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Source who gave Philpott information on Huisentruit disappearance died in April

On the eve of the Mason City Civil Service Commission hearing for Maria Ohl, NorthIowaToday.com has learned that the source who divulged information to Mason City Pastor Shane Philpott died last April. Ohl revealed earlier this month that she believes the Mason City Police Department was involved in the Huisentruit disappearance. Philpott has shared more details about his source in this story. PHOTO: Mason City Room where hearing will be held for fired police officer Maria Ohl.|On the eve of the Mason City Civil Service Commission hearing for Maria Ohl, NorthIowaToday.com has learned that the source who divulged information to Mason City Pastor Shane Philpott died last April.

Ohl revealed earlier this month that she believes the Mason City Police Department was involved in the Huisentruit disappearance. Philpott, who is Ohl’s brother-in-law, was a source for Ohl that has helped lead her to her belief that the MCPD was involved.

Ohl was fired from the MCPD on August 4th. Ohl says the MCPD claims that she “mis-handled” case information regarding the Huisentruit case, which Philpott had turned over to her when she was a police officer. Philpott later filed a complaint against the MCPD for not following up on his information on the Huisentruit case. Read this document for all the details from Philpott and his complaint against the MCPD. Philpott also sued the City of Mason City for defamation and won a settlement of about $85,000.

Pastor Shane Philpott contacted NorthIowaToday.com Monday afternoon with this information about his source. “It was brought to my attention by a congregation member that the individual which had contacted me in 2007 with information about the Jodi Huisentruit case died at his home on Sunday, April 10, 2011,” Philpott said. He provided a link to the obituary of the man, named Donald Lester Milks Jr.

Philpott explained how he obtained information from Milks. “Mr. Milks, along with his pastor Rev. Raymond Tuck, contacted me by phone on June 28, 2007 and left a message for me to return his call (see phone call log sheet, below). The two of them wanted to travel to Mason City as soon as possible so that Mr. Milks could give me all of his information in detail. I returned his call that afternoon, speaking to him and his pastor first together, and then separately. I typed the notes of our phone conversations into my computer after our phone calls.” (See notes from Milk’s call, below.)

Philpott continued his description of what transpired between himself and the MCPD: “I subsequently made contact with the MCPD and was transferred to Officer Frank Stearns. After receiving my information, Officer Stearns transferred me to Officer Ron Vande Weerd, to whom I also reiterated the information. I supplied both of them with Mr. Milk’s and Pastor Tuck’s names and phone numbers. Both officers instructed me to make no contact until I heard back from the MCPD. Approximately 2-4 weeks passed and I had yet to hear back from the MCPD. I called the police department again and was transferred to Officer Dennis Bengston, who told me the information was not credible.

“Last Friday (9-9-11) I made contact once again with Pastor Tuck. He told me that he had never been contacted by the MCPD, or any other entity for that matter, in regard to his and Mr. Milk’s conversations with me in 2007.”

Philpott says that Pastor Tuck told him that to the best of his knowledge, the MCPD had not contacted Milk to follow up on the Huisentruit disappearance information.

NorthIowaToday.com will be covering the Civil Service Commission hearing Tuesday. At that hearing, the commission may determine whether or not Ohl gets her job as a Mason City police officer back. The hearing begins at 8 a.m. in the Mason City Room at the Mason City Public Library. More information to come.

The following are notes Pastor Shane Philpott took from a call with Donald Lester Milks Jr.:

The following is a call log submitted to NorthIowaToday.com from Philpott showing date, time and nature of call from Milk:


Deposition of Officer Frank Stearns (sent to NorthIowaToday.com by Pastor Shane Philpott):

Deposition of Officer Dennis Bengston (sent to NorthIowaToday.com by Pastor Shane Philpott):
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