Jennifer Kesse's family asks for case files from Orlando police

$15,000 reward offered in Jennifer Kesse case

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ORLANDO, Fla. - Wednesday marks 12 years since Jennifer Kesse was last seen in Orlando and her family says it wants to take the investigation into its own hands.

Kesse, a University of Central Florida graduate, failed to show up for work at a financial firm in Ocoee on Jan. 23, 2006.

A Lynx bus with Kesse's young face and the $15,000 reward information was on display Wednesday during a news conference with Orlando police and the missing woman's family.

Every year since the 24-year-old was last seen, her parents, Drew and Joyce Kesse, come out and ask for the public’s help, hoping someone knows something about what happened to their daughter.

But after years of frustration, Kesse's family is demanding answers from Orlando police.

"We want to be able to have our own investigator handle the files like it should be," Jennifer's brother, Logan Kesse, said.

Drew Kesse said it was time for a different strategy -- hiring its own private investigator. The family has also sought legal counsel in an effort to obtain the case files from the OPD.

"We understand people make mistakes. I've made mistakes. We're all human," Drew Kesse said.  "But it's time to get every resource available."

While the news conference was happening, officials said Joyce Kesse's car was broken into, and her purse and cellphone were stolen. The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating that case.

Orlando police Chief John Mina said that the case is active and investigators are enhancing their focus on new leads.

"We continually investigate this case," Mina said. "We follow up on leads and tips, and until we find her it's going to be active."

There is a $15,000 Crimeline reward offered for anyone with information leading to an arrest. Thousands of tips have come in over the years, but none have provided any answers.

More than a decade later, there are few clues to what happened to Kesse after she left her apartment that morning.

An unknown person was seen on surveillance video parking Kesse’s car at an apartment complex about a mile from her Millenia-area condo, and police have released a photo of someone they’re calling a person of interest. But detectives don’t know the identity of the person.

Detectives have re-examined Kesse’s car for evidence, hoping new technology will lead to new clues.

"We will never forget Jennifer," Mina said at the 10-year mark of Kesse's disappearance. "We will never give up our search to find Jennifer."

Anyone with information about Kesse’s disappearance is asked to call 321-235-5300 to speak with detective in this case or call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

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