Rodney J. Olsen

Rodney J. Olsen (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Rodney John Olsen

Missing Person

Name: Rodney John Olsen
Age at Report:
DOB: October 1, 1954
Hair Color:
Eye Color:
210 lbs.
Missing From: Mason City, IA
Cerro Gordo County
Investigating Agency:
Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office
Case Number:
Incident Type:
Endangered / Physical
NCIC Number:
NamUs MP #
Missing Since:
October 18, 1986


Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Rodney Olsen, a 32-year-old rural Mason City farmer, left his farm around 1 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, 1986, with intentions of visiting someone and was never seen alive again. Olsen had a young son and farmed northeast of Mason City. He had moved from his native Britt area not too long before he disappeared.

Cerro Gordo County in Iowa
Cerro Gordo County in Iowa
Mason City in Cerro Gordo CountyMason City in Cerro Gordo County

He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a brown shirt, and is described as a 6-foot white male with brown hair, brown eyes, and weighing about 210 pounds. He has dark shoulder-length curly hair and usually is clean shaven.

Several months later, Olsen’s car, a black 1978 Pontiac Sunbird, was found in a Forest City trailer park. No clues were found to indicate what happened to Olsen, according to reports at that time.

In a Mason City Globe Gazette article published March 30, 2008, Olsen’s family said they still think of their lost son.

“You always want to know,” said his father, Myrlen, who lives in Britt. “We always have hope.”

Myrlen believes that Rodney, one of his three children, “went off in the middle of the night by himself — and after that, we just don’t know.”

Rodney Olsen’s son today lives in California, Merlyn said.

Myrlen Olsen said he keeps in contact with the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department, in hopes new information about the case can be developed.

A DNA sample has been submitted and tests are complete.

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Rodney Olsen’s suspicious disappearance, please call the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office at (515) 421-3000 or 1-877-671-0052.

Copyright © 2024  Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


6 Responses to Rodney Olsen

  1. Nicole Giles says:

    Father died in 2016

  2. Nicole Giles says:

    Are there more photos of Rodney John Olsen? Here it says he was out visiting someone but i found another site that said he went back to Britt to visit the son.

  3. I’ve never even heard about this case. Thanks for sharing!

  4. it just sucks that someone could do this to him or any other human being and get away with it.

  5. tina says:

    what friend was he visiting? were their fingerprints in the car?

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