Podcast of the Week – Unconcluded: Jennifer Kesse

by Meghan Yost

When I first saw there was a podcast investigating the 2006 disappearance of Jennifer Kesse, I was instantly hooked. When she was 24 years old, Kesse disappeared from her apartment complex in Orlando — a complex I moved into two short years after her mystery began.

The apartment, called Mosaic, is located close to the Mall at Millennia, Orlando’s premier shopping mall (home to high-end stores like Bulgari, Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton), as well as upscale restaurants and even a massive IKEA … But it’s also a stone’s throw to some very sketchy neighborhoods.

As a young 20-something, I moved into a three-bedroom apartment in the complex in April of 2008, along with two friends. Just prior to signing the lease, a google search revealed Kesse’s story (I wasn’t living in Orlando at the time of her disappearance so I hadn’t seen the extensive news coverage).

While Mosaic was beautiful (it had an incredible pool, gym, club house, even a movie theater), I never felt completely comfortable living in the complex. All of its bells and whistles couldn’t make me forget what happened to Kesse.

Unconcluded explores her disappearance and even uncovers new leads, including a woman who claims to have seen Kesse shortly after she disappeared. In just two days, I had binged-listened to every single episode (there’s more than 30).

If you’re not familiar with the case, Kesse was last seen on Monday, January 23, 2006, while leaving work. She had recently returned from an extended weekend getaway in St. Croix with her boyfriend, who lived in South Florida.

Her boyfriend last spoke to Kesse on the phone the night before, around 10pm. When she didn’t show up for work the following morning, her employer notified her family, who in turn went to her apartment, where they found everything in its place. There was evidence she had slept in her bed, taken a shower, and even picked out a few outfits that she laid on her bed.

A couple of days later, Kesse’s car was found parked in another apartment complex 1.2 miles down the road. Security footage shows someone parking her car and walking away, however, that individual has yet to be identified. You can watch the footage here.

There have been many different theories as to who that person might be … Some say he looks like he’s wearing painters clothes. I’ve always thought he looks like he could have worked at a Publix grocery store, perhaps as a butcher or baker. Afterall, there is a store located smack in the middle of both complexes (I used to shop there at times).

What might be one of the most fascinating parts about the podcast is that it’s hosted and produced by two regular guys, Shawn Gurd and his friend Scott Jamison, who just happened to be interested in the case.

My hope is they can finally help reveal the answers Kesse’s family has been searching for all these years.

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