On January 24, 2006, Jennifer Kesse left her Florida apartment to go to work…and was never seen or heard from again. It’s been 12 long years since her sudden disappearance, and the Kesse family is still no closer to finding out what happened to their beloved daughter and sister. What happened to Jennifer Kesse? Read our Jennifer Kesse wiki to find out all the important details of this case.
For Jennifer Kesse, the morning of January 24, 2006 started off just like any other normal day. She woke up, got ready for work, and headed out the door.
But from that point on, no one seems to know what happened to her—not even the Orlando Police Department, whose officers have been actively investigating the case for nearly 13 years.
So, who is Jennifer Kesse, and what happened to her? Since her mysterious disappearance, this case has gripped the nation with countless media stories, ongoing police investigations, and even heightened public interest in returning the young woman to her family safe and sound.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this missing persons case and how you can help.
Who Is Jennifer Kesse?
Born on May 20, 1981, Jennifer Joyce Kesse lived in Orlando, Florida at the time of her disappearance. She was born in New Jersey to Drew and Joyce Kesse and has one younger brother named Logan Kesse.
The family eventually moved to Florida when she was a little bit older. Jennifer attended Vivian Gaither High School in Tampa.
She went on to graduate from the University of Central Florida in 2003 with a degree in finance. While in college, Kesse was very well liked and was even a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority on campus.
Shortly after graduation, Kesse was able to land her dream job as a finance manager at Central Florida Investments Timeshare Company in Ocoee, Florida. Although she was given numerous job offers at the time, she chose to work for Central Florida Investments because she was an intern there during her college years. She was the youngest manager at her new company.
She was a huge fan of the Dave Matthews Band and was known for her infectious laughter and amazing sense of humor.
Anecdotal evidence from her friends shows that Jennifer Kesse was a great friend and was always ready and willing to drop everything she was doing and help her loved ones whenever they needed it most.
One of Kesse’s friends stated that after she’d gone through a painful breakup, she called Jennifer who lived an hour away. Kesse drove to her house immediately and brought her chocolate, other snacks, and small gift items, and even spent the night with her to help cheer her up.
Kesse, who was just 24 years old at the time of her disappearance, had recently purchased a condo at Mosaic at Millenia, a condo complex located on Conroy Road in Orlando.
It’s safe to say that Kesse was full of ambition and had a very bright, promising future ahead of her. So, what went wrong?
The Events Leading up to Jennifer’s Disappearance
A little-known fact about Jennifer Kesse is that she was fluent in Spanish. Not only could she speak the language, but she could also understand it very well. This fluency came in handy after she moved into her brand-new condo.
The condo complex was undergoing extensive construction around the time she moved there in November 2005. The project was ongoing for months afterward, even during the time of her disappearance.
The construction company reportedly had hired mostly undocumented workers from Mexico, many of whom would reportedly make derogatory and sexual remarks about her every time Kesse would walk past them. Unbeknownst to them, she understood every word of what they were saying and complained about the sexual harassment frequently to her family.
Due to the extensive construction that was going on, many of the units in the complex—including her building—were unoccupied. Kesse suspected many of the construction workers were even temporarily living in the unoccupied condo units so that they wouldn’t have to commute to work every day.
The young woman was always aware of her surroundings, and having to deal with construction workers who would constantly catcall, whistle, and leer at her as she walked by made her incredibly uncomfortable. Her parents instilled a sense of cautiousness in both of their children due to their own experience of being held at gunpoint before Jennifer was born.
As a result, Kesse was hyper-vigilant: she always carried pepper spray with her, and she contacted her loved ones daily to touch base with them.
The weekend before Jennifer Kesse was abducted, she went on a brief vacation with her then-boyfriend, Rob Allen, and his family in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The couple, who’d met at a bar and were dating for about a year at that time, appeared to be very much in love.
The relationship was so serious that they were allegedly contemplating moving in together. The only problem was that he lived in Fort Lauderdale, which was approximately 3.5 hours from where Kesse lived in South Florida.
While they were away on vacation, Kesse constantly kept in contact with her family just to tell them about her trip and let them know that she was safe. She even asked her father what type of rum he liked so that she could purchase it for him.
Jennifer Kesse’s younger brother, Logan, stayed in her condo with a few of his friends while she and Rob were away for the weekend. It’s important to note that Kesse left her pepper spray behind in her condo while on vacation, because she knew it would be confiscated by airport security.
Upon arriving back in Miami on Sunday, January 22, a friend of Allen’s drove the couple to his home in Fort Lauderdale, where Jennifer spent the night.
The next day, she drove directly to work from Allen’s house. By all accounts, this was not out of the ordinary for the then-24-year-old.
On Monday, January 23, 2006, Kesse arrived at work in good spirits and was excited to tell her coworkers about her weekend getaway.
She was last seen leaving work at 6:00 p.m. that evening, and even had a brief conversation with her boss before she left.
When Kesse got home, she called her parents as she did every evening and had a short talk with them. The last person she spoke to on the phone the night before her abduction was Rob Allen. She called him around 10:00 p.m., before they both said goodnight and went to bed.
The Day Jennifer Went Missing
Again, Tuesday, January 24, 2006 seemed to start like just any other day for Jennifer Kesse. Presumably, she woke up in the morning, took a shower, did her hair, put on her makeup, got dressed for work, and headed out the door. Except, no one seems to know exactly what happened to her between the time she exited her condo and walked to her car.
Kesse was never one to not call in sick or to be late to work. When she failed to show up at all and missed a very important meeting scheduled for 11:00 a.m., her coworkers knew something was amiss. That’s when they called Kesse’s parents to let them know that their daughter never arrived at work that morning.
Immediately, the Kesses called the building manager at Jennifer’s condo complex and asked him to check in on her. He told them that nothing seemed out of the ordinary, that she wasn’t there and her car was also missing. They also tried calling Jennifer’s cell phone directly, but it just kept going to voicemail, which was odd because she never turned her phone off or let the battery die.
The Kesse family made the two-hour trip over to Jennifer’s condo and was granted access to her apartment by the building manager. Upon entering the unit, they quickly noted that everything looked normal. Her bed looked like it had been slept in and her shower was still wet from when she used it earlier that morning. Everything seemed to be just as she would have left it.
Even Allen, who was accustomed to getting either a phone call or text from Kesse during his morning commute to work, didn’t hear from her at all that day. He tried calling her cell phone throughout the day, but it just kept going directly to voicemail. That’s when he knew something was wrong, because she always had her phone on her person. While he was worried about her, he also just assumed that she was busy with work, because she had that very big meeting at work that day.
Logan and his friend Travis, who was one of the people staying at Jennifer Kesse’s condo while she was away and had left his work phone there over the weekend, arrived at the condo to scope out the area around 3:00 p.m. Drew and Joyce Kesse arrived at the condo around 3:15 p.m. They noticed everything was clean and tidy, and there was no sign of forced entry, which indicates that their daughter either knew her abductor or was abducted after leaving her condo that morning. Assuming she was abducted, of course.
Jennifer’s family contacted the Orlando Police Department (OPD) to file a missing persons report, but when they arrived on the scene, they initially dismissed the case. Officers believed that Jennifer was probably upset because she got into a minor argument with her boyfriend over the phone the night before and that she would turn up. Her family, on the other hand, knew there was much more to the story.
The Kesses immediately took matters into their own hands and started rallying Jennifer’s friends and loved ones, including Rob Allen, to hand out missing persons flyers with Jennifer’s picture to people throughout the area.
Jennifer’s Missing Vehicle Is Found
Two days after her mysterious disappearance, Kesse’s car, a 2003 black Chevy Malibu, was located at an apartment complex about one mile away from where she lived.
After securing no leads in this case, police were excited to learn that the apartment complex had a security system in place. Unfortunately, they also quickly realized that the surveillance system didn’t record video, but merely took snapshots of the surrounding area.
They uncovered three snapshots of a potential suspect or person of interest who was seen parking the vehicle outside of the apartment complex. However, the person’s face was completely covered by the bars of the security gate outside of the building in all three images. This effectively made it impossible for the OPD and the FBI, who would later get involved in the case, to identify the person of interest over a decade later. Even NASA was called on by investigators to try to enhance the images for a clearer reading. But that effort proved unsuccessful, prompting one reporter to call the person in the pictures “the luckiest person of interest ever.”
A few notable items that were reported missing from Jennifer’s condo were also missing from her car, including her iPod, purse, keys, briefcase, and the clothes she had on that day. However, these are all things she had on her person and were probably taken with her. It’s also worth noting that Kesse had several valuable items in her vehicle, including a DVD player, that were left untouched, which is why police immediately ruled out a robbery as a potential motive in this case.
Upon conducting a thorough sweep of Jennifer’s vehicle, the OPD discovered that it had been completely wiped clean. They were only able to uncover a single, minuscule DNA fiber and print, both of which were impossible to read.
A police dog was brought to the scene to see if the animal could pick up the person of interest’s scent. The dog immediately picked up the scent and led investigators from Kesse’s car back to her condo complex. Interestingly, however, the dog didn’t enter the complex through the front entrance. Instead, it went around the back and led investigators to a broken down fence that was closer to Kesse’s building. This suggests that the person of interest was most likely familiar with the area.
Potential Suspects in the Jennifer Kesse Disappearance Case
There are several unofficial potential suspects in the missing person case of Jennifer Kesse. These are people who were not necessarily named by police, but have become persons of interest in the minds of the general public based on certain facts that have arisen in this case over the past 12 years.
They include Kesse’s ex-boyfriend, Matt; her coworker, Johnny Campos; and an anonymous person who’d worked with the young woman.
At the time of her disappearance, it seems that Matt was still in love with Kesse even though they had been broken up for a long time. On several occasions, he attempted to get back together with her, but she kept refusing and told him that she had already moved on.
During the weekend when she was away with Rob Allen, Matt even hung out with Logan and his friends and had a few drinks with them. The night before Kesse allegedly went missing, Matt was drinking at a bar called the Blue Martini, which is just down the road from where she lived. For a lot of people following this case, this seems a little too coincidental.
However, Matt had an air-tight alibi, stating that he went home that same night and went to work the next day. His roommates and coworkers confirmed this.
Campos was Kesse’s manager. Despite the fact that he was married with children, he apparently constantly flirted with her and asked her out on several occasions, but she rejected him. First of all, she was seeing Allen at the time. Second, Campos was married with children. And third, Kesse didn’t believe in mixing romance with work.
The young woman didn’t know how to handle the situation, so she asked her father for advice. He told her to invite Campos out to a very professional lunch so he wouldn’t get the wrong idea and simply explain to him that she was not interested in an office romance and politely remind him that he was married. She did just that, and he reportedly took it very well.
The reason Campos is an unofficial suspect in this case is because, on the day of Kesse’s disappearance, he showed up to work extremely late, around noon to be exact, and seemed visibly agitated for seemingly no reason. In addition, on the Monday after she had returned from her vacation, he kept asking her about her vacation; every time she would seem excited to talk about it, he would get inexplicably angry. A lot of people thought that Campos was jealous of Allen and felt that Kesse could do a lot better.
According to another employee at the company, Campos was acting very strange on the day Kesse went missing. He even made some very inappropriate remarks regarding her disappearance. He allegedly said, “[Jennifer] has probably been eaten by crocodiles by now.”
A few years after Kesse’s disappearance, this same employee—whose name was redacted from police records to maintain his anonymity—filed a complaint against Campos claiming that he was being harassed at work. The employee also admitted that, prior to Kesse’s disappearance, he had complimented her on her appearance via e-mail. But he never told the police, because he didn’t want to be viewed as a potential accomplice to Campos.
According to other employees who worked for the company, this employee was very socially awkward and infatuated with Kesse. It seems likely that he may have embellished his account of how Campos was behaving and the things he said after the young woman disappeared.
Over the years, there have been other persons of interest in this case, but the police have never been able to link anyone to the crime itself.
The Kesse Family vs. the Orlando Police Department
January 24, 2018 marked the 12-year anniversary of Jennifer Kesse’s abduction. During a press conference that was held on that day, the OPD released a statement reminding the public that this is still an open case and the investigation is ongoing. Although Drew Kesse also made a statement, commending the efforts of the OPD throughout the entire process, Jennifer’s brother Logan had a different message for the press.
The Kesse family, who has been stating their dissatisfaction with the way the OPD handled the investigation from the very beginning, has decided to sue the police department so that they can gain access to the more than 14,000 pages in the case file. The Kesses are intent on conducting their own investigation and taking matters out of police’s hands, because they feel that the police investigation has been inadequate for a number of reasons.
Not only did it take the OPD a full three years after Jennifer Kesse went missing before they even bothered to interview any of her coworkers, but they also initially dismissed the missing-person report the family made the day she went missing. They didn’t start taking the investigation seriously until the day her car was found.
Also, on the day of Jennifer Kesse’s purported abduction, the Kesses said they found a medium-sized men’s sweatshirt in her hamper that didn’t belong to anyone she knew. They had no idea how that sweatshirt ended up in her condo, but the police never bothered testing the sweatshirt for DNA. To this day, no one knows who the sweatshirt belonged to, but some people believe it could be the key to finding out what happened to Jennifer Kesse.
It seems as if there’s a lot of misinformation floating around in this case and the police have a great deal of evidence and information that they’re withholding from the public and Kesse’s family. Because the investigation is ongoing and the case is still open, the OPD has prevented the Kesses from conducting their own private investigations into the matter, which is why they want to gain access to the case files and have the police department classify it as a cold case.
This is the most recent missing-person poster, showing what Jennifer Kesse looked like before being abducted and what she might look like now:
If you have any information regarding Jennifer’s whereabouts, please either contact the OPD directly or visit jenniferkesse.com/ for more information.