In 2006, College Student Jesse Ross Walked Out Of A Hotel & Disappeared

The 19-year-old student reportedly visited Chicago for a Model U.N. event, walked out a back door, and disappeared.

July 17, 2019
Jesse Ross with age-progressed image from missing poster [NCMEC]

Photo by: Jesse Ross with age-progressed image from missing poster [NCMEC]

Jesse Ross with age-progressed image from missing poster [NCMEC]

By: Mike McPadden

CHICAGO, IL — At around 2:30 A.M. on November 21, 2006, Jesse Ross, a 19-year-old sophomore from the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC), reportedly walked out the back exit of a hotel and was never seen or heard from again.

At the time, Jesse was in Chicago to attend a Model United Nations conference, which he had participated in over the previous three days with nearly 1,200 other students from all over the country.

As a communications major at UMKC, Jesse reportedly was interested in politics and also loved music. He was said to be very happy about his internship at a popular Kansas City radio station, and thoroughly excited when he departed on November 18 for the Model U.N. event. He'd even packed some of his music mixes with him, in hopes of networking.

On the new ID digital special The Missing: Is Jesse Ross Still Out There?, Donna Ross, Jesse’s mother, said he called her from the conference to say, “It’s great, Mom! We’re loving it!”— and that that was the last time she ever spoke to her son.

November 20 was reportedly the last day of the gathering, which culminated with a dance that ended just before 1 A.M. the next morning.

At 2 A.M., however, event officials called a mock “emergency” meeting of the U.N., to demonstrate that, when it comes to international affairs, anything can happen at any time.

Don Ross, Jesse’s father, said that Jesse joined the others for the sudden session and, at around 2:30 A.M., they decided to take a break. Jesse then reportedly stepped out a back door, which allegedly led to a “shortcut” that the students said they’d been using.

Jesse Ross on Sheraton security video [Chicago Police Department]

Photo by: Jesse Ross on Sheraton security video [Chicago Police Department]

Jesse Ross on Sheraton security video [Chicago Police Department]

The next morning, as the participants were getting ready to head home, Jesse was nowhere to be found.

The Chicago Police Department reportedly flew into action quickly, employing helicopters, cadaver dogs, and divers to search the surrounding areas. Authorities also checked all available security footage and allegedly turned up nothing.

In addition, investigators said Jesse’s phone and credit cards showed no activity whatsoever.

One police theory, cited by Don Ross on The Missing, is that Jesse had been drinking, wandered over near the Chicago River, and accidentally toppled into it. Still, no body has ever been recovered, nor have any of Jesse’s personal items. His disappearance remains a total mystery.

Jesse's family believes that it's a possibility that after he left the meeting room, he went out into the city with his CDs of music mixes, looking for some sort of opportunity.

Even though Jesse’s case has technically gone cold, Don and Donna Ross say they will never give up trying to learn the truth about what happened to their son. The desperately searching parents are asking anyone with any possible information to please help.

If you know anything about the disappearance of Jesse Ross, please contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 745-6004.

Watch Investigation Discovery's The Missing: Is Jesse Ross Still Out There? on ID GO now!

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