winfield and Arkansas City.

January 17th, 2007 at 02:10pm Posted by | arrested, Crime/Murder, Jodi Sanderholm, Pictures, Rape, sexual assault | no comments

KS Attorney General Officially Confirms that body discovered in Ark City was Jodi Sanderholm

Even though it had been reported earlier that the body found in the woods some 7 or 8 miles away from the car located in the lake was Jodi Sanderholm, it is now official. Also reported during our interview with Tim Miller of Texas Equusearch. The cause of death has not been released and most likely will not be done until formal charges are made in the death of Jodi Sanderholm.

“While there is a DNA test being conducted, we are confident this is Jodi Sanderholm,” Morrison said in a statement.

Morrison spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett said the delay in identifying Sanderholm was the result of authorities’ desire to be certain.

Sanderholm’s car was found Tuesday at the bottom of Cowley State Fishing Lake, and her body was found the same day, about eight miles away. The 84-acre lake on U.S. 166 is about 15 miles east of Arkansas City. (KSHB)

The family has planed a Memorial Service for Jodi Sanderholm:

The family has planned an 11 a.m. memorial service Tuesday. To accommodate the expected large crowds, it will be held at the W.S. Scott Auditorium at Cowley County Community College.

January 13th, 2007 at 01:07pm Posted by | Found Deceased, Jodi Sanderholm | no comments

Jodi Sanderholm: Exclusive Interview with Tim Miller of Texas Equusearch Regarding Search

Tim Miller and Texas Equusearch has been an integral part of the search for Jodi Sanderholm. TES received a call from authorities in Ark City, Kansas to see if they could not help out with the search.

Within minutes Tim Miller and the volunteers of Texas Equusearch located the car of Jodi Sanderholm in the local lake.

Tim Miller provided Scared Monkeys an exclusive interview as to the events that transpired. Tim Miller also had much praise for the Ark City authorities and those that helped search for Jodi. He also had many prayers for Jodi and her family. Please listen to the replay podcast of the interview with Tim Miller.

Tim Miller was rather confident that arrests would be made very soon. No charges have been filed yet; however, according to reports they should be by next week.

icon for podpress Standard Podcast [7:30m]: Play in Popup | Download

January 12th, 2007 at 12:04am Posted by | Jodi Sanderholm, Missing, Missing College Student, Search and Rescue, Texas Equusearch | 2 comments

The Dana Pretzer Show – Tonight – Wednesday, Jan. 10th – 2006; Guests: R. Stephanie Good & Wendy Murphy, Tim Miller

Listen LIVE tonight at 9:00 pm EDT to Dana Pretzer on the Scared Monkeys Radio network. Click on the icon for live feed. (Listen to replay podcast here)


(Click icon to link to podcast)

Tonights Guests:

January 10th, 2007 at 08:15pm Posted by | Internet, Jessica Lunsford, Jodi Sanderholm, John Couey, sex offender, Texas Equusearch | no comments

Ark City, KS Teen Jodi Sanderholm Update: Vehicle, 2003 Dodge Stratus Has Been Located in Lake (Body Found)

It had been reported earlier that there was a tow truck at the lake site that was being searched.

According to sources the vehicle of Jodi Sanderholm, a black 2003 Dodge Stratus, has been found at the Cowley State Fishing Lake. Volunteer members of Texas EquuSearch found the car today within minutes of putting their boat in the water. This area had been an area of interest with searches yesterday as well by authorities.

The vehicle is now out of the water and on a flatbed truck. The investigators will now scour the black 2003 Dodge Stratus for clues.

We continue to pray for Jodi Sanderholm, friends and family.

Updates to follow …

UPDATE I: Its is now being reported by local media KWCH, Missing Woman’s Car Found

Authorities in Arkansas City have just pulled the car belonging to a missing 19-year-old woman, out of a nearby lake. The car was taken past our crews covering the story, on a flatbed truck.

UPDATE II: 1-9-06 – Authorities have recovered the car belonging to missing teenager Jodi Sanderholm. Searchers pulled the car from the lake at the Cowley County State Park on Tuesday afternoon (KAKE)

UPDATE III (6:15 CDT): Body Found, PD Preparing Charges

We had been hearing rumors all day that a body may have been found. It is now being reported that a body has been found in a rural area. They have not stated whether it is Jodi, but its hard to imagine it is not. Sadly enough.

1-9-06 – Searchers found the body of a female early this morning in a rural area of southeast Cowley County. By noon on Tuesday, they recovered Jodi Sanderholm’s car from the Cowley County lake. Police also say they are preparing charges against a known suspect.

In a statement released from the Arkansas City Police Department Tuesday night, authorities would not say if the body was that of Sanderholm. They did say the body would be transferred to the Sedgwick County Forensic Science Center for identification and autopsy. (KAKE)

Body Found in Kansas Missing Student Case

The body has been taken to the Sedgwick County Forensic Science Center in Wichita for identification and autopsy, according to a news release.

The release said authorities were “preparing a charging document against a known suspect. The exact charges will be released at a later date.” (AP)

January 9th, 2007 at 05:20pm Posted by | Found Deceased, Jodi Sanderholm, Missing, Missing College Student, Missing Teen, Search and Rescue, Texas Equusearch | 8 comments

Justin Thurber, 23, of Ark City, KS Arrested over weekend for Impersonating an Officer

Suspicions …

Police in Ark City, KS have stated that they are questioning an individual who was arrested on “un-related charges” in the disappearance of 19 year old Jodi Sanderholm.

The man is in custody on charges unrelated to Sanderholm’s disappearance, Wallace said Sunday afternoon. Police discovered an arrest warrant for the man when they questioned him about the Sanderholm case, he said.

Could this be the individual and the un-related charges?

Justin Thurber, 23, of Ark City, was arrested over the weekend for false impersonation.

Interim Chief Sean Wallace said Thurber, a bounty hunter/bondsman employed with Morris Bail Bonds on North C, claimed to be working with the Ark City police in order to gain entrance to an Ark City residence to conduct a search.

“He was looking for a guy who jumped bond,” Wallace said. “He told them (the residents) that he was working with the Ark City Police Department and that he had a warrant to search the house.”

Wallace said his department does not have a bondsman or any bounty hunters working for them. (ARK

KAKE Takes an Inside Look into the Man Questioned

The man questioned by police is also reported to have worked at the Subway, the last reported place Jodi Sanderholm had been seen.

Police arrested a man over the weekend, on charges in a separate incident. They have questioned him in the missing teen case, although he has not been named as a suspect in the case, nor charged with a related crime.

KAKE News spoke with the man’s former landlord, Kevin Swick, who said the man, in his 20′s, was evicted not long before his arrest. The landlord said police were searching the home early Saturday morning, around 3:30am. He told KAKE that officers found shell casings – the landlord believes the man would occasionally fire random shots from his back door.

The man was also an employee at a Subway restaurant. It’s also the last place that Sanderholm was seen on Friday.

The man’s parents have also been questioned, and may have helped the man move out recently. (KAKE)

UPDATE: Justin Thurber Charged the Capital Murder & Rape of Jodi Sanderholm

January 9th, 2007 at 02:30pm Posted by | Jodi Sanderholm, Missing, Missing College Student, Missing Teen | one comment

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