your 2004 escape has a passive anti theft system (PATS). basically there is a sensor in the steering column right behind where you insert the key that is looking for the chip that is in the key.
So, either you don't have a key with the chip in it, or the PATS sensor is unplugged or malfunctioning somehow.
also, this forum is primarily for 2013 and above Escape. However i have a 2004 Focus, so the system will be similar.
2014 Escape SE FWD 2.0 Sterling Grey
2004 Ford Focus ZX3 Liquid Grey Metallic
2014 Mustang GT w/Track Pack Oxford White
2002 Ford Focus SVT Infrared - Sold
1991 Escort GT "The Upscort", mostly White - scrapped
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