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Inmate says he has clues about missing woman

  • Story Highlights
  • Inmate calls missing woman's father, says he heard other inmates talking
  • Police say inmate's information is nothing new
  • Jennifer Kesse was 24, disappeared three years ago near Orlando, Florida
  • Information? Call 1-800-423-TIPS. A $10,000 reward is offered
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By Rupa Mikkilineni
Nancy Grace Producer
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- For three years, family, friends and her college sorority sisters have been looking for Jennifer Kesse, wondering what happened to her.

Jennifer Kesse has a four-leaf clover tattooed on her hip. Police are seeking clues to her whereabouts.

Jennifer Kesse would be 26 now. She has been missing since January 24, 2006.

Last week, on the third anniversary of Kesse's disappearance, an inmate in a Florida prison said he might have the answer.

David Russ, a convicted killer being held at the Seminole County Jail, spoke last week with the missing woman's father, Drew Kesse, claiming he had information that could lead to a break in the case.

Details are being withheld from the public. In a jailhouse phone call with CNN, Russ hinted he'd eavesdropped on other inmates. He also was outspoken about his skepticism toward investigators.

"The investigators have messed this case up from the beginning and cannot be trusted," he said. That's why he asked to speak directly with the missing woman's father, he said.

Orlando police are just as skeptical of Russ. They said he provided information they already had.

"His information is not some big break in the case," said Sgt. Barbara Jones of the Orlando Police Department. "We are still hoping for new tips that could lead us to finding Jennifer Kesse."

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The 24-year-old financial adviser was just back from a Caribbean vacation with her boyfriend and was getting back into her routine. She went to work at her new job, came home to her new condominium and called her parents. Video Watch an update on the case »

At 10 p.m., she called her boyfriend, who lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then, her family believes, she went to bed.

The next morning, she got up and showered for work. Her clothes were neatly laid out on her bed, her family says, suggesting she may have tried on a few outfits before deciding what to wear to the office. Then, she disappeared, her family said.

She did not show up for work that Tuesday morning and her employer reported her missing.

Police found Kesse's Chevy Malibu two days later. It was parked in a gated lot about one mile down the road from the condominium complex where she lived. Inside the vehicle, police found some of Kesse's personal items, but her purse, wallet, two cell phones and briefcase were missing. The car doors were locked and the car keys were not found.

Police later released a video surveillance tape of the car being parked in the lot by someone other than Kesse.

The grainy video partially shows a person walking away from the car, past a parking lot gate. Police are uncertain if this person of interest is a man or a woman, because the image is partially obscured by the gate.

The person is described as 5 feet 4 inches, with a short haircut, wearing light-colored clothes and dark shoes. The video is time and date-stamped at noon on the day Kesse disappeared.

Forensic tests on the vehicle came back inconclusive, Sgt. Jones said. No blood or other trace evidence was found to show that Kesse had been injured in the vehicle.

Drew Kesse said that every Tuesday, landscapers worked at the condo complex near his daughter's parking space. The landscapers said they didn't see Kesse leaving her apartment and getting into her car, which she did every weekday morning between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m.

"The only theory we could come up with is that she walked out her front door and was kidnapped somewhere between her front door and the parking lot where her car was. We think since the landscapers didn't see her, she must not have even made it out of the hallways or stairwells of the condo complex," Drew Kesse said.

He added that there weren't any surveillance cameras in the hallways or stairwells at the time his daughter was living there.

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Sgt. Jones said investigators have developed forensic evidence from Kesse's car that could someday match with a person of interest and identify a suspect. Police have also released a photo of a green clover tattoo on Kesse's left hip.

Anyone with information leading to Jennifer Kesse or the person responsible for her disappearance is asked to call the tip line at 1-800-423-TIPS. The reward is $10,000. Kesse would be 26 years old and has blonde hair, green eyes, is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds.

All About Missing PersonsOrlando (Florida)Nancy Grace

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