Jesse Ross was already making big strides in his young life. At 19 years old, according to his family, the sophomore at the University of Missouri Kansas City had just received word from a popular radio show about a new work opportunity — he was set to intern at 95.7 “The Vibe” at the Shorty and the Boys morning show. Along with his new radio gig, his family said the communications major was working for a voice-over internet provider and had pledged the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
He had a lot going for him, and a lot to look forward to.
In 2006, Ross, according to his family, traveled to the Sheraton hotel in Chicago for a United Nations Conference. It was November 20 when he called home to speak with his mother, she said. Ross told her he was “having a blast” at the event. Ross seemed to be in very good spirits. He was never a secret-keeper and had a wonderful relationship with his family, they say.
In the early morning hours of November 21, according to the Find Jesse Ross website, something went terribly wrong. Around 2 A.M., the mock U.N. conference (which housed more than 1,000 university students), called an “emergency” meeting.
About 30 minutes into the “emergency,” Ross reportedly got up from his chair and walked out of the room for a break. According to the search website, Ross was seen on a surveillance camera in the hotel lobby – but he was never seen again, not in the flesh and not on camera anywhere else in the hotel.
The website dedicated to finding Ross said the 10-minute walk back to the hotel, where the group of 13 students from his university were staying, was “well-lit, heavily traveled and covered by outdoor security cameras.”
At this point, according to reports, there is no evidence of a crime, foul play, a suicide or anything else. In February 2015, Overland Park Police Officer Jackie ZIckel told Fox 4 KC, “We have received various tips on things that have led us in a direction that gets us to where we want to go. Not particularly the tip that solves the crime for the day, but it does give us more information that leads us in a new direction that’s helpful.”
Ross’ family has done just about everything they know how to do over the years. His father, Donald Ross, even penned a book about his son’s case called, “Where’s Opie?” According to Amazon, the book describes “what it is like day to day, living with this reality and finding the courage to go on. From the beginning, in shock, learning as you go, you will learn how such an event affects the family, friends, law enforcement, strangers soon to become friends and even those who would attempt in some way to profit from a family’s loss.”
Jesse was last seen wearing a green warmup jacket with a white shirt underneath. He was wearing blue jeans, athletic shoes and weighed about 140 pounds. Ross would be 29 now. You can continue to track updates on Jesse Ross on his Facebook page. His parents say his credit cards or cell phone have not been used since Ross vanished.
In November 2015, Ross’ family asked the public to send the lead detective in the case and the Chicago mayor birthday cards to help remind them about the case. KCTV-5 said 260 were sent.
If you have any information about the disappearance of Jesse Ross, please contact the Chicago Police Department directly at (312) 744-8266 or reach out to his family. There is an active reward.
If you are in search of a missing person, make sure to enter their information into the database of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
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Main photo: FindJesseRoss.com