THE devastated family of missing Orlando woman Jennifer Kesse insists new hope has been breathed into the heartbreaking attempt to find her.
This week marks 17 years since the 24-year-old vanished in 2006 but there have been no arrests made.
Her father Drew’s push to have the case looked at by state officials was given the green light last month.
Drew thinks it will be a “miracle” if his beloved daughter is found alive – yet with the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and his own team of private investigators, he remains hopeful.
“I think right now we are in the best position in 17 years because the FDLE wants the case, they know what they are doing, it’s a cold case division specifically looking at the case,” he said.
“They are feeding off the work my guys have done for the past few years. My guys can’t go in and make arrests, do the true legal law enforcement work we have generated.
“I just need to know my daughter has been found, for good or bad.”
Drew made a dark prediction about her fate, telling The U.S. Sun: “We doubt very much that Jennifer is still alive. It will be a miracle if she is, we just aren’t willing to say ‘Oh well’ and leave it.”
“It’s positive in that respect, we have met the new detective and are able to move forward. We have had things to do with the case needing to be worked on for about a year now, it’s just been about getting it to the right people who have the ability, knowledge, desire and experience to do it right.
“Over the past 17 years, we have spent over $700,000 but we can’t look at that. People have been very generous with GoFundMe pages and help us continue what we are trying to do.”
Orlando Police originally investigated the case but the family quickly lost faith and demanded action.
Jennifer spoke on the phone to her parents and boyfriend in her Orlando apartment before disappearing without a trace, never to be seen again. She was reported missing on January 24, 2006.
Drew added: “We just weren’t willing to let Orlando deal with Jennifer anymore so we were able to have a meeting with the powers that be in the state, as well as law enforcement and the police department, and everyone thought it would be best if the Florida Department of Law Enforcement became involved.
“They have now received everything and we are moving forward, although the sad part is that we have discovered that over the last 10 to 12 years, no investigations have looked at Jennifer’s case.
“We assumed things were happening but when we received the files, there was nothing written in the last 12 years. We asked the lawyers, ‘Where’s all the detective’s work?’ And it came back that not a single thing had been written.
“We have been getting leads every week for the past 17 years.
“I have had five this week – it’s the time of year with it being the date of her disappearance but it never stops.
“I had one this morning from someone claiming they know who did this.”
“We are with a good crew at state level now, I have known them for many, many years – I have been requesting it for many years – and finally we are in the right hands.”
The U.S. Sun has reached out to Orlando Police for comment.