A 19-year-old Chicago woman’s body was found inside a hotel’s walk-in freezer after she attended a party with so-called friends.
Kenneka Jenkins was discovered early Sunday morning at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont after going missing Friday night.
An investigation into Jenkins' death is underway; however, investigators reportedly believe that Jenkins may have locked herself in the freezer in an intoxicated stupor.
The reality of Jenkins leading herself into the freezer seems slim, considering that if she was truly heavily intoxicated, she likely would have struggled to open a heavy walk-in freezer door.
Furthermore, it seems odd that she would have been able to stumble her way into an employee-restricted area without being noticed or stopped.
On the other hand, the woman’s mother, Tereasa Martin, said she believes her daughter’s death was the result of foul play and holds the hotel and police department accountable for their delayed response to her child’s disappearance, according to the New York Daily News.
“I believe someone in this hotel killed my child," Martin told WGN.
"Anyone can understand how a parent can feel distraught over the loss of a child and feel the need to lash out due to the tremendous pain they're feeling, and we certainly understand that," Gary Mack, a spokesman for the village of Rosemont, reportedly told the Chicago Tribune. "But people can rest assured Rosemont is one of the top, highest trained, most respected police departments in the state of Illinois and does a good job at what they do."
Martin said she went to the hotel around 5 a.m. on Saturday in search of Jenkins, but the hotel staff allegedly refused to review surveillance footage or search for the young woman until a formal missing person’s report was filed with the police.
Later, when Martin tried to file her report, she was asked by authorities to wait several more hours to see if Jenkins turned up on her own. The search for her was not launched until Saturday afternoon.
While the cause of Jenkins’ death is still unknown, the friends she was partying with are facing scrutiny online as they are being held accountable for her tragic demise.
The friends may also have played a role in her death. According to Martin, their stories “changed over and over.”
This #KennekaJenkins story is the saddest thing ever man. Reminder staying to yourself don't make you a lame. Everyone isn't your friend.— De'arra Taylor (@ShortyMacShort_) September 11, 2017
If you're at a party & your home girl needs some fresh air, guess what, your ass needs fresh air too. GO WITH HER. Be safe. #KennekaJenkins— NUFF 💬 (@nuffsaidNY) September 11, 2017
sometimes you're friends aren't your friends Rip #KennekaJenkins 🙏🏽👼🏽— cashmëre (@maceodallas) September 11, 2017
When you get older you realize all those times your mama would say "I'm your only friend" she wasn't lying #KennekaJenkins— Ree (@REE_baby96) September 11, 2017
So many people failed #KennekaJenkins. Her "friends", the hotel, the police. Idc what anyone says, that was not merely an accident!— April Dalaman 🌹 (@AprilDalaman) September 11, 2017
#KennekaJenkins really makes you aware of the friends you keep... sort the real from the fake. Stay woke— LOCS (@TheOnlyLocs) September 11, 2017
Additionally, there is a Facebook live video from the hotel room where the party took place circulating the internet in which a female voice can be heard calling out for help among all of her friends just before loud music starts to play.
As the investigation unfolds, more details will surely come to light. We can only hope Jenkins' family finds the answers they deserve and seek justice in her name.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Matti Blume