Haunting Photos

For this Missing Person Monday offering, I examine four haunting photos involving persons who have vanished.

Jennifer Kesse

On January 24, 2006, twenty-four year old Jennifer Kesse did not show-up for her job at an Orlando area real estate firm.  Her vehicle was recovered two days later at an apartment complex near her condominium, but offered no clues as to Jennifer's location.

After a lengthy investigation, authorities contend that Ms. Kesse is the victim of an abduction, and after exhausting all leads on the case, authorities were able to convince the FBI to take over.

Police were able to secure images from a security camera that show a person believed to have abandoned Ms. Kesse's car.

Other than saying the person photographed is between 5'3 and 5'5 feet tall, authorities have not been able to identify the individual.  
The following security photo is of the mysterious person of interest. 


Brianna Maitland

Guest blogger Bob and I have written extensively on the Brianna Maitland case

In sum,  seventeen-year-old Brianna was last seen leaving work in Vermont around midnight in March of 2004. Her vehicle was found the next day crashed into an abandoned farmhouse less than a mile from her employer.  Initially, authorities thought the incident was a simple hit-and-run, and that Brianna had left voluntarily--which is now one of the least likely explanations. 

The public does not get to see many images of a scene thought to involve a kidnapping just as it looked when authorities arrived. 

This case offers a rare exception.

A group of young people driving past Brianna's car, snapped a couple of photos prior to police processing the scene as a traffic collision.

Below is what was seen on the morning of March 20th: 


Michael Reinert

Ten-year old Michael Reinert was last seen leaving his home with his 11-year-old sister (Karen) and their mother, Susan Gallagher Reinert, in Ardmore, Pennsylvania on June 22, 1979.

Three days later, Susan's nude body was found in the trunk of her own car, which was in the parking lot of the Host Inn in Swatara Township, Pennsylvania.

There was no sign of Michael or Karen at the scene and an extensive search produced nothing. 

Eventually, two men were convicted of the murders of the Reinert family. One of those sentenced, William Sidney "Bill" Bradfield, died in prison, and in his belongings, investigators discovered the photograph shown below of what they think is a grave. 

Despite efforts to determine the location of the image, the photograph remains a mystery.

Could this photo be the burial location of missing children Michael and Karen Reinert?

Unfortunately, all of these case images have offered more questions than answers.

Next Monday, I'll start a series of posts on Kari Swenson, a closed missing persons investigation.  The case includes the perspectives of law enforcement, the victim, and the perpetrator--something rare in disappearances.


Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

These have a slightly haunting appearance alone but add these tragic stories and they definitely give me chills.

Matthew Rush said...

Strange. It's as fascinating as it is disturbing to get a glance at these scenes. I think Travel Nurse said it well when she said slightly haunting.

Bob G. said...

I'd be real curious as to WHY the PD (or CSI) processed the Maitland incident with the car and the barn as a "collision"...it clearly looks like the vehicle was backed UP to the door on purpose.

That's too darn odd.

Good post and updates.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

That's totally freaky! But good info...thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

I agree with Bob. That does not look like an accident. And less than a mile from work? It was either a colleague or someone waiting for her to leave and followed.

Creepy Query Girl said...

wow- how terrible. Sometimes I think missing people is the worst- no closer for their families...so much time spent wondering and praying and hoping. Thanks for sharing these and I hope someday these cases will be solved.

malone8 said...

I get the impression the car was backed up to the window so something or someone could be loaded into the vehicle.

G'day - Maxi

Diane said...

Now with photoshop, anything is possible. It will be harder to believe everything we see on TV or photos. :O)

Jackie said...

Oh wow I get goosebumps/chills/someone walking over your grave. When I look at that last photo... there is just something about it that is .... haunting.


J. J. in Phila said...

In the Maitland case, were the roads icy? Could the car could have slid off the road and up there?

Angelia Sims Hardy said...

Those mysterious cases intrigue me. I want to know more and what happened who they talked to....

Those pictures are VERY creepy.

Amy Sullivan said...

The car backed up to that building gives me such a strange, empty feeling.

Do the families of these people ever contact you? I bet some are surprised that you work to keep their loved ones stories from fading away.

BobKat said...

Slam, caught me by surprise here! Excellent post, and it's BobKat, not Bob, lol.

RE: Jennifer Kesse, your 1st subject - I studied her case in detail, and used every means possible to analyze the photo's. I drew a blank.

RE: Brianna Maitland.

@ Bob G.,
1st - not a door, but a window - boarded up a week or so previously.

2nd: it's easy to see why VSP saw it as an accident. Cars are often abandoned, and often by drunk drivers.

The mistake in this case is that the car was registered to Brianna's mother, who was home when the officer found it. Within a short time VSP should have made contact with her mother and the Amber Alert should have gone out as Brianna was 17yo. They didn't contact her.

We make mistakes. From what Bruce Maitland last told me VSP and the family are truly working together.

@ Jen: Thanks! Sounds like you've been following our discussions. My theory has always been a "car-jacking", and Brianna saw it coming with minutes to react.

@ Malone8: At first glance it does look like the car was driven up to the window to break in, and my fear at first was abductors dragged Brianna into the house.

The World Travelers dispelled that notion, as did further investigation by VSP. The impact against the house was low speed and seemingly random. Further, on the other side of the house was a carport, and her car could have been backed into the port. In late Dec of that year when i met with the Maitlands, that door into the house was open/unlocked. There was absolutely no indication foul play happened in those rooms - they were simply full of debris and trash. No sign of a struggle, nor even a search.

Fact is, Brianna's car was abandoned there, between 11:30 and 12:00 (if I recall the timeline).

@ J.J. in Phila: The roads weren't icy... it was simply very cold, maybe occasional flurries. No tire tracks found on the road surface, nor any detectable ruts in the grass leading up to the collision with the house.

Seems to me Brianna realized she was being followed, stopped at that house on her way home from work, backed up off the HW and either misjudged the distance or was suddenly startled.

The thing to remember is the car hit the house in a way to disable it. Items belonging to Brianna were found within a foot or two of the drivers door. Shouting was originally reported by a neighbor but then allegedly denied.

Medications, paychecks, contact - lenses left behind, but not car keys. Car Keys can be a weapon - used correctly a weapon of keys can be very effective. Or, she was quickly subdued, or went voluntarily - the latter not accepted.

To everyone... many mysteries have been solved, many have not. Law Enforcement in general does not actively pursue cold cases... but does revisit them. Brianna's case is very much open. And I happen to know progress in a resolution may be near.

Thanks Slam

Opus #6 said...

So sad. I pray for the victims/families.

Pia said...

you're really good at this. i mean, you post topics, mysteries that are really mind boggling. you get people thinking.

Anita said...

Thank you for having these blog.You do a very good job,

Greetings from norway

aconnectiontomyheart said...

Truly haunting photographic memories, can only imagine how troubling they must be for their loved ones.. ! Trunk of their own cars is always disturbing as is the meaningless nature of the crime.. Why?! I ask..