Jody Ewing

Iowa Cold Cases Founder & President

Jody is a writer and cold case journalist based in southwest Iowa. She began writing at age eight, both penning and illustrating her dog-napping short story, “The Mystery of Kalo’s Disappearance.” She has worked for The Sioux City Journal and Weekender, and has more than 500 published feature stories and articles (unrelated to cold cases).

Jody Ewing

She launched the Iowa Cold Cases website (originally at in 2005 after working on a Sioux City cold case series. A website that began as a handful of cases from the Siouxland area now includes over 700 unsolved cases across the state. Iowa Cold Cases incorporated as a nonprofit agency in April 2010.

Two years after launching the site, Jody’s stepfather of 25 years—Earl Thelander of Onawa, IA—died from burns sustained in an explosion caused by copper thieves. Jody added her stepdad’s name to the ICC site in 2008 after officials announced his case had gone cold. It remains unsolved today.

Jody is the author of One Way: Bumps and Detours on the Road to Adulthood, a collection of humorous and inspirational essays about childhood and growing up. When not researching/writing about cold cases, visiting with victims’ family members or sharing leads with law enforcement, Jody focuses on chapter revisions to send her agent for an upcoming memoir. Her work with cold cases is also featured in Silvia Pettem’s 2017 book, The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families.

Jody graduated magna cum laude from Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies (Communications and Social Science) and Criminal Justice Studies. In early 2015, she partnered with the Iowa Newspaper Association (INA) in a year-long “Gone Cold: Exploring Iowa’s Unsolved Murders” series, and in September 2015 was named a “Friend of Iowa Newspapers,” an honor conferred by INA board members to those who’ve made significant contributions to the newspaper industry in Iowa.

In November 2015, international grand reporter Karen Lajon of Paris profiled Jody’s work in a special “Women of the World” series featuring five women from around the globe who chose unconventional career fields and succeeded by inspiring others to get involved and make a difference.

In March 2017, Siouxland News presented Jody with a Jefferson Award Foundation medal, an award given in recognition of outstanding public service. That same month, Jody received her private investigator’s license, and as much as she enjoyed the work, chose not to renew it in 2019 due to complications from breast cancer surgery that left her unable to accept most assignments due to additional surgeries and recovery periods. 

Jody has three grown children and loves exploring parks with her rescue dog, Jack.

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