Orlando, FL- Jennifer Kesse, the newly promoted mortgage process engineering manager for Central Florida Investments, parent company of Westgate Resorts was an upstart.
After interviewing with upper management for other advancement roles within the company- her new position was actually created For Her.
Was this a forward and prophetic corporate strategy based on mortgage industry trending data?
Was her promotion a result of Jennifer’s own market analysis and efficiencies recommendations to the suits on the top floor?
Yes and Yes.
At 24 Jennifer Kesse was the youngest new manager among her peers in their respective management roles at CFI.
While she did not have the subordinates they did reporting to her directly, the initiative she was leading and launching was going to save the firm almost $900,000 annually. The installation and rollout of a new debit system interface allowing timeshare owners to pay fees, mortgages and incidentals by ACH automatically was a corporate priority for Westgate Resorts.
Which is why on the morning of Tuesday January 24, 2006, the day after she returned from a brief trip with her boyfriend Robert Allen when Jenn did not show up to her office in Ocoee there appeared to be immediate concern.
According to Jennifer’s outlook scheduling calendar she did not have an interoffice meeting until the afternoon.
By 11:15 her parents living two hours away in Bradenton were called to see if she had some sort of family emergency.
The exact escalation of events within CFI leading up to the phone call and who made it are being withheld for investigative reasons.
By noon, a trifecta of calamitous and simultaneous events takes place.
Drew, Joyce and Logan Kesse, speeding from Bradenton to Orlando in a respite from paralytic panic reach the property manager of Jenn’s new condo at Mosaic On Millenia and learn her car is not parked in her spot. She is not inside.
A self-confessed admirer and now CFI lateral management peer, Johnny Campos arrives 4 hours late to the Ocoee office.
The only suspect ever declared to date in Jennifer Kesse’s disappearance is parking her vehicle while captured on 3 separate closed circuit cameras at the Huntingdon Tavern On The Green Condominiums and apartments. It is less than a few blocks from two large CFI warehouses and within a mile of several CFI owned properties.
By late afternoon The Kesse’s, Rob Allen and Jennifer’s closest friends were using her condo as a command center to develop immediate and organized searches for her.
Detectives Julius Glenn Gause II and Joel Wright of the Orlando Police Department respond to the scene.
Detective Gause assures the Kesse’s that Jennifer had a fight with her boyfriend Rob Allen, who is now standing in her living room vehemently disagreeing with his investigative assessment. Who can blame the guy?
Gause’s opinion was reached without ever interviewing a single person who was not on-scene, and was sure she would be back by tomorrow.
In a mandatory meeting called at the request of Central Florida Investments CEO David Siegel and conducted by Chief Financial Officer Tom Dugan, it was announced that Jennifer Kesse, a respected and valued member of the management team had been reported missing.
Dugan adamantly assured all that the company would encourage employees to join any organized search efforts to find her.
Jennifer did not return as Gause predicted.
Her car did however, and on January 26th her case was declared a criminal investigation.
The First 48… Months
Upon the classification of Jennifer’s case as a criminal investigation, J. Glenn Gause told the Kesse’s that his partner Detective Joel Wright asked what he considered a dumb question during a briefing.
As a result Gause informed- he kicked him off the case and requested new partner Det. Emmett Browning.
While such a move would obviously be outside of Det. Gause’s authority, it is more likely the pair were reeling from the Internal Affairs investigation that ensued after they knowingly interviewed John Evander Couey after his arrest for the murder of Jessica Lunsford.
Shortly after Couey’s confession to Citrus county detectives was thrown out of court because it violated Couey’s Miranda rights, Gause and Wright decided to inform their Orlando PD sergeant that they interviewed Couey following his arrest in Citrus County on the chance he might be a suspect in the Regina Armstrong murder because he grew up in Orange County. They claimed he actually confessed to the Lunsford murder.
The confession was not taped and at no time did either detective inform the Citrus investigators or their OPD supervisor of the visit itself- let alone Couey’s statements.
That is until they learned his original confession in the Lunsford case was inadmissible.
Interviewing an incarcerated man who is represented by an attorney with charges pending in a potentially related case without permission, notes, or a recording by veteran detectives is outrageous.
John Cuoey was 5’4”, 125 lbs with a flag tattoo. The suspect composite from direct witnesses in the Armstrong case was a man around 40, 6 ft tall with medium build and a mermaid tattoo on the opposite arm.
They were lucky their actions did not derail the prosecution of both cases. The second alleged confession was also thrown out and reprimands to both detectives remain private in their respective employee records. Regina Armstrong’s murder in 1985 remains unsolved.
John Evander Couey died of natural causes on death row awaiting execution for the rape and murder of Jessica Lunsford.
Patented Police Work- Who Knew?
Detective Emmett Browning, Jr and J. Glenn Gause II will lead the investigation into Jennifer Kesse’s disappearance by keeping the single most promising clue from the very folks that could help the case instantly. The public.
Browning and Gause made the investigative decision not to release video footage of the man parking a victim’s vehicle within 24 hours of her missing persons report.
They were 48 hours into the case they assumed was a lovers rift, had since turned into a criminal investigation and thought it wise not to engage the public’s efforts in locating an individual seen on video in a very distinctive uniform less than one day earlier, a mile from her home.
I am aware that is a run-on sentence. How could one possibly break that up and convey how ludicrous that was?
There were no obvious signs of foul play in Jennifer’s condo or her car. An entire complex watched as the car was removed. How could they possibly have ruled out that Jennifer was abducted and held against her will?
Might a tip on the immediate suspect have saved her life?
They had time to make the 6 o’clock news and blast the web.
Fresh eye witnesses, fresh leads – what a break!
Fresh fizzle was the way this going with these two.
Investigators informed the Kesse’s they would not be processing Jennifer’s condo because there were too many people in it and it had not been preserved. Drew Kesse told Detective Gause that he was in contact with some family friends employed in international security and law enforcement in different jurisdictions and he was told the scene should be processed and known prints and samples could be eliminated from any unidentified.
Gause responded by telling the bereft father of a missing daughter if he got one more call or one more question about his investigation he was going to start arresting people.
Gause and Emmett, otherwise known as “Gammett” by colleagues for their years of friendship and joining the Orlando Police Department patrol together in 1981 worked the case through August 2007 without ever interviewing a single person at Jenn’s work, developing a suspect or releasing the footage of the suspect parking the car.
The duo felt they had a better offer they could not pass up. Hard to Imagine, I know.
“The right opportunity came up and you don’t know if you’re gonna get another opportunity like that,” Gause said.
Upon their departure, it was discovered by Orlando Police that neither officer kept a note, recording, binder, or interview outline on the Kesse case and if they had, they emptied it from all files of their cases within OPD.
Gause wished the Kesse’s luck and his hopes in finding Jennifer.
“If They don’t find her this hunting season, they definitely will by the next.” – Glenn Gause
With homicide cases in the collective rearview for the pair, they set forth with new employer Aqmi Strategy Corp.
Putting their combined 50 years of investigative prowess to work in white collar crime via the private sector was the plan.
They probably should have started with the new boss.
Aqmi Strategy Corp- a division of Mirabilis Ventures was about to expose one of Orlando’s more notorious billionaire frauds by way of an international security incident. A retired Orlando Police captain and a former secret service agent were detained in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while allegedly conducting security detail for presidential hopeful Dr. Oscar Kashala. Kashala is a Harvard educated Congolese national.
Frank Amodeo, a felonious, disbarred Georgia bankruptcy attorney and equal opportunity bilker of the DINK and COCOON sets formed Aqmi under the Mirabilis umbrella in 2004.
After fake-buying the Trump Tampa Tower and raising the US Treasury’s eyebrows following rumors that the real reason for being in the DRC was to raise foreign capital for US interests surfaced, the IRS and Mr. Amodeo became acquainted. Although those particular rumors were likely started by the opposing parties who detained the the team in the first place, an American security detail contracted by a major pharmaceutical executive running for office in the Congo is going to get a look.
Amodoe is currently on the hook to the IRS for $181 million in unpaid payroll taxes and serving 22 + years for conspiring to commit wire fraud, obstructing an agency proceeding, impeding the IRS and failing to remit payroll taxes.
Dr. Kashala failed in a second bid for the African nation’s presidency in 2011.
In 2009 following an informal inquiry by officials within The Orlando Police Department, new investigators received an 80 page report on the Kesse case compiled by the original investigators Glause and Browning.
How it got there and upon whose request has not been disclosed.
“Better late than never” might be one of those axioms I stop using.
Gammett currently works with several colleagues from the defunct and bankrupt Aqmi days as independent security consultant for Center For Security Solutions.
Detectives Browning and Gause’s legendary dogged determination to solve cases has made them experts in Cold Case Management. Their “patented” concept of methodical Cold Case organization and review has a proven success rate. Their irrefutable investigative skills has made them equally effective in handling Internal Affairs cases, completing thorough, fair, factual and concise investigations.
Largely devoid of any of the aforementioned but chockfull of spurious, you can read Gammetts full bios here.
Detective Sergant Rich Ring buoyed Jennifer’s case until Joel Wright and new partner Detective Roger Brennan picked it back up.
First order of business sixteen months later- release the vehicle video and declare a suspect.
I will spare the details of how much difficulty these detectives went through reconstructing a two year old investigation without the proper background from the first team at bat.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity to Blink on Crime, a source inside the OPD confirms the files removed from the Kesse case included reports like her cell phone records and ping studies.
To their profound credit the parents of Jennifer Kesse, Drew and Joyce pushed a bill through the Florida Senate to mandate standard operating procedures and other practices that would preclude anyone walking off with the case files in adult missing person’s cases in Florida.
The Jennifer Kesse Tiffany Sessions Missing Persons Act was signed ceremoniously into law on October 28, 2008 by Governor Charlie Crist.
Bill 502 expanded the authority of The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Missing and Endangered Information Clearinghouse (MEPIC) to provide assistance in missing persons investigations for those under 26 and over the age of 26 that are believed to be endangered.
In it’s first three years in existance, the Act has helped 716 adult missing persons cases including Jennifers.
The disappearance of Jennifer Joyce Kesse brought some of the largest volunteer search efforts for a single person in both Florida and the United States to date. David Siegel, the president and CEO of Westgate Resorts and Central Florida Investments offered a $100,000 reward for Jenn’s return through March 8, 2006.
In July of 2008 the disappearance of 34 month old Caylee Anthony catapulted the Orlando landscape back onto to the screens of the nightly 14 minute intro recaps of her case.
With no similarities in the victims or any known associations to the cases outside of the fact they were last seen within a few miles of each other there was no way they were related.
Except One. Peter Benevides.
Big profile, big reward, big name- Peter “Pedro” Benevides pledged a $100,000 reward for the return of a living Caylee Marie Anthony.
Background is Foreground With A Skyview
In December 2008 Florida’s statewide prosecutor Bill Shepherd reviews Jennifer’s case. Prosecutor Shepherd’s office is only tasked with reviewing cases that may require multi-circuit jurisdictions and the possibility or probability of PONZI SCHEMES.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Shepherd served seven years in the Office of the Attorney General of Florida. He was appointed in 2007 by former Attorney General Bill McCollum as Florida’s Statewide Prosecutor and was responsible for leading eight offices throughout Florida in the investigation and prosecution of multi-circuit criminal activity. Shepherd’s focus was on RICO prosecutions in the area of white-collar crime, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, healthcare fraud, ponzi schemes, corporate and private embezzlement, money laundering, narcotics trafficking and gang-related crimes. He also worked in the Office of the State Attorney in Miami as an Assistant State attorney from 1996-2000.
The results of the Statewide Attorney recommendations are unknown.
After a review of Jennifer’s case by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the request of Drew Kesse in 2010, her case was again in the hands of OPD. Detective Patrick Schneider and Sgt Det Richard Lane are the lead investigators to date.
On December 11, 2008 the remains of Caylee Marie Anthony were recovered off of Suburban Drive in Orlando.
According to a statement given to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office by the now infamous Roy Kronk, he was under the impression that the reward posted by Benevides for locating Caylee was set to expire. Not his original statement to Detectives John Allen and Yuri Melich of course, but he gets there.
He never realized that it was only payable if Caylee were found alive.
Two weeks later a discovery of a different kind befalls a local couple walking their dogs in a Windermere neighborhood.
What is believed to be the pepper spray pouch and attached mail key of Jennifer Kesse was recovered.
The names of the advertent couple and precise location are being withheld by www.blinkoncrime.com for investigative reasons.
The couple tried for weeks to contact the established crimeline tip line as well as Orlando Police before turning the item over to Windermere Police with a note. The note said the finders thought it may be part of the Kesse investigation but they had been unsuccessful reaching detectives. After a last try in late January, detectives returned her call.
It was not until BOC analysts came across a work order request from Jennifer’s condo maintenance staff requesting a replacement key and new mailbox assignment prior to her disappearance the connection was made to Jennifer’s case.
The key in her vehicle, the key attached to the fob of the spray holder pouch and the existing key to the mailbox number assigned to Jenn are identical. The pouch is an exact duplicate of several purchased by Jennifer’s parents for her as well as extras for her girlfriends, when she moved on her own.
Drew Kesse has an exact duplicate purchased in tandem on his keychain today.
In January 2009 Pete Benevides registered a Limited Liability Company under the name Skyview Funeral Home , LLC with a PO Box in Clermont, FL. He does not own a funeral home, is not licensed to conduct funeral services and the entity was dissolved a year later for not receiving an annual report.
Considering the fact that Benevides was ousted as the benefactor for Caylee Anthony’s memorial service by Dominic Casey, Anthony family private investigator and head of security for the event, one has to wonder if Skyview Funeral Home’s business model is focused more on laundry services.
Not for long though. At precisely the moment the Memorial Service is taking place at First Baptist Orlando, the United States Treasury descends on the Orlando business interests and assets of Mr. Benevides and his co-horts in “Project Rumplestilskin”.
On February 10, 2009, orchestrated presumably upon received intelligence, “There’s gold in them thar hills” is not just the dream bubble of Parker Schnable of Porcupine Creek.
Through an ongoing criminal investigation sparked by “unspecified illegal acts “ as sworn by Noel Martinez, Jr, Special Agent IRS- USSS Financial Crimes Task Force , it seems the cast of Gold Rush missed the glory hole by a few thousand miles. Federal agents however, hit the Orlando bedrock without the need for excavation.
Javier Fernandez, Angel Sanchez, Luizia Trindade, Luiz Trindade, Skyview Aviation, Pedro Benevides, Luis Hernandez, German Cardona, Daniel Rojo Filho, Evolution Market Group, Superior International Investments Corp, Brittany Sprague Benevides, Michael Clark, Heather Perkins, DWB Developers, their officers and registrants therein watched their 9 vehicles ranging from a $270K motor coach, Audi A8 and custom Lamborghini drive away without them under an REM forfeiture complaint.
Unbeknownst to them at the time, the nearly 400 gold bars stashed in 3 different states were also seized between February 9th and 11th in addition to bank accounts totaling over a few hundred million dollars, wired from multiple international locations.
Additional seizures of an undisclosed amount of gold and silver were seized from 3 safes in a warehouse owned by Ralph Munyan of Clearwater.
Several notices of civil actions referencing sealed criminal cases and John Doe participants as co-conspirators are pending against all. It is likely they will be put on hold until the completion of all criminal investigations and subsequent complaints. The sealed cases to date are in Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Colorado and Nevada.
Further coincidences between the Benevides et al clan and involvement with the Casey Anthony case include the fact that pass through accounts referenced in the seizure filing and the first Caylee Marie Anthony Trust were closed at the same bank within one business day of each other.
The first four days of transactions including opening deposits of the first Anthony Trust have never been revealed publicly. One thing is for certain. If Mr. Benevides or anyone attached to the criminal matter used those derived funds for any purpose related to Ms. Anthony or Mr. Baez, we are all going to know about it at some point, the individual payments and transactions of these accounts have only been partially released in support of the warrant.
The seizure action brought by the United States Attorney has been ordered “stayed” with 90 day updates in order to allow the pending criminal investigations to proceed against all the above defendants, both named and as yet to be named.
On September 16, 2009 Pedro Paul Benevides was arrested on Federal charges of cocaine smuggling after two of his pilots were arrested in Pensacola and fingered him as the mastermind.
Benevides was remanded to the Orange County Jail through February 2010 where he was released after charges were dismissed against him when a witness against him changed their story. It is not known if Casey Anthony, who was also housed at the Orange County Jail and Benevides were leaving notes at the library for one another ending in ~FLUSH~.
On February 11, 2010 Pete Benevides was released from custody, still under investigation by the Feds for his and his associate’s involvement in an alleged ponzi scheme that has bilked over $450 million dollars from investors around the world. However, with a heavy concentration of folks seeking damages for same around every corner of the neighborhood, it can’t be the same hitting the in and out burger in Orlando these days.
On February 19, 2010 based on an informant tip, OPD conducted a search behind the Knights Inn on South Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. Both that site and the location on 72000 International Drive are known former business addresses of Filho, Hernandez and Benevides.
Until last month Pete and Brittany Benevides, Luis Hernandez, Daniel Filho, unspecified John Doe’s and Angel Hernandes managed to dodge subpoenas in the pending civil actions. Luis Hernandez and the Benevideses maintain homes and offices in Leesburg, Astatula, Clermont, Orlando and Windermere. The pending class action civil suit process servers were headed off by security at every gate.
The State of Florida was happy to be served on their behalf at the request of the plaintiffs attorney.
* It is this author’s intention to present the parties associations, conduct and occurrences to the relevant time periods and commonalities to the case of the disappearance of Jennifer Kesse and by no means should be considered a complete background or biography. Y’all are itching to know how any of this is connected as it is or you’re asking yourself- did Blink drink her Google juice today? I get it. Stick with me.
Encumberance And Conveyance, In Deed
The first investigative interviews conducted at Central Florida Investments, Jennifer’s employer were in May 2009, or so the management team thought. She had been missing three years and 4 months.
What they did not know is a work colleague of Jennifer’s called them on his own to tell OPD what he knew in the months before that. “Adam Frank” referred to previously on BOC, not his real name as he is a material witness in the case, called police in an effort to stop the harassment he was enduring at work since Jennifer disappeared. Adam overheard a confrontation between Johnny Alberto Campos and Jennifer Kesse the morning of January 23rd, 2006.
For the first time exclusively on www.blinkoncrime.com, we have uncovered additional witnesses to corroborate the interactions between Jennifer Kesse and Johnny Campos leading up to and including the days following her disappearance.
On or about the day after Jennifer’s disappearance, Johnny Campos asks Frank to drive him to an impromptu meeting at the new Lake Eleanor Office. When the pair arrived, Campos told Frank he would meet up with him in about 30 minutes in the cafeteria.
Adam Frank watched as the manager of the branch, Linday Hernandez met Campos at security and the pair headed to her office.
Linday Hernandez, A Venezuelan national, is a business partner of Peter Benevides in more than one venture, and her husband Luis Hernandez is and was a former principal in several business interests including currently held properties.
Mr. Hernandez as previously noted is under Federal criminal investigation in multiple states and a defendant in several civil actions resulting from those alleged activities. Linday Hernandez is not named individually in the ongoing federal or class action civil matters to date, however, companies which she has or had a principal interest in, are.
A recent financial filing of the couple requesting significant debt relief and a stay from a foreclosure sale on their Windermere residence was filed in Ms. Hernandez’s name only. Luis Hernandez’s whereabouts are unknown.
Witnesses inside the investigations of both Jennifer’s case and the Federal inquiry describe the relationship between Linday and Campos as “confident” and friendly with Linday visiting the Ocoee branch frequently ending in an offsite lunch for the two.
An additional witness interviewed by BOC and wishing to remain anonymous provided an account describing how Campos approached him with a scheme for making quick cash. Several timeshare owners were asking to renounce their weeks without compensation as long as they did not pay annual fees. It was alleged Campos saw it as an opportunity to rent the week out, covering the fees, without ever telling the owners. Westgate/CFI had folks with access keeping track of unoccupied timeshare properties. Who accessed them and by what means remains to be seen.
A simple keycard report would be able to tell that information for the timeframe of Jennifer’s disappearance easily. It has not been requested to date.
The Ponzi Peninsula
In May 2011 a tip was received from a Columbian national and former resident of the United States claiming to have had to leave the country due to immigration issues.
Dimitri Duran Soto is also a former realtor and mortgage broker for Sky Land Realty Group and DPG Realty after a failed cleaning business venture in 2003. His real estate license in Florida has been revoked. Mr. Duran Soto is a trained architect and is currently working as such in Columbia.
It was the intent of BOC to withhold Mr. Soto’s name but he has since posted a request for the person who he believes may either be responsible or knows who is, for what happened to Jennifer Kesse as he claims was told to him.
Soto told police while he was discussing seeing the Kesse’s on TV, a friend of his claimed to have seen Jennifer in a white pickup truck sitting between two men with a look he described as “like, help me” when the vehicles were next to each other at a traffic light turning left onto International Drive South.
That evening Soto printed out a flyer from the Kesse website and showed it to him the next day to confirm.
At the time he says he felt his friend did not come forward and neither did he because they both had what he termed immigration issues. He was afraid of deportation.
Upon return to his native country, Soto learned his friend had taken care of his status but had not yet informed police of what he knew. Soto reached out, and was put in touch with OPD.
The January 6th search conducted and organized by Orlando Police and FDLE in the area of the 13000 block of International Drive was based on the account of Soto’s friend, however, a posting of Mr. Soto’s indicates there may be more to it.
Soto’s friend describes the pickup he was now watching in his rearview mirror makes a right turn just before the Partners Credit Union onto a dirt road leading into the woods and property searched recently- unsuccessfully.
However, the dirt road access which is commonly known to many ATV riders in the area is also a way to access the undeveloped plat #723 owned by Luis Hernandez and Pedro Benevides.
The BenHen parcel has not been searched nor seized because of it’s purchase prior to any allegations of ponzi.
Considering the fact that the last known person to have had a public disagreement with a missing woman arranges an impromptu meeting with a woman whose husband, and by way of a marital asset so does she, owns a parcel in the direct vicinity of a recent search area OPD felt credible is worth a conversation- no?
check back to www.blinkoncrime.com
Images by Klaasend
Contributing Editors Jason Mateos and Jaqueline Beaufort