I can’t personally say that I’ve been to Orlando, Florida. But I’ve only heard good things about it. From Disneyworld to the Orlando Magic in their day with multiple great NBA Players as a basketball fan myself. But like any major city it isn’t immune to crime and on January 24th, 2006. A young woman by the name of Jennifer Kesse, originally from Tampa, disappeared after she had left work for the day.
Jennifer would be last seen on January 23rd at around 6pm at Westgate Resorts in Ocoee, Florida. In the following hours she would make several calls to friends and family, with the last being to her boyfriend at around 10pm. What happened after that, is as good as anybody’s guess. Come the next morning, the first signs that something wasn’t right would arise.
Come the morning of the 24th of January 2006, Jennifer would not send out a single message or call anyone she knew. She was known to contact her boyfriend every morning to wish him a good day as many couples do. After failing to arrive at work at the normal time, efforts to reach Jennifer proved to be fruitless and with good reason her friends and family began to worry.
Her Employer would reach out to her parents who would journey from hours away to begin the search for their missing daughter. When her parents arrived at her home, her vehicle was gone. Yet inside her condo they could not find anything that seemed out of place. All signs appeared as if she completed her morning routine and left for work.
As soon as that evening her friends and family began passing out Missing Persons fliers and with the help of the local Police Department, the search for Jennifer was underway. Air, Land and Sea, no resource was spared in trying to find the young lady. Everyone knew that if she was not going to show up to work at the very least, she would have given some kind of notice or explanation to cover her bases.
Still the search parties proved fruitless and no sign of Jennifer would be found. Given the available evidence of clothes scattered on her unmade bed and pajamas on the bathroom floor coupled with make-up and other grooming products on the counter. Her parents would urge the Condo Manager to use a set of extra keys to open her residence and that’s when they found her belongings scattered around.
To many it appeared that she had completed her morning routine and left for work but from there, the trail went cold. Jennifer’s parents would theorize that she may have had an argument with her boyfriend and would return soon, something thing that is common in missing persons cases. But she never came back and her friends and family would begin to use this condo as a base of operations over the following months.
After the first few days and the initial media coverage on Thursday, 26, 2006, the tenant of a nearby apartment complex who had been watching the recent news coverage of the story took notice a vehicle that matched the description of Jennifer’s and informed law enforcement of the vehicle. Unmoved after several days, investigators arrived and quickly photographed the vehicle before taking it for more thorough forensic testing.
However, the vehicle, a 2004 Black Chevy Malibu, would not be all that the investigators would find. During the neighborhood canvas, they would happen upon footage on a security camera of somebody parking Jennifer’s car and walking away from it without looking back. From there on out the trail would go cold. This would be the strongest lead that the investigators would have. Even with the help of NASA to enhance the footage, this person remains unidentified.
All that can be surmised in this case is that Jennifer left her apartment for work, locking the door on her way out and was abducted either while walking to her car or as she entered her car given the lack of evidence suggesting someone had broken into her apartment. A person of interest who returned her vehicle to her local area is all that investigators have to go on in this case.
It is worth noting that at the time of Jennifer’s disappearance her apartment complex was undergoing extensive construction and expansion operations at the time of her disappearance. Many of the crew members were undocumented at the time and as a result have been hard to track down since the time of her disappearance. Still at the time many of those workers were allowed to live in the complex while it was being constructed and have since raised the eyebrows of investigators considering that the figure spotted in the surveillance tapes is dressed like a construction worker.
Jennifer had told her family and friends that she had been experiencing harassment from the construction workers in the lead up to her disappearance. Authorities efforts to identify and interrogate the workers at the complex failed to generate any new leads. Failure in this area of her life would lead investigators to focus on her professional life and in there a new lead would arise.
Upon searching Jennifer’s computer, it would come to light that a co-worker who was in a management position at the resort that she was employed at had been making attempts to pursue a relationship. She had told those close to her that she was against workplace relationships, still after extensive questioning and investigation, they would conclude that this individual would not arise to the level of suspect. They would note that there is a slight chance that she had become a victim of human trafficking but it would be highly unlikely.
In 2007, her employer, lead by founder David A. Siegel would offer a million-dollar reward for information leading to her being found alive. Unclaimed to this day, another reward of five thousand dollars would be offered by the Central Florida Crime line for information leading to Jennifer’s remains being found.
However as of June 10th, 2010 the FBI has taken the lead in this ongoing investigation and if you feel as if you have information relevant to this case, please contact your local office. You may discount your assistance as being minimal but even the smallest detail may lead to a resolution in this case…