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Statement from Jodi’s Network of Hope organization

Following the release of Frozen Truth’s most recent podcast episode – Season 3 Update – Steve Ridge – I received the following statement from Jodi’s Network of Hope.

Jodi’s Network of Hope is a nonprofit organization founded by a small group of Jodi’s friends and family in 2005 on the 10th anniversary of her disappearance

“When we were originally approached by Steve Ridge, he said he wanted to help with Jodi’s case. He said he would be staying behind the scenes. He just wanted to use his connections and see what he could dig up. Sounded innocent enough.

Since that day, he has been out front of this investigation and in the spotlight every chance he has gotten. He has used misleading headlines, and sensationalized every aspect of this case. He will release a story and then back track – i.e. “John V is moving to Iowa” “New Video of women believed to be” as if he has the video. This case is intriguing enough without adding his sinister vocabulary choices and tactics. We have not commented until now.

He throws out the words “possibly” and “could have” and “may have” as a way to avoid being accountable for his words. We understand there are a lot of unknowns in this case, however, he has chosen to take those all a step further and make accusations and assumptions about Jodi. 

In his last public address he insulted Jodi’s character and insinuated she was many things she was not. This needs to stop. This form of victim blaming is unacceptable. A young single woman is allowed to have a life. In 1995, social media didn’t exist, TMZ didn’t exist ¬- Jodi was not aware how her every action would be viewed in hindsight. Enter Steve Ridge and his click bait……thank God many news stations have not picked up on his stories. Likely because they agree with us, it’s inappropriate and unnecessary. 

We appreciate all of the folks that are helping investigate Jodi’s case- we believe if all of the data collected were used to create one master timeline we could bring Jodi home. Wild accusations and TMZ style headlines as click bait do not help.

Thank you to all who truly want to help us find Jodi.”

Jodi’s friends and family at Jodi’s Network of Hope

Updated with response from Steve Ridge:

I would have been proud to have Jodi as my daughter. She had much to be proud of and virtually nothing to be ashamed of.

Jodi was a young woman of high morals and determination in relentless in pursuit of her professional goals. She was charming, charismatic and flirtatious. She was in no way promiscuous.

Jodi self-selected the nickname ‘focus’ so she would be reminded frequently of her personal priorities. She was a stare champion in golf; an individual sport that requires as much mental discipline as physical skill.

Jodi was was caring, trusting and naive. But she was also fun loving, adventurous and impulsive. That carefree side of Jodi made her extremely vulnerable. And it may have contributed to her demise.

My job is to find the truth. It is one that requires unrelenting objectivity. We all have human weaknesses. And, in Jodi’s case, they may provide valuable context and insight into her sudden disappearance.

When one crosses the line into advocacy, the search for truth is compromised. I am quite certain that my exploration has awakened a sleepy investigation. I will not be intimidated or shouted down.

No one owns Jodi’s story or the investigation. Nor should they. We must collectively and collaboratively work to solve this mystery, so that we might bring closure to Jodi’s family and friends.

Steve Ridge

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