The Biggest Jennifer Kesse Theories: What Really Happened?

Sometime between Monday, January 23, and Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 24-year-old Jennifer Joyce Kesse vanished from her Orlando, Florida, home and was never seen again. Although they admit the circumstances of her disappearance were unusual, and there are numerous theories as to what might have happened, authorities have never identified a suspect in the case.

In the months prior to her disappearance, Kesse was promoted to project manager at Westgate Resorts in Ocoee, Florida, and had recently purchased a condominium at the Mosaic at Millenia in Orlando. As reported by CBS News, Joyce Kesse said her daughter "was just really happy."

She also recently returned from a vacation to St. Croix with her boyfriend, Rob Allen. Kesse was specifically excited about the vacation, as Allen lived three hours away, and they only saw each other on weekends.

While Kesse was out of town, her brother, Logan, stayed at her condominium with his friends Travis and Logan. Actus Reus reports Travis was Logan's best friend and Logan was one of Jennifer's former boyfriends. When the men left the apartment, Travis accidentally left his cell phone behind.

Kesse spent her first night back in Florida at Rob Allen's place in Ft. Lauderdale. The following morning, which was January 23, she drove directly to her workplace from Allen's home. Actus Reus reports Kesse had a meeting with her boss at 6 p.m., then drove straight home. Toll booth surveillance cameras confirmed she took her usual route back to Orlando.

Jennifer Kesse's last phone call

Upon returning home, Jennifer Kesse called her friend Lauren to discuss the details of her trip. As reported by Actus Reus, Lauren said Kesse was "in a little bit of a funky mood just because it was the end of a vacation." Lauren also said she thinks "the distance was becoming more apparent to her in her relationship."

Kesse also called her parents and her brother Logan. Her father, Drew, said "she absolutely loved" the trip and "everything was absolutely fine" when they talked to her. Actus Reus reports Kesse also called Travis about his cellphone, which she agreed to mail from her workplace the following day.

The last known call Kesse made on January 23 was to her boyfriend Rob Allen. According to reports, the call was made from Kesse's landline, as she did not get good cell reception inside her condominium.

According to Allen, he and Kesse had a disagreement during the call. As reported by Actus Reus, he said the disagreement was "like any husband, wife, boyfriend, any couple might have." CBS News reports Allen later revealed the disagreement was about the strains of maintaining a long-distance relationship.

During an interview with CNN, Allen said Kesse was in bed while they were talking, and she expressed that she was still tired from the vacation and a long day at work. As reported by Actus Reus, he also noted that someone knocked on Kesse's door during the call.

Jennifer Kesse went missing

Actus Reus reports Rob Allen said Jennifer Kesse assumed the person knocking on her door was "a male upstairs neighbor" and did not get up to answer the door while they were on the phone.

Jennifer Kesse's movements after ending the call with Rob Allen are unknown. However, her friends and family became concerned the following morning when she failed to report to work.

Allen said Kesse called or texted him every morning before he went to work. As reported by Actus Reus, he was concerned when she did not contact him on the morning of January 24. Although he attempted to call her, he only got her voicemail. He tried to call her again at 9 a.m., and that call went to voicemail as well.

Between 10:30 a.m. and noon, Kesse's employer attempted to reach her via cellphone and her landline with no success. As they were concerned for her safety, they eventually called her parents, who were also unable to contact her.

Kesse's parents, brother, and her brother's friend, Travis, arrived at the Mosaic at Millenia condominiums between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. In addition to searching the premises, Actus Reus reports they questioned Kesse's neighbors and the complex manager. However, nobody saw the missing woman that morning or the previous night.

During their search of the property, Kesse's family also realized her black 2004 Chevy Malibu was missing from the parking lot. They were also granted access to Kesse's apartment.

Someone had Jennifer Kesse's car

Actus Reus reports authorities arrived on scene between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. They were stunned to find an estimated 14 people inside the condominium, essentially contaminating what may have been a crime scene.

At approximately 8 a.m. on Thursday, January 26, a resident of the Huntington on the Green condominium complex reported they found Jennifer Kesse's car in a visitor's spot in the parking lot. When questioned about the vehicle, several residents confirmed it had been parked there for several days.

Surveillance footage later confirmed the vehicle was driven into the parking lot at approximately 12 p.m. on January 24, which was the day Kesse was reported missing. The complex was approximately one mile from where Kesse lived.

Although the person's face is not visible in the surveillance footage, authorities do not believe it was Kesse. As reported by Actus Reus, the person drove into the parking space, waited 32 seconds, exited the vehicle, then walked out of the frame.

It has been 15 years since Kesse vanished without a trace. Except for the Huntington on the Green surveillance footage, authorities have not disclosed any evidence suggesting what happened to the missing woman or who may be involved in her disappearance.

However, the case has drawn nationwide attention, and there are numerous theories as to what may have actually happened. Although some have suggested she could have left voluntarily, most people believe she was abducted.

Kesse was possibly heading to work

In the months following her disappearance, CBS News reported Detective Joel Wright said he believed Jennifer Kesse "got ready for work. She showered, got dressed. Went outside of her condo — locked the door on the way out. And made it as far as her car. After that, I believe she was abducted."

Kesse's family also believes she was abducted on the morning of January 24. Her mother, Joyce, said she noticed there was water in the corners of the shower stall and behind the shampoo and conditioner bottles. As reported by Actus Reus, Joyce believes her daughter got up in the morning and took a shower in preparation for going to work.

As reported by CBS News, Joyce also noticed her daughter left "makeup all over the counter" and that the T-shirt she apparently wore to bed was left on the floor. Kesse's family said her cellphone, briefcase, iPod, keys, and purse were gone, which likely indicated she got ready for work and left the apartment before she was abducted.

Unfortunately, there were no working surveillance cameras outside Kesse's condominium or in the parking lot, and nobody heard or saw her that morning. As reported by The Charley Project, authorities did not find any indication of a struggle inside Kesse's car, and although there was a valuable DVD player inside the car, it was not stolen.

Construction workers at her condo

Authorities have stated that the person seen driving Jennifer Kesse's vehicle and parking it at Huntington on the Green is a person of interest. However, as reported by The Charley Project, very little is known about the person, including whether it was a man or a woman.

As reported by The Context of Things, the person in the video appears to be wearing a white shirt and white pants or white coveralls. They also appear to be wearing black shoes. The person's estimated height is around 5 feet, 5 inches.

One of the most popular theories is that Kesse was abducted by a construction worker, who may have been working for her condominium complex. CBS News reported Kesse told her parents some of the construction workers "made her feel uncomfortable" while they were making repairs in her apartment, just one week before she was reported missing.

The Context of Things reported that bloodhounds, which were taken to Kesse's vehicle, led their handlers back to Mosaic at Millenia, which may further indicate she was abducted outside her condominium.

Although Kesse's neighbors have identified a number of the complex's construction workers, there were simply too many for authorities to track down and question. Three years after Kesse vanished, a woman came forward with information about one of the construction workers in particular. 

The case remains unsolved

The woman, who was a former housekeeper at the complex, said a man known as "Chino" was working on Kesse's condominium the week before she vanished. As reported by CBS News, the woman also told detectives the person in the surveillance video resembled Chino, based on his clothing, hair, and the way he walked. While reviewing recordings from the anonymous tip line, Detective Joel Wright found a message from an anonymous tipster saying they also thought a man named Chino was responsible for Kesse's disappearance.

CBS News reported authorities eventually tracked Chino to a prison, where he was serving time for statutory rape. Although he admittedly knew Kesse, he passed a polygraph test and was never named a suspect in the case.

Private investigator Michael Torretta, who was hired by Kesse's parents, said he believes as many as 10 construction workers were living in an unfinished condominium across the hall from Kesse's at the time she was abducted. As reported by CBS, he also learned someone observed the workers disposing of a carpet from the condominium and replacing it with a new one on the day Kesse disappeared. In November 2019, a dive team searched the lake where the carpet was reportedly dumped. However, no trace of the carpet was found.

As reported by Click Orlando, in 2020, Kesse's father, Drew, suggested his daughter may have been abducted by human sex traffickers, as robbery did not seem to be a motive.