The photo of a Florida woman who has been missing for a year-and-a-half has turned up on Internet dating sites for lesbians and senior citizens.
A picture of Jennifer Kesse, who disappeared in Orlando when she was 24, has been posted with the profile of lindaneedslove on SeniorPeopleMeet.com and with that of chickcheckinaz on lesbianpersonalsonline.com.
“It’s disturbing,” her father, Drew Kesse, said in a phone interview. “Whoever cut and pasted it obviously had to go on her site to get it. They had to know she was missing. How someone can do that — it’s horrible.” The Web site dedicated to Jennifer's case is www.jenniferkesse.com.
Kesse, 50, said he and his wife, Joyce — who live in Bradenton, Fla. — are in the process of trying to copyright Jennifer’s image so they’ll at least be able to file a lawsuit against anyone who uses it without permission.
Jennifer Kesse was last heard from the night of Jan. 23, 2006. But on Jan. 24, she never made it to work at Westgate Resorts, where she manages the financial department that oversees timeshares.
Family and friends searched the area around her home and a nearby mall. Her car, a 2004 black four-door Chevrolet Malibu, was found abandoned about one mile from her home at Texas & Americana.
Surveillance video taken on the grounds of her Orlando apartment complex shows a person parking her car at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 24.
The investigator in charge of her case said there’s not much action that can be taken against those who have stolen Jennifer’s image to use with their profiles on dating Web sites.
“There’s nothing we can do about it,” said Detective Joel Wright of the Orlando Police Department. “We can look into their background to see if it’s some sex offender, look into their history and see if it’s anybody who might have come into contact with her.”
He said it’s unlikely that those who have used Jennifer’s photograph have anything to do with her disappearance, however.
“More than likely, it’s somebody just trying to make themselves look better for someone they might want to meet later on,” Wright said. “I wonder what happens when they do meet that person.”
Lindaneedslove writes under the photo that it depicts “Linda after haircut.” She describes herself as a 25-year-old woman from Knoxville, Tenn., who has 75 percent hearing loss and is looking for “a special older man to love, to be very good friends with.” The “wonderful older man” she’s seeking will want to be with a young woman and “will love me for who I am,” she writes.
Wright said the discovery that Jennifer’s picture is being falsely used has been an annoying distraction in the investigation.
“All it does is slow me down,” he said. “All of a sudden, the calls start coming in. It’s more of a nuisance than anything else.”
Though there haven’t been any new leads in the case, Wright said he and the other investigators are going through old tips and entering them into a new state lead-tracking system to see if they might have missed something.
“We’re making progress,” he said.
Jennifer’s dad worries about the fact that the people who posted his daughter’s image on the dating sites are “very fraudulent, very deceitful. They’re out there looking for sexual contact.”
“Obviously you’ve got to be sick to do that,” Kesse said. “We don’t want Jennifer’s likeness abused. It’s just as simple as that.”
Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Orlando Police Department at (321) 235-5300 or the Kesse family tip line at (407) 722-2162.