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Authorities have renewed their search for a Florida woman who vanished in 2006, plunging the depths of a local lake after receiving a tip, according to new reports.
Jennifer Kesse was 24 years old when she disappeared on Jan. 24, 2006; she is believed to have left her home in Orlando for work that morning but never showed up, according to local station WKMG. Her car was discovered days later, abandoned in the parking lot of a condominium community, but she was never seen again.
More than 13 years have passed since Kesse disappeared, but her loved ones have not given up hope that they’d find her, and last week saw what may be a break in the case. Authorities began searching Lake Fischer, concentrating on the south side, last week after receiving a tip, WKMG reported Friday.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office, who sent dive teams to examine the area, confirmed to the outlet that they are “following up on a new tip, brought to law enforcement by the Kesse family investigator,” a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.
Drew Kesse, Jennifer’s father, told ABC News on Saturday, November 9, that the search was prompted by a tip they received from a woman who told private investigators hired by the Kesse family that she’d seen “something weird” at the lake around the time Jennifer disappeared.
“The woman said she saw a truck pull up and a person took out an eight-foot long carpet, dumped it and hurried up and left,” Drew said.
The Kesse family’s investigators searched the lake, and when they found an unspecified lead (“We found hits,” Drew told the outlet), they then reached out to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
However, Drew said that authorities have claimed that they didn’t have the same results.
“They worked their teams, had four dogs and they didn’t have any hits,” Drew told ABC News. “There is a body in that lake, but the Orange County Police Department said there is nothing there. There is something very wrong here.”
WKMG reports that the results of the search are currently unclear.
The Kesse family says that they’ve received hundreds of tips about their daughter, and have pledged to continue their search as they pursue multiple leads, local outlet WESH reports.
“We’re working for Jen as hard as we can and we are going to continue to do so in a very professional manner and a very aggressive manner to move forward to see if we can truly find our daughter,” Drew told WESH.
The Kesse family and Orange County authorities seem to have long been at odds. They filed a lawsuit last year forcing officials to release records related to their daughter’s case so that they could move forward on their own investigation, according to the Orlando Sentinel. They eventually got their wish; they paid upward of $18,000 in order to access the files, the outlet reports.
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