Jennifer Kesse was 24 years old and living in Orlando Florida. She worked as a financial analyst for Central Florida Investments Timeshare Company and had recently purchased a condo. On January 23, 2006, Jennifer left work at 6 p.m. and called her father on her way home at 6:15 p.m. She also called her boyfriend, Rob Allen at 10:00 p.m. later that night when she was home. Neither of them noticed anything amiss during their conversations.
On January 24, two things out of the ordinary happened. Jennifer always communicated with her boyfriend Rob, either by telephone or text message before she left for work—but she did not contact him at all that morning. Rob tried contacting her multiple times that day, but all his calls went straight to voicemail. She also failed to show up for work that morning although she had an important meeting. Her co-workers became concerned because they knew it was very unlike her to miss work without giving them notice and they contacted her parents to let them know of her absence.
That’s not Jennifer. Jennifer has always been reachable. When I got that phone call I knew intuitively something happened to her.Joyce Kesse, Jennifer’s mother (Dateline NBC)
Upon receiving the news, Jennifer’s parents Joyce and Drew Kesse drove three hours from their house to her condo to search for her. At her condo, they saw nothing out of the ordinary of someone getting ready to leave for work in the morning. There were still puddles of water in the shower, a damp towel, work clothes laid out on her bed and hair and makeup items out in the bathroom. Given this scene, police began to think that Jennifer was abducted either during the time it took her to walk to her car, or on her way to work.
Jennifer’s boyfriend and parents were both ruled out as suspects and her ex-boyfriend was interviewed and ruled out as well. Police found it unlikely that she would have left on her own as she appeared to have a stable life, was in a committed relationship and had recently returned from a vacation with her boyfriend.
Police started to investigate the many construction workers in the area her apartment complex was located in. The complex was only half-finished at the time Jennifer moved in, and a number of workers lived on site. Joyce also remembered her daughter mentioning how she sometimes felt uncomfortable because the workers would cat-call her. Police investigation does not lead to any new information though.
On January 26, a big break came— after seeing Jennifer’s story on the news, a resident called police to inform them of a car sitting in the parking lot of their apartment complex. The car was a black Chevy Malibu, which matched the one that Jennifer owned. The car was located roughly a mile away from Jennifer’s complex and when police searched the car they did not see any sign of a struggle.
Police also obtained surveillance footage of an unidentified person walking in the parking lot at the same time Jennifer’s car was left in the lot. The footage proved to be extremely frustrating as the camera was programmed to snap photos every three seconds and each time a frame was captured, the suspect’s face was obstructed by a gate post. The only thing police can determine for sure is that the suspect was between 5’3” and 5’5 inches tall.
Since Jennifer’s disappearance, there has been no activity on her ATM card, or calls from her cell phone. Police extensively searched the areas of Jennifer’s known whereabouts but with no success.
In 2018, twelve years after Jennifer’s disappearance and with no new leads, Joyce and Drew Kesse decided to investigate on their own as well. After a successful fight in court to obtain all the files regarding Jennifer’s case, they are now using their own private investigator to search for Jennifer.
On November 8, 2019— after a tip from the Kessey family investigator, police spent two days at Lake Fischer in Orange County searching for clues. The lake is located 13 miles from Jennifer’s condo. The search was prompted by a tip from a woman who remembered seeing something odd at the time of Jennifer’s disappearance. A man drove a pickup truck to the lake and took out a six to eight-foot piece of what looked like, rolled-up carpet and dumped it in the lake before driving off.
Police have not disclosed any other information from this search or if they have found anything significant, Police and Jennifer’s parents continue to search for her.
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