Orlando - It's now been 16 years since Jennifer Kesse disappeared from Orlando. The 24-year-old vanished without a trace and no one's been arrested.
Frustrated with the Orlando Police Department's handling of the case, Drew Kesse, Jennifer's father, sued to get access to every file tied to her case. In a new interview with FOX 35 News, Drew Kesse says the department botched the investigation from the moment an officer was sent out when calls were first made about her disappearance in January 2006.
"We went up to the condo, and they sent an officer out, officer came in, looked around for about 30 seconds, and said, ‘She probably had a fight with her boyfriend. She’ll be back,’ and he walked out."
The Kesse family and Orlando Police reached an agreement outside of court. Drew Kesse says the department took years to redact and hand over Jennifer's case files instead of the four months the family and OPD agreed on.
"Dealing with the government is very hard. Snail's pace." Kesse explained.
On top of taking years instead of months, Kesse says what OPD handed over was in complete disarray.
Family has new hopes for any law enforcement agency besides Orlando Police to pickup search for Jennifer Kesse, missing for 16 years.
"When we received the files, it was like someone just threw 16,000 pages on the floor, and picked them up again and scanned them."
"We had to hire someone to go through them and categorize it and organize it properly, so we can go in and query the database."
Kesse told Fox 35 the process was lengthy and expensive, and in the meantime, he's hired a team of private detectives to keep the search going.
"So we’re trying to play catchup, and now we have the ability because Orlando does not have to find Jennifer. Again, that was the number 1 thing in the contract, Orlando Police is no longer responsible for finding Jennifer Kesse. We’re good with that."
We're told Jennifer's condo was off Conroy Road, not far from the Mall at Millenia in Orlando.
Drew Kesse went on to tell Fox 35 that he still has hope and potential leads. He says his team has been approached and is in touch with people who were near the area around the same time and who have stories that have remarkable similarities.
"We’ve had people come up to us and contact us, our lawyers and our team, saying ‘Yea, I lived there at the time and this was my experience.' We’ve had women that pretty much had gone through what Jennifer had gone through what Jennifer did, except Jennifer’s was taken to the next level."
Now, the family is hoping that another official law enforcement agency will pick up the case to carry things forward in ways that ordinary citizens and private detectives can't.
FOX 35 News reached out to Orlando Police who, so far, isn't commenting about the case.