On January 23, 2006, Jennifer Kesse last spoke to her boyfriend at 10 pm. Evidence in her apartment suggested she readied for work on the morning of January 24; however, there are no confirmed sightings of the 24 year-old since the previous day. The Kesse family continue to search for Jennifer.
The Days Leading to Jennifer’s Disappearance
Jennifer spent the week prior with boyfriend Rob Allen on the island of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. After a week long trip, the couple arrived at Rob’s apartment in Fort Lauderdale on the night of January 22. The next morning, Jennifer drove the three hour trip to Orlando going straight to work at 8 am. Toll records show she made her usually timed trip home, arriving after 6:15 pm. She continued her nightly routine – calling family, and her boyfriend. The pair ended their call after 10pm, and this is the last time anyone has spoken to Jennifer Kesse.
The next morning, Jennifer’s phone went to voicemail when Rob Allen tried calling. Normally, Jennifer and he would speak before work. Rob assumed she was already in her early morning meeting and tried again later that morning. Again, her phone went straight to voicemail.
When Jennifer failed to arrive at work on the 24th, her employer contacted Jennifer’s parents and they promptly called the complex manager about looking inside Jennifer’s apartment for a welfare check. According to the complex manager, the apartment appeared normal and Jennifer’s car was not in her designated spot. Once Jennifer’s parents and brother arrived police were notified of Jennifer’s disappearance.
Orlando PD Disinterested
Unfortunately, Jennifer was not classified as missing by police because she is an adult, had a rumored argument with her boyfriend, and the time was less than 24 hours. That evening, the Kesse family began placing missing flyers around the area in hopes someone will call police.
A fact of note is that when Jennifer’s brother arrived, he made contact with the driver of a white van but the van drove away without speaking to Logan Kesse. The van was parked next to Jennifer’s spot, but law enforcement believe the van could have been occupied by undocumented workers and that they left before being detained by police.
Eventually, police begin to take Jennifer’s situation seriously, and news outlets broadcast a photo of Jennifer’s car during their report, and from this, a resident of a nearby apartment complex contacts police. Two days after Jennifer’s disappearance, police find her car in an apartment complex near her condominium. A surveillance camera records the driver of her car, presumed to be her abductor. Unfortunately, the video could not produce an image capable of identification.
In March 2020, police searched a lake near Jennifer’s former residence based on a tip provided to the department. Orlando Police Department spokespersons stated that no new information was found.
Important Facts of the Case
- Jennifer’s phone, and friend’s phone lose signal around 10pm the night before
- No evidence of crime inside apartment
- Car found 1 mile from apartment wiped clean
- Jennifer’s supervisor missed most of morning the day she disappeared*
- Missing from Jennifer’s home and car
- Building workers were not questioned properly by police
Timestamps are approximate and based on witness statements.
Monday, January 23, 2006
- 6:00 p.m. Kesse leaves work and calls her parents, the last time her family hears from her. She arrives home for the first time since having left for vacation.
- 10:00 p.m. Kesse and her boyfriend talk by phone and say their goodnights. He is the last known person to speak with her before her disappearance.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
- 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Investigators initially believed that Kesse was abducted as she was walking from her front door to her car. They now believe that she left, and was abducted at some point on her way to work.
- 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Kesse’s boyfriend, who normally would have heard from her, calls her on the way to work but it goes directly to voicemail. He chalks it up to a meeting she had mentioned to him. His subsequent attempts are likewise unsuccessful. Kesse’s parents call him to say that she had failed to show up at work.
- 11:00 a.m. Alarmed at Kesse’s uncharacteristic no call, no show, her employer contacts her parents, who begin the drive from Tampa to Orlando. On the way, they call to ask the manager of her condominium to check her home with a spare key. He reports that everything appears normal inside and that her car is missing outside.
- 12:00 p.m. Only 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Kesse’s home, surveillance cameras at an apartment complex record a person in the act of parking her car and walking away. The car and footage are not discovered until two days later.
- 3:00 p.m – 3.15 p.m. Kesse’s parents and brother arrive at her apartment. They find evidence that she had been home that morning. They call the police. As Kesse is an adult, police initially hold that she may have left of her own volition.
- 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Family and friends saturate the area with fliers that show Kesse’s picture. The police send a detective to her home and begin interrogations and searches.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
- 8:10 a.m. Seeing Kesse’s car on the news, a tenant of a nearby complex informs the police that it has sat abandoned in front of their apartment for several days. Police confirm that it is Kesse’s 2004 Chevy Malibu. The vehicle is photographed and taken for forensic examination. Police examine local surveillance footage and discover an unidentified person parking her car and walking away.
Why is this a Mystery
Jennifer’s disappearance reads like a normal day for the 24 year old. She prepared for work and left her apartment. From here, the mystery begins. By some accounts, Kesse was abducted between the point she left her apartment and her car. Other accounts suggest she was abducted after leaving the office complex. Was her car unlocked, and a person waiting in her backseat? This could account for erratic driving while leaving the office complex. Someone left Kesse’s car abandoned in a nearby apartment complex. Most likely this person is her abductor.
Additionally, the battery in Jennifer’s phone appears to be removed because the service provider could not locate pings from towers around her area. The ability to read that location data could provide information about the route Jennifer took the morning of her disappearance.