Claudine Gifford’s family has gone 32 days without knowing what happened to her, but they refuse to give up hope that she may still be safe and sound. Monday, August 4, the sheriff’s department named James Todd Kessler, 53, of Cox’s Farm Road in Weems “a person of interest” in Claudine’s disappearance.
Last weekend, Richard Gifford, daughter Gabrielle and Claudine’s sister, Julianne , drove from Orlando to Kilmarnock for the second time in two weeks to check on the investigation and to participate in a candlelight vigil to pray for her return.
Claudine was last seen leaving the tiki bar at Pelicans at the Point at Windmill Point with Todd Kessler around 8:30 p.m. July 6. In his own quest for information, Richard Gifford said witnesses at the tiki bar told him that after two or three drinks Claudine was so incapacitated, Kessler carried her to his car. However, the witnesses put the departure time two hours earlier, at 6:30 p.m.According to the Lancaster sheriff’s department, the investigation is still ongoing.
Kessler is being held without bond in Lancaster jail on charges of malicious wounding and assault in an unrelated case.