ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The parents of Jennifer Kesse, the Orlando woman who has been missing since 2006, have settled a lawsuit against the City of Orlando and the police department.
According to the family's attorney Michael Kest, the family has reached a tentative settlement in their suit against the city. This now means that the Orlando Police Department must hand over their records on the case.
"It’s an incredibly exciting time for us, because after two-and-a-half, three years after trying to get into Jennifer’s case files with the City of Orlando and Orlando Police depart, we finally got that opportunity," said Jennifer's father, Drew Kesse. "It gives us great hope. We’re only looking for that needle in a haystack, and that one call, that one piece of information."
Kesse's family sued the city of Orlando and OPD last year in order to get access to her case file. Kesse said they are focusing on files in the first three months after his daughter disappeared. It is costing the family thousands of dollars for the 47 volumes of records, equaling about 15,000 pages.
"It cost us $18,600 dollars, and that’s for copies -- that’s how much paper over 13 years it generated," he said, adding that they are keeping a positive attitude. "We’ve had to do a lot of things that we don’t really like throughout the 13 years. I think the best way to look at this moment is that we’re excited that we finally got the opportunity no matter what it costs us."
At the time, OPD had said that the information is not public. Kest said that Kesse's family plans to drop the lawsuit, once they receive all the records.
Kesse was just 24-years-old when she went missing sometime between 10:00 p.m. on the night of Jan. 23, 2006 and the morning of Jan. 24, 2006. Her car was found at the Huntington on the Green condominiums near the Mall at Millenia, which is about one mile from where she lived. She never showed up to work the next morning at the Westgate Resorts.
Kesse said he has hired a team of professionals to help find Jennifer.
"We’re gonna bring Jenn home for the good or the bad."
The family continues to raise money for the search, launching a Go Fund Me account to receive donations from the public.